30th Icehotel opens with weird and wonderful ice sculptures
Each year, the village of Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland is host to the Icehotel. Now in its 30th iteration, the chilly retreat features amazing new ice sculptures, including animals, nature scenes, and one very strange pair of hands.
Though there are also standard warm and cold rooms available, the Icehotel's 15 art suites are its big draw and offer bedrooms defined by eye-catching sculptures made from ice that was harvested from a nearby frozen river. They were created by a total of 33 artists from 16 countries over the space of two weeks. A ceremony hall, ice bar, and a 4-m (13-ft) tower installation inspired by Brutalist architecture are other highlights.
The attention to detail is impressive, and in addition to the larger sculptures, smaller items like decorative chandeliers, plates, and glasses were made from ice too.
"We have planned Icehotel #30 since early spring when the Icehotel jury decided which art suites would become reality," says Luca Roncoroni, Creative Director at Icehotel. "Luckily the Arctic weather greeted us with perfect conditions for the construction period. There is something special creating art and design in collaboration with the river, the sky and the air."
Animals, as usual, feature strongly this year, with the above sculpture of lionesses drinking with their cubs joined by a large cat guarding a bed, a polar bear atop an iceberg, and an oversized insect in a subterranean lair. However, there are some interesting abstract works too, including a kaleidoscope created using traditional Japanese ice cutting techniques.
Guests sleep on a thick mattress that rests on a wooden base, with reindeer hides and a thermal sleeping bag on hand to keep out the chill. They then receive a hot cup of lingonberry juice in the morning before heading out for a sauna and hot shower to warm up.
If you'd like to visit the Icehotel in person, it's running until April 14, 2020, after which it will close and begin to melt away. You can also head to the gallery to see more of the stunning ice sculptures.