Every winter, artists from around the world gather in Jukkasjärvi, northern Sweden, for an art project that has become known as ICEHOTEL. It is the world’s first and largest hotel built of snow and ice. Jukkasjärvi is a small village in northern Sweden with a population of 900 residents and about 1000 dogs.
Each winter, some 50 000 visitors from all over the world come to see ICEHOTEL to experience the tranquility, the northern lights and all of the activities offered in a wilderness 200 km from the Arctic Circle. The development covers 5,500 square metres (59,200 sq. ft) and is constructed from 2,000 tonnes of Torne River ice and 30,000 tonnes of snice, a mixture of snow and ice that strengthens the structure. Some 100 people are involved in the construction of ICEHOTEL, half of which are artists especially invited to design particular areas of the hotel.
Building the hotel is a year-round process. In March and April, 4,000 tonnes of ice is harvested from the Torne River and kept in cold storage over the summer. Construction takes place in November and December and the entire ICEHOTEL is then open between December and mid-April, when the structure begins to slowly melt and return to the Torne River.
Below you will find highlights from this season’s designs and creations from artists around the world. Additional information about the hotel and how it began can also be found throughout the gallery.