Photo: Christopher Hauser

Art & Design 2016

The 26th rendition of Icehotel opened on December 11, 2015. We were truly happy and felt humble to have received an incredible 130 submissions, giving us a hard time to make the final selection. Now we can proudly present 19 individually themed and hand crafted Art Suites, a beautiful Main Hall, the Ice Church and ICEBAR BY ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi.

The Ice church

Edith Maria Van der Wetering, Wilfred Stijger and Niall Magee

Simplistic lines and velvety smooth snow walls become a Milky Way where planets, sunrays and stars unite. The duo Edith Maria Van der Wetering and Wilfred Stijger return to ICEHOTEL to create a tranquil place to unwind, contemplate the greatness of our universe, and get to know others and one self.

WILFRED STIJGER is a multi-talented artist from the Netherlands. Specializing in sand, he sculpts art to inspire others to open their minds and use their imagination.

EDITH MARIA VAN DER WETERING is an artist who loves to surprise with her art. She has been creating art using sand in locations across the world.

NIALL MAGEE is a sculptor originally from Ireland but currently residing in the Netherlands. He has worked with sculpting in principally sand, snow and ice for 20 years, but this is his first project with ICEHOTEL.

Photo: Asaf Kliger


Elin Julin, Marinus Vroom and Jens Thoms Ivarsson

This year’s ice bar, aptly named Tribute, is a celebration of all the artists, creatives and builders who’ve contributed to ICEHOTEL over the years – but also a tribute to actors, musicians and artists around the world who spread joy through their work, each and every day. The design draws inspiration from architecture, music and the theatre – three topics close to the hearts of all three artists behind the design. “We wanted to create a bar that makes the most of the space in the dome. As a visitor, you should be able to find new details in the design as you go and not take in the full experience the moment you step in.”

ELIN JULIN is a Swedish landscape architect at Sweco Architects. This is her sixth time at ICEHOTEL – previous projects include the outdoor landscape, an art suite and the Church.

MARINUS VROOM is an actor and co-founder of the Dutch theatre company Vis à Vis. This is the seventh year that Marinus is participating in the making of ICEHOTEL.

JENS THOMS IVARSSON is product designer and drummer. Brought up with art, craft, design and architecture, Jens is currently the Creative Director at ICEHOTEL and this year making his twenty-ninth (!) ICEBAR BY ICEHOTEL.

Follow the construction on – Vimeo.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Open air sculpture: Jukkasjärvi - an ice rendezvous

Lena Kriström

The sculptor Lena Kriström’s art puts feeling in focus, and on this 24th year of participating in ICEHOTEL, she is creating a sculpture in an outdoor setting inspired by Jukkasjärvi’s heritage as a meeting place. Place towards the Torne River, stretching up towards the sky, the sculpture lives its own life, constantly changing through the interplay with weather, wind and light. “My wish is that my ice sculpture in this unique place will create a feeling of the present, and that in its fragility of constant transformation, it will provide hope, light and strength.”

LENA KRISTRÖM is a sculptor who has lived in Jukkasjärvi for a few years. She sculpts in a variety of materials, including snow, ice, stone and magnetite concrete from the Kiruna iron ore. In her spare time, she enjoys cross-country skiing with her dog, Rokko.

The Main Hall - Goahti

Erik Fankki and Arne Bergh

Guest are welcomed by Sami art, decor in relief and heavy chandeliers made of ice. ICEHOTEL’s own Arne Bergh and Sami artist and craftsman Erik Fankki are the makers of this year’s Main Hall and reception. Inspiration has been taken from the Sami world, and its shapes, mythology and traditional dwellings are reflected in the design.

Fankki says: “I´ve selected shapes from Sami culture to welcome guests to ICEHOTEL. The large arches with an opening right at the top symbolize the goahti (Sami hut), with space for the smoke rising from the fire. Along the goahti’s lower portion are shaman drums depicting Sami goddesses who protect the people.”

ERIK FANKKI is a Sami artist and knife maker born and resident in Kaitum, Swedish Lapland. He has been professionally active for 25 years and places great emphasis on his work containing a story that needs to be told. The materials he works in include birch, antlers and leather.

