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Snow: The Latest Architecture and News

Here's How a Utah Company Turns Water into Enchanting Castles of Ice

Coming off of a weekend of brutally cold temperatures in the Northeastern United States, the praising of ice might strike some as disagreeable. But seeing the aqueous creations of the Utah based Ice Castles makes a persuasive case for enduring winter’s wrath. Using a patented system, the company designs ice constructions formed through an additive process in which a substructure of icicle lattices are sprayed with liquid water, resulting in grand formations with the appearance of stalactites or sublimating gases frozen in time.

Seasonally, in four cold-climate locations in North America, the company creates castles of varying sizes that are built over the course of three to four weeks and maintained for approximately six to eight weeks thereafter. What may seem like a simple activity – after all, it’s just ice and water – is actually a complex orchestration, not unlike more traditional architecture, which involves the careful consideration of a number of strategic and site-specific factors.

© Vallor McNeely Courtesy of Ice Castles © AJ Mellor Courtesy of Ice Castles © Doug Simms Courtesy of Ice Castles © AJ Mellor Courtesy of Ice Castles + 16

Frozen Architecture: From Glistening Snow Shows to Multi-Colored Ice Festivals

Winter is the perfect time to build structures with ice, a time and a technique that together offer the possibility of a pure white architecture. With a cloudy sky the condition culminates into an impressive whiteout: white architecture, the landscape and the sky dissolve into a diffuse unity without a visible horizon. If clear skies emerge a subtle contrast of warm and cool white appears with yellowish sunrays against the blue sky. However, the ice itself has striking effects as well: The surface appearance ranges from crystal clear glass to soft opaque impressions. And, for the long nights, illumination achieves an additional magical glow and extends the short daylight time.

Worldwide, snow shows, ice hotels and festivals have attracted numerous visitors with glistening snows and stunning lighting solutions. Futhermore, this frozen water strategy presents a sustainable solution par excellence, where the manufacturing and even disposal causes no harm to the environment. Read on to explore the coolest projects and events featuring architects and artists from Finland to China.

Art Suite 2016. Under the Arctic Skin by Rob Harding & Timsam Harding. Image © Icehotel, Asaf Kliger. www.icehotel.com Icehotel 25 by Anja Kilian, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Wolfgang-A. Lüchow. Image © Icehotel, Paulina Holmgren. www.icehotel.com Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Menne Stenros Ice Time Tunnel - Tatsuo Miyajima & Tadao Ando. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Jeff DeBany + 7

Margot Krasojevic Turns Snow Cave Shelters into Practical, Impossible Art

The question "what is the point of all this?" has dogged architecture for as long as anyone cares to look, but since the millenniumthe purely theoretical yet theoretically possible designs of Margot Krasojevic have taken this question as a challenge. Her latest proposal, a mesh shelter that takes the concept of snow caves and applies it to an artificial structure, is built for an eminently practical purpose: a built emergency shelter for climbers and others caught in extreme conditions. Yet the elaborate, high tech and naturally contoured structure is as much a thought experiment as it is a serious architectural proposal.

© Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic + 24

Snow Reveals Opportunities for Public Space

Traffic imprints found in Philadelphia’s record snowfall has revealed some clever opportunities for public space. As reported by This Old City, snow formations have carved examples of unused streetscape that could be easily reclaimed as pedestrian space. This would not only improve traffic safety, but would also enhance the city’s walkability and desirability. Learn more and see examples here.