Bazarsad Bayarsaikhan working on Dragon Nest for ICEHOTEL #23. Photo: Paulina Holmgren

The Art Suites in ICEHOTEL 2015

Hundreds of artists from all over the world apply every year to design an art suite at ICEHOTEL. From these applicants our jury selects a handful of artists that are invited to Jukkasjärvi to be a part of the creation process during November and December.

The artists come from all art disciplines and there are no entry requirements for applying to design one of our suites. There has always been a mix of people, some have been here before and some are new to the place, many have never even worked with snow or ice before. The mix of experience and inexperience allows for the development of fresh ideas. This is the key to our innovation and has been for almost 25 years.

 “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.”

Jens Thoms Ivarsson, Director of Design på ICEHOTEL


Benny Ekman, Sweden

Step into the suite and you are transported into the middle of a forest made of ice. This is a tale of a beautiful forest fairy and five men who went to the forest to find her. You can’t see the men in the suite but you can see birds among the trees. Benny Ekman is the storyteller who has singlehandedly created this magnificent fairy tale-like suite:

“I wanted to tell a story about a forest fairy and turn it into art made from ice and snow. As we all know, fairy tales can come true, so enter the suite at your own risk. You may never come out again…”


José Carlos Cabello Millán, Spain

Visit the suite Two as One and be inspired by the moment of perfection that ensues when love strikes. There are two elegant sculptures in the suite that repre- sent a pair of lovers and an abstract sculpture which forms the bed frame, symbolizing the union between the two – the kiss. The bed itself is an interpretation of the moment when the lovers meet, when everything else disappears and the present moment is the only thing that matters. The creator of the suite is the artist José Carlos Cabello Millán, who works on his own:

“Working here is a very special thing. Usually I create one sculpture at a time but here I do several ele- ments that work together and have a connection to each other. It’s about finding a balance, just like in love.”


Emma Curdén, Theodor Fahlén, Gabriella Bulin, Sweden

It brings to mind a clock,something mechanical, but time is really abstract. An eternity or a moment. Constantly moving forward and forging changes, yet we don’t always remember that it’s there. When you step in to the Time Piece suite, you find your- self inside a clock – the enormous cogwheels on the far wall, and the floor-to-ceiling clock face opposite:

“The inspiration for this suite came to us when we thought about the concept of time. It is measured in a very mechanical way and yet it is constant, in a very relative way. ICEHOTEL is a proof of this. In time there will only be water left.”


Tomaz Czajkowski & Eryk Marks, Poland

Thomas Czajkowski and Eryk Marks are the creators of the Borderland suite. They grew up in the countryside in eastern Poland and their suite is inspi- red by the local folk art of the region. The carved de- corations in the suite derive from the traditional wooden ornaments that decorated the house facades:

“With the Borderland suite, we wanted to celebrate artists who created folk art in the old days, they are of- ten forgotten in the history of art. In this suite, we want to show the villages of our grandparents and take the visitor on a journey back in time to witness the handi- crafts of the past.”


Shingo Saito & Natsuki Saito, Japan

With glittering stars in the ceiling and organic patterns on the walls, the White Lullaby suite has a calm and harmonious atmosphere, offering a place to find serenity:

“The inspiration for White Lullaby came one night, when we walked through the woods to a lake, back home in Japan. The stars were glittering and we heard the owls hoot in the trees.”

Shingo and Natsuki Saito are ice veterans who’ve created suites at ICEHOTEL for many years. The last few years, their daughter travels with them.


Markus Lemke & Rolf Nylinder, Sweden

Everyone is looking for a place to call home. Markus Lemke and Rolf Nylinder had this in mind when creating their suite, Eniko’s Inn. When you enter the suite, you find yourself inside a giant bell pepper, but you’re not alone – the worm Eniko also lives there:

“Just like ICEHOTEL is home for its guests, the bell pepper is home for Eniko, amongst others. And in the same way that ICEHOTEL melts back and becomes one with nature by the sun rays in spring, the bell pepper crumbles and reunites with the earth over time. The worm has to search for a new bell pepper to call home.”


