For anyone who enjoys winter outdoor sports like ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing or ice skating, the tiny warming hut is a blessing in cold and snowy weather. Used all over the world, warming huts are small structures that can be both temporary or permanent and usually contain a place to hang up wet gear, seating and sometimes a wonderful wood stove or fireplace where you can warm your freezing fingers. Warming huts are also a great place to break out a small stove to heat up some food or a cup of hot chocolate.
Over the past few years, warming huts have bloomed into an interesting architecture. Innovative designs have popped up near frozen lakes, near cross-country trails and in the middle of mountainous forests for use by snowbound travelers on their way to a cabin or campsite. Many of these huts utilize passive solar design, raised platforms, creative heating elements and unusual materials.
The Palisade Peak warming hut in the Royal Gorge cross country ski area in Lake Tahoe has full windows that let in the winter sun. Photo by George Lamson/Flickr.
This beautiful warming hut on the Nestlenook Farm in New Hampshire is right next to an ice skating rink. Photo by rickpilot_2000/Flickr.
This warming hut is in the Olallie Meadow near Mount Hood in Oregon. Photo by Gabrielle Deal.
This warming hut is used by snowmobile riders in Montana.
This beautiful warming hut (and the one shown at the top of the page) is a telemark lodge in Boonville, New York.
In Canada, designing warming huts has become a yearly competitive event. The Manitoba Association of Architects’ show, Warming Hut: An Art + Architecture Exposition, takes place in Winnipeg and hundreds of submissions come in from all over the world. Architects are giving $9,000 to design public warming huts and three winning designs are chosen. While most of the winners (notably Red Blanket) might be a bit too minimalist for a tiny house design, some of these warming huts might inspired a few tiny house designers.
Bottom photos by the Manitoba Association of Architects and archiseek.