ICEHOTEL unveils bizzare new guest designs

The design plans for the 24th ICEHOTEL include a London Underground platform, a Frankenstein science lab and pole-dancing polar bears

Even though in the UK the sun is finally shining, over in Swedish Lapland plans for building this winter’s ICEHOTEL are well underway. A total of 20 artists have had their design chosen, including two Brits: film director Marcus Dillistone and sculptor Rob Harding.

The building will take place in November for opening in December 2013. This will include ambitiously building an ice ‘tube’ to celebrate 150 years of the London Underground.

A total of 200 designs were submitted for this year’s hotel with those selected including a Frankenstein-esque science lab, pole dancing Polar Bears and a Montmartre-inspired roof top setting – all made of ice and snow. The guest designers, who will be responsible for crafting the 11 art suites in the hotel, have diverse backgrounds including architecture, children’s product design and visual anthropologists.

These winning designs will be even more accessible from the UK this year. Direct flights are being scheduled in for the busy Christmas, New Year and Valentines periods. There will be more flights this season than any other previous year taking just three-and-a-half hours from Heathrow to Kiruna.

The history of the unusual hotel dates back to 1990. Friends Par Granlund and Yngve Bergqvist had a vision to build an igloo, in the Inuit style but bigger than ever created before. They planned for the design to be a work of art and creative design, a meeting place which would cross cultural boundaries and symbolise local traditions, nature, history and the environment.

The first igloo, a simple art gallery had just 50 square meters of floor space, was visited mainly by curious locals. Growing in size annually in a never-to-be-repeated design, ice rooms were included in the late 90s for those wishing to stay longer, seek inspiration and to admire the building and its stunning location.

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