Architecture Trends: Ice, Ice, Baby

November 28th, 2014

With the cold weather on our minds (can you believe we’ve already been graced with the first snowfall of the season?), it’s only appropriate for us to share our favourite ice buildings on the blog. We’ve found a few that we wouldn’t mind checking out, as long as we have our down-filled jackets and boots ready!

Without further ado:

1/ICEHOTEL, Sweden


Perhaps one of the world’s best-known frozen buildings in the world, the ICEHOTEL in the small village of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden is built each year with snow and ice. It first opened in 1990, and since then it’s been built each year from December to April, and welcomes thousands of guests every year.  The structure is always right below freezing at about -5 degrees celsius, but worry not – the beds are surprisingly warm thanks to reindeer fur!

2/Hôtel de Glace, Canada


Oh Canada! The Ice Hotel, known by the French as Hôtel de Glace since it’s near Quebec City, is the first ice hotel in North America. It opened just over ten years ago on New Year’s Day in 2001 amidst plenty of buzz! It’s rebuilt every year in December, opens in early January and melts down in April because of spring’s warmer weather. Though the beds are made of ice, there are comfy mattresses and each guest is brought a sleeping bag, bed sheet and pillow when it’s bed time.

3/The Ice Palace, Russia

History buffs will enjoy the store behind this ice structure. The first known ice palace first popped up in St. Petersburg, Russia almost 300 years ago in 1740, thanks to Empress Anna Ivanovna who wanted a palace made of ice.  The palace did not last, but in 2005 historians decided to recreate the structure with a team of professionals, led by Valerij Gromov, following the plans of the original palace’s architect Pyotr Yeropkin. The Ice Palace is now reconstructed every year- complete with ice trees and an ice statue of an elephant.

4/Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village, Finland


This adorable igloo village might be our most favourite on this list! Visitors can choose between a glass or a snow igloo. Though the glass igloo provides some of the best views of the northern lights and beautiful sky ever, some do opt for the snow igloo and utter seclusion. The entire little village is perfect for anyone who admires all things snow, ice and Christmas: there’s an awesome ice sculpture gallery, visitors can book a reindeer-drawn sled ride, and visit Santa’s house.

Although this post was very fun, and these buildings are very cool (get it? Hehe), we think we’re going to stick with staying in the warm indoors, with a cup of hot chocolate! Have you visited any of these ice buildings? Let us know your thoughts below!