Top 10 coolest snow buildings

    Oh, the weather outside is frightful, especially if you are in the UK and your transport has been disrupted. Or in Arizona, where a ski resort startled tourists by spraying yellow snow over its slopes thanks to a new sewage recycling system . But as the latest cold front sweeps across Britain, is too busy running around building houses to worry about the temperature.

    And so, in an attempt to look at the bright side of the white stuff, here are the 10 coolest buildings made out of snow.



    Photo credit: Architizer

    Sweden's ICEHOTEL is the most famous snow building in the world – with good reason. Made out of thousands of tons of ice and snow, the ICEHOTEL was the first and largest of the frosty resorts. And the hotel has no plans on that changing: every year from December to April they build the premises again, reaching a total size of 6,000 square metres. The latest creation by PINPIN Studio? An alien suite, complete with murals, UFOs and eerie lights to beam you up in your sleep.


    Hôtel de Glace

    Photo credit: Alvara Tamayo

    If Sweden can do it, Canada can too: unintimidated by their Nordic rivals, Quebec's Hôtel de Glace is an equally impressive edifice. The 36-room design changes every year, with the honour of building the only snow hotel in North America awarded by commission to different firms. The finished property boasts 15,000 tons of snow, 500,000 tons of ice and a cafe that converts to a chapel. Snow joke.


    Jingyue snow palace

    Photo credit: Xinhanet

    What did you do over Christmas? The Jingyue Snow World festival built a castle. And a palace. And a home. The festival, which opened in December in north east China, attracted tourists throughout the holiday period. It loses points for not being able to live inside the buildings – but what they lack in usability,they make up for with dazzling spectacle.


    Yangqing Ice Festival

    Photo credit: Marc van der Chijs

    This time last year, cold Brits were seeking solace in the stunning shots of Yangqing Ice Festival that marked the end of the Lunar New Year. The star of the show? A dazzling series of ice sculptures – not just an ice building, but an ice city. Filled with neon lights, the Arctic town came complete with houses, villas and, most impressive of all, a boat.


    Life inside a freezer

    Photo credit:  ( Flickr via )

    What do people in Antarctica do if they don't like snow? Two years ago, Taylor Medlin tried to found out. Medlin presented a thesis at the University of California called "Towards a new Antarchitecture". The aim? To investigate sustainable construction techniques for the continent using wax to present the buildings, rooms and figurines of people in one giant freezer. At this kind of size, humans could never live in the homes. Then again, that is kind of the point.


    Snow place like London

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    There is snow place like London, not when artist Percy Salazar is working his magic, sculpting replicas of the UK capital's famous landmarks using ice. London real estate has never looked more desirable.



    Snow church

    Photo credit: Der Spiegel

    One Bavarian village caused an avalanche of attention when the townspeople built a 65-foot church out of snow to commemorate the last time it happened 100 years ago. Using 49,000 cubic feet of the white stuff, the finished building (including an altar and pews) sparked a snowball of bookings for weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies.

    "For me this is a really touching story of how people of faith can achieve anything," Stiefvater told .


    Sorrisniva igloo hotel


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    Located near the Alta River in Norway, Sorrisniva is a hotel with a difference: it is built from an igloo. The 30-room resort is entering its 14 th year for 2013 and continues to build as much as possible using snow and ice – right down to the martini glasses. Like the world's other sub-zero spas, the glasses come with their very own snow bar. Or should we say, brrrrrr.


    Sapporo Snow Festival

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    Another festival that creates unliveable ice sculptures, this annual Japanese contest sets itself apart by the sheer ambition of its designers, who recreate buildings such as Rome's Trevi Fountain


    Chena Hot Springs / Aurora Ice Museum


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    Deep in the heart of Alaskan territory lie the Chena Hot Springs, but the complex, paradoxically, is more famous for something at the other end of the heat spectrum: the Aurora Ice Museum. Made by 15-time world champion ice carver Steve Brice and his wife Helen, the museum is open all year round. Bars and rooms are the usual frosty affair, but the museum's real wow factor comes from its namesake: a breathtaking view of the Aurora Borealis.

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