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Ice: The Latest Architecture and News

World's Largest Ice Sculpture Festival Opens in China with Chillingly-Cool Architecture

The world’s largest ice festival has opened to the public in China. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Heilongjiang, North-Eastern China draws 18 million visitors, marveling at the festival’s spectacular castles and sculptures. In total, the 2019 edition saw 120,000 cubic meters of ice and 111,000 cubic meters of snow crafted by thousands of artists in temperatures as low as -35C (-31F) using swing saws, chisels, and ice picks.

Having begun as an annual tradition in 1985, the festival has gained accolades such as the Guinness Record for the world’s largest snow sculpture (250 meters long and 8.5 meters high). The 2019 festival sees more than 100 landmarks, and ice sculptures by artists from 12 countries.

The Harbin Festival will be open for one month, closing on February 5th. Below, we have rounded up our favorite images of the festival so far, demonstrating that red hot architecture can be cold as ice.

Winter Has Arrived at Finland's Game of Thrones-Themed Ice Hotel

For all those Game of Thrones fans looking to go face to face with a White Walker (or snuggle up like Jon and Dany), here’s your chance: Lapland Hotels Snowvillage in northern Finland has opened its very own Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel, complete with ice-carvings of the show’s best settings and sigils.

via Lapland Hotels Snowvillagevia Lapland Hotels Snowvillagevia Lapland Hotels Snowvillagevia Lapland Hotels Snowvillage+ 10

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

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 TechnologyCourtesy of Eindhoven University of TechnologyCourtesy of Eindhoven University of TechnologyCourtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology+ 20

See the Dazzling Ice Architecture at Sweden's ICEHOTEL

Located in the small village of Jukkasjärvi 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, Sweden’s ICEHOTEL is the world’s largest ice structure, constructed each year from over 4000 tonnes of ice and snow.

With winter now officially underway in the Northern Hemisphere, the 2017-2018 version of the ICEHOTEL is now open. In addition to a new permanent section of the hotel kept cool year round by solar energy, for this year’s iteration, the hotel invited 36 artists from 17 countries to design the structure’s main spaces and guest rooms, including new surreal “art suites” that truly transport visitors into a otherworldly winter wonderland.

Check out some of the wildest ones below.

Danger Thin Ice / Franziska Agrawal. Photograph by <a href='http://http://www.asafkliger.com/'>Asaf Kliger</a> © <a href='http://https://www.icehotel.com/ice-galleries/art-design-2017-2018/'>ICEHOTEL</a>Radiance / Natsuki Saito & Shingo Saito. Photograph by <a href='http://http://www.asafkliger.com/'>Asaf Kliger</a> © <a href='http://https://www.icehotel.com/ice-galleries/art-design-2017-2018/'>ICEHOTEL</a>The Invisible Invincible Army / Nina Hedman & Lena Kriström. Photograph by <a href='http://http://www.asafkliger.com/'>Asaf Kliger</a> © <a href='http://https://www.icehotel.com/ice-galleries/art-design-2017-2018/'>ICEHOTEL</a>Cumulus / AnnaKatrin Kraus & Hans Aescht. Photograph by <a href='http://http://www.asafkliger.com/'>Asaf Kliger</a> © <a href='http://https://www.icehotel.com/ice-galleries/art-design-2017-2018/'>ICEHOTEL</a>+ 19


Courtesy of ICE
Courtesy of ICE

ICE – ideas for contemporary environments (with local architect Trinity & Associates) was awarded the 2nd Prize for its entry for DC6 – DỰ ÁN THĂNG LONG, a mixed-use Development, as a popular beach resort near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The design incorporates time share units, residential apartments, serviced apartments and commercial programs, adding up to 30,000 sqm.

Read on for more information on this project.

Taipei Pop Music Center proposal / ICE

Our AD Futures #1, ICE, an international office based in Hong Kong shared with us their proposal for the Taipei Pop Music Center competition.

Pop culture is the culture of change. Pop architecture is the space of change. Rather than a building, the TPMC provides a platform for spontaneous activities: a street, a park, a network of pedestrian circulation, which are embedded into an architectural framework. The design strategy for the TPMC defines the site through 3 different elements.

Full architect’s description and more images after the break.


ICE – Ideas for Contemporary Environments, became our first AD Futures ever. They have just shared with us DK2, a luxury service apartments project in Hanoi, Vietnam for which they won 3rd prize in an invited competition.

The project is located next to the West Lake in Hanoi. The competition was requesting to create a residential iconic tower of 65 floors. As the project would be naturally dominant in a city of rather low scale, it focussed less on the design of the form of the building, but rather on the quality of the units within to create a user based experience.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

Window of Dubai / ICE


With the recent negative feedback on some websites about the winning entry and the initiative of Bustler to publish all non-winners, we have shockingly realized, that we have not been the only ones, who have been Dubai-tized. Even as we started the project, the boundaries of cynicism, architectural integrity and the potential of just doing anything have been extremely blurred by the word alone – Dubai. Given those parameters, we went down a road, which lies on the verge of our own office integrity and agenda and the insanity of an architect’s wet dream. Not that we want to start a discussion about ethics in architecture, but it seems that all of us are responsible for the direction architecture took. Please find here our last project in that direction.

Architect’s description and more images, after the break.

AD Futures #1: ICE – Ideas for Contemporary Environments

During our interviews, we have noticed that most practices have a milestone on their careers, that marks their “jump” on the scene: a competition, one of their first buildings, an innovative project…

While searching for new works and offices to feature on AD for our beloved readers, we have found several practices that are about to take that jump, and that we are sure will put them on the spotlight.

So, we decided to start a new series of articles featuring this practices, so you get to know them before you start seeing them on the traditional magazines/websites. Every Monday, you will find one of this practices featured on AD. And yes, we are open for suggestions (specially if you can show us something exclusive).

Our first chosen practice is ICE, an international practice based in Hong Kong.