Jukkasjärvi Hotel: One of the Most Marvelous Examples of Ice Architecture Worldwide

Jukkasjärvi is a small village in Sweden, which lies about two hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The village is famous worldwide for its amazing

Jukkasjärvi is a small village in Sweden, which lies about two hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The village is famous worldwide for its amazing ‘Ice Hotel’, which is constructed entirely from ice and snow since 1990 and situated in harmony with its context. The Ice Hotel represents every year an impressive example of revolutionary architecture. What is interesting and really hard to believe is that the hotel is built every year in December and melts in April with about four months life-long only. The ice is used as the main building material, which is brought from the nearby Torne River. Tons of large square blocks and more than 30,000 tons of snow are used to form the main structure’s supporting elements.

                 Image credit: Tha Main entrance to the 'Ice Hotel'

                                      Image credit: Sitting area

As soon as winter begins, a huge number of professional snow builders, architects, designers and artists from all over the world gather in the little town of Jukkasjärvi. They work Under the direction of the ‘Ice Hotel’ Art & Design Group to design and create a new and creative design for the ‘Ice Hotel’. They usually start the actual building process in mid-November as large clouds of snow start to float along the Torne River. In fact, The ‘Ice Hotel’ is the zenith of talented architects, artists and sculptors, who cooperated together to explore and show their artistic potentials.

                           Image credit: Sitting beside the fir-place

The hotel consists of bedrooms, suits, a cinema, and a bar. There is also an ‘Ice Church’ where weddings take place. The bedrooms have different sizes, which range from double-bed room to eight-bed room. All bedrooms and suits are provided with very warm sleeping bags and detailed instructions on how to use them. Interestingly, the bathrooms are made of ice, but they are only for the sake of exhibit.

                                     Image credit: Single bedroom

                                    Image credit: Hotel suite

                                  Image credit: Ice-Bathroom

Everything in the ‘Ice Hotel’ is made of ice or snow including, the tables, the chairs, the windows, the chandelier, the cinema screen, and even the bar is made of ice and the drinks are served in solid ice glasses. In addition, the ‘Ice Hotel’ is well decorated throughout the spaces by extraordinary ice sculptures. The temperature outside the hotel ranges between -10°C and -40°C, but inside the ‘Ice Hotel’ the temperature is -5°C, which is pretty comfortable for living in this atmosphere. Usually people spend one night in the ‘Ice Hotel’ itself and a couple of nights in a nearby bungalow.

                     Image credit: Ice bar and drinking glasses

       Image credit: Dining table                                    Artistic ice sculptures

The construction process is usually starts by spraying snow on huge steel forms and allowed it to freeze. After a couple of days, the forms are removed, leaving a well joined free-standing corridors of snow. However, dividing walls are built in the corridors to create rooms and suites. The construction follows number of phases; the completed section is opened to the visitors, while the other sections are still under construction. However, every week a new section is opened and occupied until the hotel is complete with approximately 60 rooms. The hotel continue running until spring time, when the sun starts to thaw out the snow walls of the hotel and let slowly return to its origin, Torne River.

Sources:1. http://www.icehotel.com/uk/ICEHOTEL/About-ICEHOTEL/How-we-build-ICEHOTEL/

2. http://emilyjamesondesn3996glog.blogspot.com/2008/09/ice-hotel-jukkasjrvi.html

3. http://www.architectinterior.net/future-architecture/architecture-design-building-icehotel

4. http://www.cool-story.com/story/129/Unusual-buildings-of-the-world/

5. http://www.xor.org.uk/travel/icehotel/index.html

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