Ulrika Tallving, Sweden & Urs Koller, Switzerland

ln Prime Mate, artists Ulrika Tallving and Urs Koller wanted to create a suite that illuminates the tropical environment, transporting the guest back to a time when mankind and animals still lived in har- mony with each other. In the wild, the orangutan col- lects leaves every evening for a makeshift bed, so the artists have created a peaceful sanctuary with large leaves covering the walls and enveloping the bed. As you retire among the foliage for a night’s rest, the great apes watch over you:

“We wanted to capture a time when the forest spirits had not yet been destroyed, and the big trees were swaying in the wind. And paradoxically, the crisp air inside the room reminds of a cool early morning in the rain forest.”


Edith Maria Van de Wetering & Wilfred Stijger, The Netherlands

ln spring, just as ICEHOTEL melts, nature starts to grow again. Colors and scents return and suddenly nature awakens. The creative duo behind the Spring suite were inspired by spring in their creative process and if you look closely at the carved ice pillars you will see the shape of tree trunks under the ice. Their silhu- ettes are clearer by each day, as the ice that encloses them gradually retracts, the closer we get to spring:

“Even when it’s cold and freezing around us, spring is always within us. There is a warmth and a longing in our hearts and we wanted to remind the visitors about these spring feelings by taking a piece of spring and moving it into our suite.”

ART SUITE: 7 , 5 ° Rø

Wolfgang-A. Lüchow, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Anja Kilian, Germany

Playing with notions of matter and space, the 7.5 °Rø suite is divided into 12 frames, each leaning against the frame in front at an angle of 7.5 degrees. The gradient creates a spiral-like twist within the room and an illusion of infinity. The artists were in- spired by the Danish astronomer Ole Christensen Rømer, who invented a thermometer that measures in Rø units. According to this scale, water turns to ice at 7.5° Rø, a concept that the creators have used here:

“In our suite, we experiment with the power of change. At 7.5° Rø, water turns to ice, and the frames in the room also incline at a 7.5 degree angle. In this suite, the guests will also change state, from being awake to falling asleep.”


Fernando Inçaurgarat, Nadia Inçaurgarat, Sofia Sol Inçaurgarat, Argentina

King, queen, knights, rooks and pawns, all made of ice and snow. The Chess suite is, as the name suggests, inspired by a chess game – so get in there and play! With this suite, the creators want to express that chess is so much more than just a game. It’s a repre- sentation of life, two opponents up against each other – good vs. evil, male vs. female, right vs. wrong or ice vs. snow:

“In chess, just as in life, there are certain rules to follow, rules that have been the same since the game of chess was invented. But life changes. Sometimes we are at the bottom and sometimes we are on top. The question is – who wins?”


Francisco Cortés Zamudio, Sweden (Chile)

A shaft of light illuminates the room, drawing focus to the bed. Created by artist Francisco Cortés Zamudio, this suite is inspired by the period of time that is most synonymous with rebirth – the Renais- sance. The light and sculptures symbolize the renewal:

“The Renaissance period was in many ways a re- birth, from the darkness of the Middle Ages to a more enlightened period, with mankind at the center. This was also reflected in the art world. I think that we are, once again, on the verge of a rebirth, where we will need to care more about the environment and the world around us in a new way. In my suite, the guest and the sculptures become a part of this renaissance.”


Hans Abrahamsson & Ann-Louice Abrahamsson, Sweden

In the Polar Night suite, the visitor can experience the mystery of the polar night alongside the wild ani- mals from northern Sweden. A pack of wolves prowl into the suite from the woods. They approach the lone lynx, lit by the moonlight, on the other side of the room. The drama between the predatory animals un- folds in front of the bed in the suite:

“We both enjoy nature and wanted to bring the wilderness into the suite to convey the experience of animals and nature in the polar night. Meeting the predatory animals in their element is quite unusual, even in the north of Sweden, but here you have a chance of meeting both wolf and lynx up close.”



