This year, guests who visit Sweden’s iconic ICEHOTEL will have the opportunity to sleep in a unique ‘whale’ suite designed by the leading International yacht design studio Andrew Winch Designs (AWD) and inspired by the studio’s ongoing affiliation with the UK-based charity BLUE Marine Foundation (BLUE).
AWD’s design, selected from hundreds of international artist’s submissions, was announced one of the winners of this year’s ICEHOTEL competition and awarded a highly coveted suite. A dramatic ‘whale’ carved entirely from ice and snow, the suite’s design is inspired by the Studio’s support for the conservation charity BLUE, and in keeping with the eco-friendly and CO2negative vision of the ICEHOTEL.
“As yacht designers, nature remains our biggest inspiration. However we are conscious of the fragility of the world’s oceans and the damage that is currently taking place from the likes of over fishing and pollution,” says AWD founder Andrew Winch. “As Partners of BLUE, we are dedicated to raising awareness of the charity and their work and we have donated the money received from the ICEHOTEL for our selected design to BLUE” says Andrew Winch.
Founded in 2010, BLUE aims to increase the amount of ocean under active and effective protection from just 2.3% to 10% in the next ten years and restore the vital balance to the marine ecosystems. “We’re thrilled that our friends at Andrew Winch Designs have been selected as artists at this year’s ICEHOTEL and hugely grateful that our work has inspired their design. The support of world-leading companies like Andrew Winch Designs is essential to raising both awareness and vital support for what we do,” comments BLUE co-founder George Duffield.
In November 2012, three members of the AWD team, including company founder Andrew Winch, travelled 200km north of the Arctic Circle to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden to embark on the three week process to carve their design. Facing gruelling temperatures as low as -30C and a maximum of 3 hours sunlight a day, the AWD artists worked tirelessly to ensure the completion of their suite for the opening of the 2013 ICEHOTEL. This involved carving entirely by hand, two tonnes of solid snow and ice taken from the frozen, clean water of the neighbouring Torne River into a work of art! Come Spring, the ICEHOTEL will melt away returning to the Torne River where its story began. “We, at AWD, see each of our projects as a piece of spatial art. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to create projects that visually reward in the same way as a painting does, but can also be lived in and interacted with – and the ICEHOTEL is unlike any other piece of spatial art on the planet!” comments William Blomstrand, Project Manager.
The suite’s design, conceived by the AWD Designer, William Blomstrand, incorporates one of the ocean’s most famous deep sea mammals – the whale. Carved into the ceiling of the suite, the whale’s symmetrical rib cage provides the architectural structure, whilst above the bed head, an ice art panel features three intricately carved whales circling the BLUE Marine Foundation’s logo. At the foot of the bed, gentle ripples across the floor suggest water is underfoot, whilst an elegant whale’s tail carved from ice appears as if diving into the watery depths of the river Tonne beneath.