ICEHOTEL to open year-round – with the help of the sun
These are busy times by the riverside in Jukkasjärvi, northern Sweden. In November 2016 it’s the opening of Icehotel 365, a permanent ice experience with an ice bar, ice gallery and ice suites. With a little help from the sun, it will be open 365 days a year.
Icehotel 365 will offer visitors a long-awaited alternative to the classic wintertime Icehotel: a way of combining their ice experience with dogsledding, the northern lights or a boat trip on the river, beneath the midnight sun.
“We’ll simply be better positioned to meet market demand for both the midnight sun and the northern lights, so we can attract visitors to summer and winter activities north of the Arctic Circle,” says Yngve Bergqvist, founder and creator of Icehotel and Icehotel 365.
For years the company has nurtured the idea of creating a permanent ice experience, but not until now has it identified a technical solution that is sustainable and eco-friendly. Further, the company has recently gained three new major shareholders: Fort Knox, Krister Olsson and a group of investors, ‘Friends of Icehotel’, who will help achieve the dream of a year-round ice experience.
Cooled by the midnight sun
The 2,100 square metre facility will be filled with ice and snow from the Torne River. With the arrival of winter, it will become a permanent ice experience, and part of the classic Icehotel.
Icehotel 365 will include 9 luxury suites, each with sauna and bathroom, and 11 art suites, all sculptured by selected artists. As well as a large ice bar that serves champagne, and an ice gallery. The elegant design of the new building combines Icehotel’s iconic arched architecture with traditional building methods, ensuring its exterior blends in well with the surroundings.
The temperature will be -5°C (23°F) year round in the new building – and the refrigeration unit that keeps Icehotel 365 cold during the summer runs on energy from a solar cell facility currently under construction at Icehotel. Jukkasjärvi is 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and in summer the sun remains above the horizon for 100 consecutive days.
“According to our calculations, Icehotel will reduce its total energy requirements. This is because our solar cells take advantage of the nearly continuous daylight during the summer months. Consequently we’ll be able to produce roughly 75 kilowatts from April to September, which gives us an energy surplus that we can use to run our existing buildings, like our restaurants, offices and warm rooms,” says Yngve Bergqvist.
Nature and the environment aren’t just key sources of inspiration for Icehotel, they are also a prerequisite for creating the hotel year after year. Hans Eek, architect and expert in sustainable building, was involved in the development of Icehotel 365. He produced the sketches of how the new facility will work.
“The technology for running the facility is sustainable and the simplest imaginable. Normally you build to keep the heat in, but here we’re building to keep the heat out.”
The largest art exhibit north of Stockholm
When Icehotel 365 is completed in November, Icehotel will be the largest permanent art exhibit north of Stockholm. And ice as an expression of impermanent art is the very essence of our operations: the classic Icehotel and the new section will still have a lifecycle where they change form every year.
“Ice has an interesting effect on creativity. Since it’s not a permanent material, people aren’t afraid of testing ideas they otherwise wouldn’t dare to test. It’ll be exciting, a project that challenges the impermanent, at the same time as it places this in contrast to the permanent,” says Arne Bergh, creative adviser at Icehotel.
ICEHOTEL is the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow. Founded in 1989, it is reborn in a new guise every winter, in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The Torne River, the arts, and creating a setting for life-enriching moments are at the heart of it all.
Fort Knox Förvaring AB is an entrepreneur-driven investment company focused on ideas that can grow into local world champions. Based in Umeå Sweden, Fort Knox Förvaring AB has to date invested more than SEK 800 million in 23 different companies.