Every year an architectural marvel takes place in the dreamlike snowy landscape of Lapland. As if by magic the IceHotel is reborn. This is not a gimmick this is a genuine hotel built from ice. It is globally famous and attracts thousands of guests.
Anyway, back to the magical construction of the Icehotel, this is a fusion combining traditional skills very clever architecture and sculpture.
Each year, at the start of the first snows, a small army of builders, architects, designers and artists assemble to do battle with the ice and shape it into this modern day wonder. The unique task attracts eager participants from all over the world who become known collectively as the Icehotel Art and Design group. Importantly, each guest suite is created by a different designer and artist, therefore each zone has a distinctly unique identity. And each year the fabulous Icehotel is reinvented As shown here, the standard of the work is truly remarkable considering the unpredictability and fragility of the available materials. The illustrations shown here are from the 2010/2011 winter season and the construction of the 21st version of the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, in Swedish Lapland.
The start of the process of building the Icehotel is fascinating, to create the initial supporting structures massive steel forms are positioned and then snow is sprayed over these and left to freeze. The metalwork is removed after a couple of days when the ice structure is strong enough to support itself. This leaves behind an awe inspiring labyrinth of pure white columns and corridors. This ghostly network of open structures is then filled in as dividing walls are fashioned from the snow to enclose the rooms and elaborate hotel suites.
Pure transparent blocks of ice, provide the raw material from which leading artists will create the most fabulous sculptural forms and features. To ensure perfection the blocks are collected from the Torne River in advance and then shipped to the hotel. Of course the remarkable thing to remember is that all this exquisite work is temporary and will all disappear as soon as the spring thaws set in.
What a romantic place, its not surprising that so many couples choose to exchange wedding vows in the ethereal Icehotel, others come to marvel at the architecture and art work, and many to absorb the magical atmosphere of a place that is the product and epitome of a winter wonderland.