Charli Kasselbäck & John Bark, Sweden

When you enter the Hot Type suite, you find yourself midst a printing press.Letter press types, hand- carved in blocks of ice, protrude from the wall on the far side of the room, appearing in print on the opposing wall. John Bark and Charli Kasselbäck both work as graphic designers and are typography enthusiasts:

“This suite is a heart felt celebration of the very art of printing. That magical moment when the types meet a white paper – or as in this case, a wall of ice – and readable words, sentences and texts materialize. Printmaking has a long history and its craft has de- veloped from wooden letterpress types to the present day digital printing technique, but many of the classic fonts remain unchanged. In this suite we have used Baskerville, Bodoni, Akzidenz and Futura – typefac- es that have made an impression on our own lives.”


Lena Kriström & Nina Hedman, Sweden

Inspired by the corbels of Uppsala Cathedral, the creators of the Rays of Vision suite have chosen to work with pillars that narrate and act, becoming an interactive part of the design. Just like sculptures and their “rays of vision” were used during the Middle Ages to tell biblical stories, this suite lets the guest in- terpret the glances of the sculptures, understanding and becoming part of a bigger context:

“We wanted to illustrate these rays of vision that exist in our everyday lives through pictures sculpted into the pillars. We did this using different gazes, looks and expressions. Gazes that meet or gazes that speak. Curious looks or annoyed looks. Characters who see each other, watch each other or respect each other’s differences.”


Lotta Lampa & Julia Gamborg Nielsen, Sweden

The classically beautiful often becomes dull and predictable – it becomes the expected. In the Abject Beauty suite, Julia Gamborg Nielsen and Lotta Lampa have worked with abstract, organic sculptures to create a sense of unpredictable dynamics, excitement and movement in the room. With their abstract and detailed world, they hope to change people’s ideas of what is considered beautiful:

“We wanted to create a world within the world. A world full of patterns and shapes that fill the the room and create a captivating scene.”


Luc Voisin & Mathieu Brison, France

A large candelabra, beautifully carved orna- ments and a luxurious bedframe of ice are some of the elements in the Rococo luxury suite. For the de- sign, French artists Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison found inspiration in 17th century Europe, and the result is a fusion of modern day ice sculpting and the decadence of the Baroque period:

“The era that is most famous for expressing pleas- ure and luxury is, without a doubt, the Baroque peri- od and this was our source of inspiration. So don your wig, put on some extra blush and indulge in your very own ice boudoir!”


Javier Opazo & Cristian Winckler, Chile

ln Kunza, an ancient language spoken in the Ata- cama Desert in northern Chile, ”Tolackuntur” means ”to gather”. With beautiful lamps, an elegant cham- pagne table, a discreet lounge area and an elevated bedroom overlooking the room, this was also the in- spiration behind one of this year’s luxury suites. Pil- lars and walls of ice separate the different sections of Tolackuntur, at its far end accessing the private bathroom and sauna. The Chilean designers wanted to create a comfortable and elegant suite where the guests could relax and enjoy themselves:

“This suite is about enjoying the moment; leaning back in the elevated bed overlooking the suite, or en- joying a glass of wine in the sofa.”


Wouter Biegelaar, The Netherlands, Victor Tsarski, Bulgary, Mikael “Nille” Nilsson, Sweden

The hotel is turning 25 and it’s celebrated with a boom as this year’s bar appears to have risen out of an enormous ice explosion. The pressure wave has forced sharp blocks of ice through the bar; sending ice and snow splashing up the walls. For the first time, ICEBAR BY ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi has been inaugu- rated in a dome-shaped structure adjacent to the ho- tel and boasts, aside from an ice bar; lounge sofas and a large dance floor as well:

“For the anniversary, we wanted to create a large bar where there would be enough room for the guests to dance and celebrate.”




David Andrén, Johan Andrén, Tjåsa Gusfors, Sweden

The artists behind this year’s church wanted their design to celebrate the greatness and complexity of nature. The visitor is led into the church through a thick forest. The path through the room is not clear from the outset and you will have to slow down and perhaps even take a few detours to get to where you want to be. Suddenly, a holy room appears, filled with light and embraced by a peaceful, tall forest. Between the trees, there is lush and vital greenery, ferns slowly unfolding their leaves and a sunflower radiates behind the cere- monial altar. The center of the sunflower strives both clockwise and counter-clockwise, symbolizing eternal love:

“During the design process, we have thought about everything from nature’s smallest elements to the fringes of the universe and the beginning of time.”