The ICEHOTEL is a world famous hotel and an art exhibition made of ice and snow that changes every year. Founded in 1989 in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, it is all about ice and creativity – with artfully created accommodations as the result. Each year artists (who are not required to have worked with ice before) are invited to take part – they’re selected from among those who send in their ideas based on originality and creating it in real natural ice would pose a new challenge. The several weeks’ hard work and months of planning and preparation culminate in something that only exists for a few months.
ICEHOTEL Art Suites
This year 34 artists from 13 countries have spent an intense couple of weeks in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, to create the 29th annual incarnation of the ephemeral hotel that is entirely made out of ice and snow from the free-flowing Arctic river Torne.
The artists sculpt 15 unique suites of ice and snow (all shown below), one ice ceremony hall for weddings and ceremonies and the main hall, featuring the iconic columns and chandeliers that have become synonymous with the hotel.
A building team, the ice production, art support and lighting designers work together with the artists in the building of ICEHOTEL, and create an additional 20 ice rooms.
ICEHOTEL is entirely made of snow and ice from the Arctic Torne River, Sweden’s largest national river. The annual hotel is built over 12 weeks October – January, only to melt back to the river in April.
• The total amount of ice used by the hotel equals 10 seconds’ water flow in the river Torne.
• The iconic chandeliers hold 1 000 ice crystals sculpted and mounted by hand.
• The main building material is “snice” (a mixture of snow+ice). 30 000 cubic meters of snice – that’s the equivalent of 110 million popsicles – are used for the floors, ceilings and walls of the hotel.
• Out of 150 applications, 15 teams are selected and invited to create their suite concept.
• Each year, ICEHOTEL is visited by around 70,000 guests from all over the world, about 50 wedding couples get married in the sparkling ceremony hall. Most visitors stay three nights (only one in an ice suite and the rest the warm rooms that the hotel also offers) and the bucket list experiences to be checked off the list include northern lights, snowmobiling and dog sledding, ice sculpting and of course tasting the bespoke ice menu at ICEHOTEL Restaurant, – a five-course festive dinner on plates made out of ice, straight from Torne River.
all photos courtesy of Asaf Kliger.