ARNE BERGH sculpted in a range of differentmaterials before snow and ice finally captured his heart. Twenty-something years later, Arne Bergh is still just as fascinated by creating art from nature’s own material. He lives in Jukkasjärvi and is one of the driving forces behind ICEHOTEL.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: Elephant in the Room

AnnaSofia Mååg

AnnaSofia Mååg who created the beautiful unicorn in the main hall in 2014, has sculpted a three-meter high African elephant, overlooking the ice bed. The suite has been appropriately named Elephant in the Room.


“At some point we all face an issue or situation that is commonly called ‘the elephant in the room’: an obvious truth that is either being ignored or not addressed. The elephant situation is adaptable on so many topics in our present world: from a large global scale down to a more personal one. To choose not see the obvious truth can turn into a hard lesson. So, do you have any elephant in your room? Open your eyes, what do they tell you? To look at something is not the same as to actually see something. But it is a good start.

So let us start with that elephant…”

ANNASOFIA MÅÅG grew up in Swedish province Dalarna, but has been living and working in Swedish Lapland for the last 14 years. She’s an artist by profession, specializing in ceramics and ice and snow sculpting.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: Hibernate

Wouter Biegelaar and Viktor Tsarski

It’s a cold winter morning, the alarm is telling you it’s time to get out of bed, but instead, you curl up tighter underneath the duvet, pulling it over your head. Wrapped in soft textiles, you relish the warmth against your skin, wishing you could stop time for just a moment. This experience was the inspiration for Wouter and Victor’s suite.

“We’ve just started to draw the curtains, but each day as spring gets closer and another visitor’s breath warms the room, the creases will sink a bit further. We can’t wait to see the end result just before it all melts away.”

WOUTER BIEGELAAR is a product designer from the Netherlands and has created everything from trains and medical equipment to rollercoasters.

VICTOR TSARSKI comes from Bulgaria. He is an architect but also an artist, and enjoys experimenting with different materials.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: Under the Arctic Skin

Rob Harding and Timsam Harding

Having grown up in the subtropical heat of Africa, sculptor Rob Harding and his son Timsam were inspired by how weather shapes everyday life in the Arctic in their design. Rob explains:

“Extremes interest me and I am as fond of desert landscapes as I am of the Arctic ones. It’s incredible that humans can exist in such hostile conditions and my project took shape while thinking about how climate can influence the way we see life and plan our futures. Like the crow and the great tit that somehow manage to survive the Arctic cold, and the snakes and lizards that thrive in hottest of deserts, we are resourceful creatures that adjust rapidly to these dangers and even learn to enjoy them.”

ROB HARDING is a British born sculptor who specializes in stainless stell but also works in a variety of other materials. When not working of his sculpture, the architecturally inclined artist builds houses and furniture.

TIMSAM HARDING was born in Malaga and is studying Fine Art at Granada University. He has a special interest in making short films, and this is his fourth suite at ICEHOTEL.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: Counting Sheep

Luca Roncoroni

In the Counting Sheep suite, Luca Roncoroni creates a sanctuary for those worried about spending the night in temperatures below zero – here, you can easily count sheep until you fall asleep. More and more sheep appear the longer you stay in the suite. The room balances the playfulness of the sculptures with harmonious shapes and a movement from one corner of the floor, up towards the roof along one of the walls and then back down towards the floor. “I’ve heard about some guests worrying about not being able to sleep, and that was the inspiration for my suite. Here, the guests can count sheep until they fall asleep – some are easy to find while others are already on their way into the realm of dreams. How many sheep can you find?”

LUCA RONCORONI is an Italian architect and designer based in Norway, specializing in experiental design, exhibition and temporary architecture (such as ICEHOTEL). He likes photography, skiing and running with his dog, Nero.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: The Flying Buttress

AnnaKatrin Kraus and Hans Aescht

AnnaKatrin Kraus and Hans Aescht have created the The Flying Buttress. The inspiration was found in the architectural shape of the arch, which is also one of the most iconic features of ICEHOTEL.

