Blue Crystal: A Sustainable Iceberg Lodge in Dubai?

by , 07/22/09

sustainable design, green design, blue crystal, dubai, iceburg, glacier, greenwashing, solar power, photovoltaics, resort

Temporary ice hotels materialize each winter in frigid northern towns from Russia to Canada. As temperatures rise in the spring the structures melt back into the earth. Now Dubai is poised to get its first year-round ice lodge, Blue Crystal. And considering the amount of energy needed to keep a man made iceberg under 32 degrees in scorching summers on the Persian Gulf, it’s almost amusing to hear Blue Crystal touted as sustainable.

sustainable design, green design, blue crystal, dubai, iceburg, glacier, greenwashing, solar power, photovoltaics, resort

A growing trend in Dubai architecture seems to be the creation of not only the utmost in luxury, but of the impossible, improbable, and downright outrageous. Dubai’s arid desert climate doesn’t easily lend it to ice sculptures–especially not ones with 6 stories of luxury entertainment including an underwater lounge and ballroom. The German design duo Frank and Sven Sauer claim that Blue Crystal will harness the world’s natural energy sources, keeping it self-sufficient. It will supposedly be powered by solar cells embedded in the icy facade and employ an ‘energy recycling system.’

So far it isn’t clear how much energy the structure will be able to produce and how that will be distributed amongst lounges, cafes and the most massive task of keep the ice frozen. Even if it does manage to stay off the grid I’m not convinced that a refrigerated iceberg in the middle of the desert counts as sustainable architecture.

+ Blue Crystal

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  1. GoGreenYay July 27, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Their are multiple eco-conscious places to stay in Dubai. Just check out Why tout this as eco-friendly? I would like more info if anyone has any!

  2. davidwayneosedach July 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    It is certainly beautiful but I wouldn’t want to receive their electric bill. How many tens of millions per month?

  3. santasa July 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Sick !

  4. Jeremy July 25, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Pure insanity. It just goes to show the limits of the concept of sustainability – it might be vaguely sustainable, but it’s a massive waste of energy and resources. Let’s hope it never gets built.

    If you want to stay in an ice hotel, go to Scandinavia.

  5. Jared Williams July 25, 2009 at 4:21 am


  6. trollilocks July 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I LIKE IT!! i hope i can stay in it one day…awesome design! and a great way to cool off in the hot desert sun! <3<3!

  7. Kenneth July 23, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Is it Aprils Fools in July ?…The Sustainable Desert Iceberg story, the Airport in Central Park?…

  8. alexjameslowe July 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I thought Superman’s fortress of solitude was supposed to be in Antarctica. I for one am not going to stand for this!

  9. Green Joy July 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    This certainly is outrageous. Powering this will fossil fuel however, would be quite a stunt that hopefully many people would not put up with. If they do manage to pull this off, then lets hope other luxury hotels take a hint (not on the ice sculpture part).


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