In Vermont, The Ice Shanty Project

People / Places / Products / March 3, 2016

If it weren’t for the warm winter in Vermont, this is an exhibition that might make perfect sense.

ARCTICtecture: The Ice Shanty Project is a reimagination of the design of traditional ice fishing structures. It features shanties designed by five local architecture firms: Peregrine Design/Build, Pill-Maharam Architects, Selin + Selin Architecture, S2 Architecture, and TruexCullins Architecture +Interior Design.

It’s part of the Shelburne Museum’s exhibition, 32°: The Art of Winter, and will be exhibited on the museum’s south lawn through April 2016.

The only problem is the weather, says architect David Pill. “The trend is one of warming, with barely any snow in Vermont this year,” he says. “We set a record at Christmas-time – it was 70 degrees when it’s usually 10, and we’ve had days all winter in the 60s.”

Since the trend during the last decade is of warm days on the upswing, the question is what winter will be like in 50 to 100 years.

Thus his shanty in the shape of a large ice cube – with an implication that it might be melting.

“I wanted to have us reflect back at our collective actions on earth, which may be causing our seasons to become ephemeral,” he says. “And I wanted to create a contemplative place.”

So he built it with ten sheets of maple plywood, four pieces of reflective glass and a door. It’s an unheated space, but on a sunny day, he says, it would warm up quickly from passive solar gain.

But wait – where does the ice fishing come in?

“It doesn’t,” he says. “I feel like at some point in future, the whole idea of an ice shanty may be historical – there won’t be any ice to fish on.”

If he sounds like a pessimist, think again. He’s a realist who’s been focusing on sustainability for the past 25 years, while questioning the nature of the seasons. “Are we going to continue to have winter, or is it dissipating?” he asks.

Those would be questions to ponder, snug in his new shanty, over views of the warm Vermont landscape.

Image credits:

ARCTICtecture: The Ice Shanty Project – Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT. © 2016 Pill-Maharam Architects. Photography by Andy Duback.

ARCTICtecture: The Ice Shanty Project – Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT. © 2016 Selin + Selin Architecture. Photography by Andy Duback.

ARCTICtecture: The Ice Shanty Project – Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT. © 2016 TreuXCullins Architecture + Design. Photography by Andy Duback.

ARCTICtecture: The Ice Shanty Project – Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT. © 2016 Peregrine Design/Build. Photography by Andy Duback.

ARCTICtecture: The Ice Shanty Project – Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT. © 2016 S2 Architecture. Photography by Andy Duback.

 

 

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Michael Welton




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