Icehotel 365 will use solar power to stay cool
Every winter in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, a magical hotel is constructed out of ice and filled with glittering ice sculptures and artworks. Then it melts away when temperatures rise. This year, though, an extra Icehotel is being constructed and the Arctic Circle's 24/7 summer sun will help it to stay frozen.
As announced at the end of last year, Icehotel 365 will be built alongside the traditional Icehotel, the 27th edition of which we'll see this year. It will allow visitors to combine their Icehotel experience with activities, such as dogsledding and boat trips, beneath the midnight sun.
The new addition will cover an area of 2,100 sq m (22,600 sq ft) and, like the main Icehotel, will be built using ice and snow harvested from the nearby Torne River. It will be open all year round, using a solar-powered refrigeration unit to keep its icy structure intact.
"The technology for running the facility is sustainable and the simplest imaginable," explains architect and expert in sustainable building Hans Eek, who was involved in the development of Icehotel 365. "Normally you build to keep the heat in, but here we're building to keep the heat out."
That is achieved by way of 600-sq m (6,500-sq ft) of solar panels that will generate 75 kW of electricity during the summer months when the sun never fully sets. The panels will provide enough power to keep the temperature of Icehotel 365 at -5° C (23° F) and, Icehotel believes, a surplus that it will be able to use for running some of its existing permanent buildings.
The design is said to combine the arched architecture of the classic Icehotel with traditional building methods that help to ensure the exterior is sympathetic to its surroundings. There will be nine luxury suites, each with a sauna and bathroom, and 11 art suites, sculptured by selected artists. In addition, Icehotel occupants will be able to enjoy an ice bar serving champagne, and an ice gallery.
While Icehotel 365 will add a measure of permanence, the classic Icehotel will retain its ephemerality. This latest guise will be built from scratch using 5,000 tons (4,536 tonnes) of ice and will eventually thaw away to nothing.
Among this year's rooms will be the "White Cathedral" suite, created as homage to the sculptor Ferdinand Cheval and built one ice block at a time by Nicolas Triboulot and Ferdinand Manzi. The "Lapland Waves" suite by Luca Roncoroni, meanwhile, will be inspired by the open sea in Swedish Lapland, with its bed "floating" upon frozen waves.
Elswhere, there will be an Art Deco-inspired suite by regular Icehotel artists Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison, a house of cards made from ice and snow and an exotic palace inspired by Casablanca. The hotel will be lit by chandeliers made from over 1,000 hand polished ice crystals.
Both Icehotel 27 and Icehotel 365 are due to open in November.