Usually, ice and the blazing hot sun don't mix. But at the famed IceHotel in Sweden, solar panels will keep the establishment frosty all day, all year.
The ice hotel (the world's first) is usually reconstructed every year out of snow and ice blocks, and stays open from fall to spring. But now, they're announcing plans to build an addition that will run solely on rooftop solar panels that will keep the inner chambers below freezing temperatures all year long.
By the time the annex is finished, it will be 1207 square metres and pack in a bar and art gallery, in addition to at least 20 suites.
The hotel is located is Jukkasjärvi, a Swedish village 193km north of the Arctic Circle. Usually, the hotel's annual construction uses ice blocks taken from the nearby Torne River, and each year, artists submit ideas for that year's hotel design. By summer, the hotel melts away.
It was the Gothenburg design firm PinPin Studio that pitched the idea for a solar-powered, permanent section of the hotel. See, up in Jukkasjärvi, they have what they call "the midnight sun" -- that's when the sun is visible 24 hours during the summer months, a phenomenon spotted in locales north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle. So instead of the hotel being deconstructed for the warmer months, this section of the hotel could keep running even in summer. The hotel says these solar-powered suites could open by the end of next year.
Of course, you probably have to think staying in an ice hotel is fun to begin with to think this is an interesting idea. But hey, this goes to show what you can do with green energy when you think outside the box.
All renderings courtesy of Ice Hotel and credited PinPin Studios.