Many of our ephemeral experiences, or those lasting for a short time, are the ones that stick with us the longest. Perhaps this feeling is what inspired the founders of ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, when they first started in 1989. ICEHOTEL is just how it sounds — the walls, floors, and ceilings of the hotel are made of natural ice and snow which artists from across the globe use as a canvas for new designs each year. The ice and snow come from one of Europe’s few surviving wild rivers, the Torne, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The artists, both new and returning, are carefully selected from hundreds of impressive applicants. Building occurs over a span of two months. Come spring, this part accommodation, part art establishment melts to the ground. “In November, Jukkasjärvi becomes a melting pot of influences, cultures and languages. Everyone comes together to create art – it is a fantastic journey to be a part of,” says the hotel’s Director of Design, Jens Thomas Ivarsson, on the official site. **Below you will find photos of the two most recent hotels to give you an idea of just how much variety and creativity is invested in this magical place. It’s no wonder over 35,000 guests come to stay here every year.**The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi has been rebuilt each year since 1989. Pictured here is the ICEBAR ‘Boom’ by Wouter Biegelaar, Viktor Tsarski & Maurizio Perron, within a dome-shaped structure next to the hotel with lounge sofas and a large dance floor.
This ‘Hot Type’ suite by John Bark & Charli Kasselbäck features hand-carved letterpress types on one wall and an imprint on the either. The artists used typefaces that have made an impression on their lives — Baskerville, Bodoni, Akzidenz, and Futura.
In ‘7.5 ° Rø,’ Wolfgang-A. Lüchow, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, and Anja Kilian divided the suite into 12 frames, giving the illusion of infinity. Their inspiration, astronomer Ole Christensen Rømer, invented a thermometer with Rø units. Water turns to ice at 7.5° Rø.
The pillars of ‘Spring’ by Wilfred Stijger & Edith Van De Wetering are designed like tree trunks and as the ice melts, their silhouettes can be seen more clearly.
‘Borderland’ by Tomasz Cjazkowski & Eryk Marks was inspired by folk art found upon the wooden houses of their hometown in eastern Poland. It was a very personal project as they introduced the unique designs seen at the villages of their beloved grandparents to visitors at the hotel.
José Carlos Cabello Millán’s ‘Two as One’ suite is all love — the moment in which lovers meet and when they kiss.
A three meter tall beauty made of snow by AnnaSofia Mååg. Mååg specialized in ceramics and ice and snow sculpting.
Rob Harding and son Timsam Harding came together to make this ‘Under the Arctic Skin’ art suite which probably won’t be the first choice for those with trypophobia but an impressive room nonetheless. Rob Harding grew up in the subtropical heat of Africa and is fascinated by the ways in which climate dictates everyday life in the Arctic.
Share your love for art history in this suite by AnnaKatrin Kraus & Hans Aescht. The arch is considered one of the most iconic features of the hotel.
Technology and love come together in this suite by Sebastian Scheller & Kristina Möckel. Visitors will find enormous ice pipes and a love barometer on either side of the room.
‘Fractus’ by Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A Lüchow was inspired by science and physics. Sharp, geometric lines work together to symbolize molecules and fractals. The artists consider their work a magnification of the snowflake, a beautiful part of nature we cannot often see up close.
Jose Carlos Cabello Millán and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa’ designed the ‘Live your time’ suite to encourage people to capture the sense of now and live each moment to the fullest.
‘Cesare’s Wake’ by Petros Dermatas and Ellie Souti mirrors the 1920’s expressionistic horror film ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Calligari.’ It’s playful, spooky, and emotional all at once. Yes, even in the coldest of regions, there is emotion to be found.
With the ‘Eye’ suite, Nicolas Triboulot and Cédric Alizard present the similarities between ice and crystal. The artists dreamed up waves and sharp angles to create a visual experience for guests.
Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison drew inspiration from the distinctive, groovy patterns of the 1970s. Their goal is to get people partying as they did in the 70s.
‘Show Me What You Got’ by Tjåsa Gusfors and David Andrén spotlights a gorgeous peacock. The duo wanted to convey the message that you are most beautiful when you are brave and show the world your true colors.