“We started out from the existing shape and created multiple arches of ice and snow in different sizes and in different directions to capture the expanse of the suite. It’s our aim for the visitor to experience the room, in its entirety, as a sculpture.”

ANNAKATRIN KRAUS was born in sunny California but lives and works in Berlin as a sculptor.

HANS AESCHT spent his early years in Romania, subsequently training and working in Berlin as an architect and sculptor.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: The Power of Love

Sebastian Scheller and Kristina Möckel

Sebastian Scheller and Kristina Möckel’s art work is a “machine room of love”. Designed with enormous ice pipes running across the room, a love barometer seemingly captures the energy in the room and transforms it into visions and fantasies. On the wall facing the bed is a round ice projection screen. “We wanted to bring together technology and love, and create an interactive experience where the only boundaries are the visitors’ imagination. When you lie down in the bed, the machinery starts harnessing your energy and producing visions and fantasies which are projected onto the screen.”

SEBASTIAN SCHELLER is an artist and architect living in Berlin. He loves to travel and is always on the lookout for new images in extreme climates such as deserts and glaciers.

KRISTINA MÖCKEL’s creations are inspired by individual and earth-shattering dreams. She works as a packaging designer and design director in Hamburg.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: Fractus

Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A Lüchow

Science and physics have inspired Anja Kilian and Wolfgang A Lüchow to create Fractus. Molecules and fractals are symbolized by sharp, geometrical lines shaping the suite.

“We wanted to create a landscape of fractals and connect elements in our surroundings with the architecture of snow and ice. The Torne river and each little snowflake are made up of fractals and molecules that we can’t see with the naked eye. We wanted to enlarge them and make them visible!”

ANJA KILIAN is a Stuttgart-based interior architect and textile designer who loves to scout foreign countries for visual inspiration.

WOLFGANG A LÜCHOW is a product designer based in Stuttgart. He loves sport and design, and when he’s not working he likes to cycle in the forest.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: X,Y & Z

Anna Baumgarte and Liubov Moskvina

In search of a way of imagining places they’ve never been to, Anna Baumgarte and Liubov Moskvina explore the relationship between time, space and experience using tangrams, stars and mountain ranges.

“You often have visions of places you haven’t visited before. And even if you’ve been to a place, it will have changed since you visited. Everything in this world is undergoing constant change, so we keep reconstructing our world by how we project it. ICEHOTEL reflects this process. The hotel is created to exist only for a brief moment – eventually it melts and travels the world in the form of drops of water. That’s the inspiration for our suite.”

ANNA BAUMGARTE is three years younger than ICEHOTEL and is a trained lighting designer. Her designs feature light that impacts people.

LIUBOV MOSKVINA has one foot in industrial design and one in lighting design. Liubov lives in Germany.

Photo: Asaf Kliger


Art suite: Live your time

Jose Carlos Cabello Millán and Javier Alvaro Colomino Matassa

The concept of time is the essence of this suite. The future and past is represented by two walls parallel to each other, while time is symbolized by wave-like movements through the suite.

“We want to encourage people to live each moment to its fullest because those moments that make up a lifetime pass so quickly. From the bed in our suite, you can experience both the past and the future at the same time, capturing the sense of now.”

JOSE CARLOS CABELLO MILLÁN is a Spanish sculptor who has particpated in more than 30 art symposiums. Having created several suites for ICEHOTEL, his flair for translating love and life into monumental abstract sculptures never ceases to amaze.

JAVIER ALVARO COLOMINO MATASSA is an architect with his own studio in Argentina. He lives in the moment and likes to sculpt in a range of materials – everything from clay, wood and iron to ice.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art suite: Cairn Forest

Annie Hanauer and Matt Chan

Cairns, traditionally used to mark a path, become symbols of a destination, goodwill and a sense community between strangers. The suite uses ice slabs stacked on top of each other, creating a grove of ice cairns in a snowy landscape.

“We used ice cairns to mark out ICEHOTEL as an amazing and unique destination, just as ICEHOTEL will leave a mark on each person who visits. We want the visitors to feel they are sleeping close to the wild, and to celebrate the raw beauty of ice.”

