How we build ICEHOTEL
As soon as winter begins, a team of snow builders, architects, designers and artists from all over the world gather in the little town of Jukkasjärvi far north of the Arctic Circle. Under the direction of the ICEHOTEL Art & Design Group, they create each year’s version of ICEHOTEL.
The building process starts in mid-November when the snow guns start humming and large clouds of snow start to drift along the Torne River.
The snow is sprayed on huge steel forms and allowed to freeze. After a couple of days, the forms are removed, leaving a maze of free-standing corridors of snow.
In the corridors, dividing walls are built in order to create rooms and suites. Ice blocks, harvested at springtime from Torne River, are now being transported into the hotel where selected artists from all over the world start creating the art and design of the persihable material.
Some of them are experienced ice artists, some of them have never experienced temperature below sub zero. Experienced or not, each year they create new and unique art and design at ICEHOTEL.
To be able to create ICEHOTEL and ensuring its construction; provide support to the artists and setting the lights, the construction is done in several phases. As one section is completed, it opens to visitors and overnight guests, while the other sections are still under construction.
In ICEHOTEL #22 there will be 1 Deluxe suite, 16 Art suites, 20 ice rooms, 8 snow rooms and 2 group rooms. There will be 47 rooms in total during the winter season of 2011/2012.
This year’s artists come from 15 countries, among others: Argentina, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Norway and The Netherlands. They will arrive in Jukkasjärvi in two turns/teams. The first team will build from 6th until 24th November and the second team between 20th November until 8th December.
If you are on location during the building phase you can gain a closer insight into the unique requirements that apply when building and creating art and architecture in snow and ice.
As we build ICEHOTEL under the open sky, using the natural materials of the winter season, our time plan and building progress depends on Mother Nature and therefore we ask you to make allowances for any deviations from the plan.
When the hotel is completed, a hectic time begins. Thousands of guests will sleep in rooms made of ice and snow, over a hundred couples will share wedding vows in the Ice church and many cold drinks will be enjoyed in ABSOLUT ICEBAR.
Until spring arrives and the sun starts to unthaw the walls of snow and we finally close the hotel and let it slowly return to its origin, Torne River.