Last week we showed you the best designs for keeping cozy, but there is no denying the allure of winter’s frosty chill. Thermometer dips are harbingers of this season’s stoic beauty and the arrival of a challenging and ephemeral building material– ice.
Ice captivates because of its contradictions: its crystalline appearance exudes strength, but its structure is fragile, it is cold to the touch, but an excellent insulator, and though towering frozen blocks can look imposing they are impermanent.
Goethe likened architecture to "frozen music," and frozen architecture similarly halts a force in motion, allowing us to notice their arresting beauty. From frozen follies to palaces of ice, these buildings deter any complaining about the winter cold.
One of the world's most photogenic hotels, the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden is built annually from the frozen waters of the River Torne. Its basic design takes on a new shape each year, permutating at the hands of different artists. The interior, with ice beds draped in deer hide, is sleek and sexy and the vaulted ceilings evoke a Gothic Nordic vibe– equal parts Odin and 007.
Photo by Etolane.
Quebec is also home to an ice hotel. The Hotel de Glace’s gabled, igloo-esque exterior leads to whimsically carved rooms below with colorful lighting that takes advantage of transparent and reflective walls.
Olafur Eliasson, "Ice pavilion," 1998, Installationsansicht, Pfefferberg Berlin, 2010, Courtesy the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York © 1998 Olafur Eliasson
Scandinavia seems to be the epicenter of subzero design, as our next two picks come from Danish-born Icelander Olafur Eliasson. His simple Ice Pavilion is a playful spin on a typical pop-up pavilion design. Its frozen roof hangs down in a jagged ring of icicles, turning a formidable element into a symbol of shelter.
Eliasson's other project is more client specific. It houses a frozen BMW H2R and is intended to call attention to global warming. By evoking the eventual world wide melting of glacial structures, Eliasson uses the sensitivity of his material to expose the relationships between product design and the image of the natural world.
This Ice Pavilion on Russia's remote Klyazma Reservoir is one of a series of pavilions dreamed up by installation artists and architect Alexander Brodsky. The architect built a wooden frame in the middle of the lake, encased it in mesh and then sprayed it with water to create opaque glassy walls that glow in the changing light.
Every year frigid St. Petersburg, Russia rebuilds Pyotr Yeropkin's Ice Palace, designed at the behest of Empress Anna Ivanova to celebrate Russia's victory over Turkey in 1740. The new palace is carefully carved to match the Classicism of it's originator, and is instated with equal fanfare adding to its storybook charm.
Six cool ice pavilions have popped up this winter in Vienna’s Museum Quartier Courtyard. The pavilions serve as screening surfaces for light installations and punch bars for patrons to warm up and hang out, making space for art and festivity.