ANNIE HANAUER is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. Born in America, she currently lives in London but performs her works all over the world. She loves traveling, cooking, the outdoors, and finding new adventures great and small.

MATT CHAN is a British architect and exhibition designer. He rock climbs, plays piano, and makes sourdough bread in his spare time. He loves making things and has co-led construction workshops for Cardiff University.

MEI CHAN is an architect based in London. She has a fascination with the process and the craft of making. She enjoys photography and discovering new uses for material.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Momo's

Lotta Lampa and Julia Gamborg Nielsen

Inspired by Michael Ende’s novel Momo, Lotta Lampa and Julia Gamborg Nielsen have created a surrealist landscape in their suite. The book is a commentary on the invisible forces of consumption and capitalism that steer our daily lives. The “grey men” steal people’s time and rob them of their imagination, happiness, sense of belonging and peace. “We wanted to highlight this story and its message. The book was written in the 1970s but is just as relevant today, if not more so.”

LOTTA LAMPA is an artist and designer from Kalix, Swedish Lapland. Her art is influenced by nature, her brother’s garage, and everyday life. She loves driving old cars and playing soccer.

JULIA GAMBORG NIELSEN is a Swedish designer and artist. Her sculptural furniture are inspired by her upbringing in Africa and Asia.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Cesare's Wake

Petros Dermatas and Ellie Souti.

Cesare’s Wake draws inspiration from the 1920’s expressionistic horror film “The Cabinet of Dr Calligari”. Where the story takes place, everything is deformed, expressing the emotional state of the main character. “Our aim is for the leaning houses and the spooky lighting, both strong scenographic elements, to transmitt the feeling of the film to the snow and ice.”

ELLIE SOUTI from Greece is an architect and lighting designer who holds light, shadow and perspective particularly close to her heart.

PETROS DERMATAS is a lighting designer from Greece, who finds inspiration in the power of electric light to reveal and ultimately shape our visual awareness of reality.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Eye Suite

Nicolas Triboulot and Cédric Alizard

In the Eye suite, Nicolas Triboulot and Cédric Alizard play with the visual experience of the visitor, creating a universe of shapes and playing with light. Waves and sharp angles interact with each other, creating light reflections that shift as the vistor moves around the room.

“We want to draw on the similarity between ice and crystal. Just like ice, crystal is fragile and strong at the same time, transparent to the extreme, pure and desirable, incredibly wild and elegant. It’s the ultimate material to sculpt space and light. The waves in the snow symbolizes the fluidity and constantly shifting state of ice – it’s a living material and can take any form and texture, and it’s not trapped in time.”

NICOLAS TRIBOULOT is a creative director and designer from France who has worked with the likes of Baccarat, Bernard Loiseau and Bugatti. He fell in love with ice when he first visited ICEHOTEL 13 years ago.

CÉDRIC ALIZARD is a designer, graphic artist and perpetual enthusiast who prefers to look at the world through a child’s eye. Drawing inspiration from technology and nature, he’s worked for agencies including Black & Gold, Quarks and Eureka.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Don't Say Don't Cry

Petri Tuominen and Urs Koller

Rüppells vulture and the Indian elephant play the lead roles in this suite. One is a story of happiness and the other a story of sorrow. Their common trait the tear – a symbol which the artists places at the center of the room, and with the feeling that the tear appears as from above.

“This room draws on the origins of all the creatures and tears in the world, with the idea to symbolize the hydrological lifecycle. Over the course of a lifetime, all the water in the world will pass through us in the shape of a tear of joy or sorrow.”

PETRI TUOMINEN has done everything from guiding moose safaris to organizing ice dinners under the northern lights. When he’s not busy doing that, he plays the guitar in Punk Williams.

URS KOLLER is a sculptor and painter, creating art from different materials such as stone, bronze, sand, ice, snow and fire. Every summer, he organizes a sand sculpting festival at the lake of his home in Rorschach, Switzerland.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: The Labyrinth Saga

Clara Lindencrona and Kristin Borg

The Labyrinth Saga is the path to another world deep in the forest, where a misty light leads the way through the woods. Entering the suite, the visitor walks through a narrow forest. The light and the path lead the way through a labyrinth where the view opens up a little more on every turn. Suddenly the woods open onto a peaceful clearing were the traveler comes to rest.

