Power of the midnight sun harnessed to create an ice hotel that doesn't melt

by Kim Megson | 04 Nov 2015

The creators of Sweden’s famous melting Icehotel have revealed plans for a new ice venture which will have one key difference: guests will be able to stay all year round.

Architect and sustainable construction design expert Hans Eek, who is a partner on the hotel, bar and art gallery project, said: “We will use the physics of Isaac Newton. In the same way we normally make energy efficient housing that keeps the cold out, for this project we’ll use it in reverse to keep the cold in.”

The existing Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi – 200km north of the Arctic Circle – has been attracting guests for 26 years. Every winter ice from the Torne River is sculpted into the architecture and interiors of the building before disappearing in spring.

The new 1,200sq m (12,900sq ft) structure will be one third of the size of the Icehotel and form an extension to the temporary building during the winter months. It will feature a curved roof covered in greenery that provides a vantage point of the surroundings and space for tobogganing.

The midnight sun in Jukkasjärvi glows for 100 days and nights without setting. Swedish energy company Solkompaniet will capitalise on this by installing a system that allows the building to run solely on solar power during the summer. This will keep the building cool and prevent the ice from melting.

Some elements of the design will change guise on a yearly basis, as with the original Icehotel. Arne Bergh, the artist and creative senior advisor on the project, said: “Ice has an interesting effect on creativity. As it’s not permanent it makes you dare to try ideas that you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s very liberating. The idea of a project that marries this transient tradition with a semi-permanent, year-round element is very exciting.”

The development has been given a projected opening date of December 2016, providing investment can be sourced for the project.

Ice is becoming ever-more popular as a building material. It was recently announced that an international team of architecture students led by the Eindhoven University of Technology will build a 50m (164ft) ice bridge as the centrepiece of a winter exhibition of architecture in Finland in 2016. The structure is based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci and will be the longest open span bridge ever built from ice.

The creators of Sweden’s famous melting Icehotel have revealed plans for a new ice venture which will have one key difference: guests will be able to stay all year round. Architect and sustainable construction design expert Hans Eek, who is a partner on the hotel, bar and art gallery project, said: “We will use the physics of Isaac Newton. In the same way we normally make energy efficient housing that
Architect and sustainable construction expert Hans Eek is behind the design / PinPin Studio
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