Arctic building constructed one two-tonne ice cube at a time
A construction crew at an Arctic building site is creating the 23rd Jukkasjärvi ice hotel – one two-tonne ice cube at a time. The final structure, due for opening this month, will be a huge igloo with domes, vaulted ceilings, archways, 65 hotel rooms, lobby, main hall and ice bar. A chapel with altar, font and pews all sculpted out of ice will host weddings and christenings.
“We’re completely dependent on the weather,” Icehotel representative Beatrice Karlsson said. “We have a schedule to adhere to but it varies from year to year.”
The ice interior is being carved, with chandeliers, avant-garde sculptures, chairs and beds.
The whole process begins as early as March, when 5000 tonnes of ice are pulled from the River Torne and conserved in chilled warehouses. Construction begins in late autumn. Yet five months later the entire site melts down and, in the words of one of the construction experts, “we return to the Torne what we borrowed.”
[pictured: Jukkasjärvi ice hotel interior; photo by Cyr]