“Sleeping in the suite provides a moment’s silence. Behind the trees and stones, resting on the bed, looking at the ethereal view of the red sun setting behind the mountains.”

KRISTIN BORG is an architect from Sweden. Beyond design projects, she is passionate about Swedish housing and urban planning policies, publishing and exploring design within a variety of themes and cultures.

CLARA LINDENCRONA is an interior architect from Sweden. Currently an architectural consultant, her freelance background covers a decade of furniture, product and exhibition design projects, art curation and more.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Love Capsule

Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison

The duo Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison are back at ICEHOTEL, this year interpreting the iconic 1970s lifestyle in this “groovy” suite. “Our idea was to create a warm and loving place in this extreme environment. The suite features the iconic pattern designs of the era and a large sofa. Our ambition is for everyone who spends the night here to invite guests to the suite so that more people get the chance to party like they did in the 70’s…”

LUC VOISIN is a landscape architect and interior designer. He runs a studio in Lyon with Mathieu Brison.

MATHIEU BRISON is an architect and partner in studio “Ateliers Kumquat” together with Luc Voisin.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Show Me What You Got

Tjåsa Gusfors and David Andrén

Tjåsa Gusfors and David Andrén created the ice church together last year. This year they are sculpting a suite with a peacock theme. Drawing on the proud body language of the peacock, Show Me What You Got aims to encourage guests to stand up for themselves with dignity, reminding them everyone’s their most beautiful when they show their true colors. “A peacock is proud, beautiful, powerful and magical, and in our suite the peacock speks for himself, standing there on one side of the room. His magnificent wings embrace the entire ceiling and each eye in his feathers is iluminated and all-seeing. We hope that those who visit the suite will be filled with strength and a sense of affirming their talents. Showing who they really are, just like the peacock does.”

Swede TJÅSA GUSFORS is a multi-faceted artist, performing on the music theatre stage as well as creating art work using wood, stone and sand as her materials. She also travels the world performing live ice sculpting and frequently returns to ICEHOTEL for various projects.

DAVID ANDRÉN is an architect and set designer. Based in Stockholm, he co-founded RYMD Arkitektur in 2013. He’s one of those lucky people who makes a living out of his hobby.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: Rhythm of the Arctic - Deluxe Suite

Shingo Saito and Natsuki Saito

Taiga. Northern lights. Ice. Snow. The Rhythm of the Arctic suite is created by nature and with nature. Its creators, Shingo and Natsuki Saito have built many a suites at ICEHOTEL and return year after year with new creative ideas, in recent years accompanied by their daughter. The luxury suites are nearly twice the size of the art suites and standard rooms, also featuring a private ensuite bathroom and sauna.

“We’ve been coming here for many years and each time we are struck by the natural landscape. Perhaps it’s the sunrise over Torne river or a beautiful aurora display in the forest. It’s the memories of these moments that were the inspiration behind our suite.”

SHINGO SAITO has several years’ experience of ice sculpting. Back home in Japan, both Natsuki and Shingo work at Lake Shikaibetsu Igloo village.

NATSUKI SAITO is a designer and architect and is used to working with ice at home in Japan.

Photo: Asaf Kliger

Art Suite: The Great Escape - Deluxe Suite

Marjolein Vonk and Maurizio Perron

Marjolein Vonk and Maurizio Perron’s treehouse suite is a comment on the shift in society towards a new perspective on luxury whereby status is no longer defined by expensive designer goods, but by having the resources to afford a sustainable, slow lifestyle.

“It seems luxury has taking a new shape – focused on existential, soft values rather than commodities. For example, finding the space to switch off your phone, going offline and eating food that you’ve caught, grown or cooked from scratch…or, building a treehouse and being free to spend hours up there in the canopy. Time is the new luxury!”

MARJOLEIN VONK comes from the Netherlands, where she works as an art director and stylist.

MAURIZIO PERRON lives in a village in the Italian Alps and started sculpting at the age of eight.

Photo: Asaf Kliger