An ice house is one of the winners of the Archmarathon Awards 2017

The fourth edition of the ARCHMARATHON Awards has just ended at the Faena Forum, in Miami. The event dedicated to architecture this year focused on studios of USA, Canada, Central America and Latin America.

The overall winner is the “Common Unit” project, curated by Rozana Montiel | Estudio de Arquitectura + Alin V. Wallach: they “transformed boundaries and limits into encounters and quality of life, by creating a community building”. On the other hand, among the winners of the 8 categories announced by the Main Jury (Luca Molinari, David Basulto, David Assael and Francisco Pardo) together with the Grand Jury (Sebastian Salvat and Alejandro Paredes Fontanals), the futuristic project awarded in the category “Visioning” stands out for the use of a natural and eco-friendly as well as unusual material: ice.

 “Maison Glacé” by ELASTICOSPA+KFA satisfies the demand for sustainability, which, according to the panel assessment, “has shown an innovative and avant-garde solution to the difficult weather conditions, taking into account the drastic climate change of the future”.

The Maison Glacé, supposedly located in Toronto, is an experiment that aims at connecting the building to the territory, focusing on the condition that characterizes it: the cold weather. This “frozen house” with guesthouse will be protected by the great cold and the icy air given by the vicinity of the Ontario River, thanks to an ice crust that will form in the early winter days and maintain the house throughout the season. The project, to be still improved, aims to be a “Case Study” in the design and creation of new housing solutions for indigenous peoples living in the Canada's regions characterized by very frigid temperatures throughout the year.

With the Maison Glacé, architects thus propose a reflection on how to design by foreseeing, using lateral thinking to get energy sustainable structures.

*photo credits ELASTICOSPA+KFA