the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. The Record Breaking 31 Meter Tall "Flamenco Ice Tower" Opens in Harbin, China

The Record Breaking 31 Meter Tall "Flamenco Ice Tower" Opens in Harbin, China

The Record Breaking 31 Meter Tall "Flamenco Ice Tower" Opens in Harbin, China
The Record Breaking 31 Meter Tall "Flamenco Ice Tower" Opens in Harbin, China, Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

Beyonds igloos, sculptures, and Sweden’s ICEHOTEL, ice is not often seen as building material. An international team of Dutch-end Chinese students and professors from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Summa College, and the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) have used the freezing material to construct “Flamenco Ice Tower” in Harbin, China - the home of the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology + 20

Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

The eye-catching tower’s design was inspired by the shape of traditional Chinese towers and the flamenco dress. It stands at a mighty 31 meters tall, the equivalency of a 6-story building, making it the world’s largest ice shell - 10 meters taller than the team’s previous attempt in 2015. 

Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

The key behind the tower’s success is using a fiber-reinforced ice. Natural fibers, such as wood, are blended with the ice to strengthen it, generating an extremely reliable building material. This discovery could hold solutions for temporary construction in cold area, events or even a Mars mission.

Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

To construct the large tower, a balloon was first assembled and inflated to both act as the base and serve as the mold for the structure’s interior. An average thickness of 25 cm of the fiber-reinforced ice was then sprayed onto the balloon. Once all of the ice had been sprayed and settled, the bright blue balloon was then deflated and removed to reveal a smooth, white surface on the interior. The construction of the ice tower can be seen in the video below:

The official opening of the Flamenco Ice Tower was held on January 10 by the Dutch Ambassador, and the TU/e and the HIT intend to continue with the possibility of ice structures for the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. 

Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

View the complete gallery

About this author
Alya Abourezk
Author
Cite: Alya Abourezk. "The Record Breaking 31 Meter Tall "Flamenco Ice Tower" Opens in Harbin, China" 15 Jan 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/886916/the-record-breaking-31-meter-tall-flamenco-ice-tower-opens-in-harbin-china/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology

哈尔滨冰雪节建造31米“弗拉门戈冰塔”,成为世界最高的冰雕建筑!