Sweden's Icehotel set to welcome guests all year round with permanent building

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Icehotel has announced plans to build a permanent hotel alongside its seasonal frozen lodgings in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (+ slideshow).

Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi Sweden

Each winter since 1989, a temporary Icehotel has been erected on a site located 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle, in Swedish Lapland, with different architects and designers invited to contribute rooms carved from ice and compacted snow. In 2016, it could be joined by a year-round hotel that will offer guests  a "permanent sub-zero ice experience."

An architect has not been officially named for the project, but the group behind the Icehotel has released visuals by PinPin Studio, who have previously created rooms for the seasonal hotel.

The images show a building with an undulating roof that is snow-covered in winter and grassy in summer.

Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi Sweden

A flight of steps at one end of the timber-clad block will lead up to a rootop observation deck, which will be surrounded by solar panels. A ramp beside the staircase will offer a launchpad for tobogganists.

Arched glass openings will provide access to the tunnel-like spaces within, which will house 30 guest suites, a bar and gallery.

The aim of the permanent building is to increase tourism to the region during off-peak summer months.

"Every summer we have international visitors who arrive in Jukkasjärvi and ask us where they can see Icehotel – I look forward to being able to point it out to them!" said Icehotel creative director Arne Bergh.

Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi Sweden

Like the temporary Icehotels, snow and ice are expected to feature heavily in the interior of the permanent addition.

"Ice has an interesting effect on creativity – since it's not permanent it makes you dare trying ideas that you wouldn't otherwise – it's very liberating," said Bergh. "The idea of a project that marries this transient tradition with a semi-permanent, year-round element is even more exciting!"

This hotel will be powered entirely by solar energy, banking on the 100 days and night of sunshine the site receives each summer to see it through the dark winter months.

Jon Malmsten of solar energy company Solkompaniet said the site offers "unique conditions" that allow sunlight to be harvested and converted to energy, even at midnight.

Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi Sweden

"The ice from the Torne River is transformed to art sculptures and architecture that is set to attract thousands of visitors before it melts away in spring. But this winter might be the end of an era," said a statement issued by Icehotel founder Yngve Bergqvist.

"Using the near constant daylight that the region above the Arctic Circle is blessed with through the warmer months of the year, the building is planned to run solely on solar power during the summer months. In winter, the new addition will form part of the classic Icehotel, which is about three times its size."

Each year since Icehotel was established, it has invited artists, designers and architects to design rooms for its temporary hotel, which are built from natural ice and snow. The rooms are only open for a few months before the ice starts to melt.

Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi Sweden

Past editions have included Frankenstein-themed suites and ice sculptures of orangutans, a giant chess board and floating jellyfish.

Icehotel is currently seeking investors for the permanent building. The aim is to open in December 2016, coinciding with the 27th edition of its winter ice event.

The 26th edition of the Icehotel is due to open in December 2015. Its 19 suites will include a "life size elephant, an icicle cave and a machine room of love".