While most people go to Colorado in the winter for its epic skiing, Brent Christensen makes the trip to create his incredible ice castle installations. Utilizing ice, water, and the region's cold temperatures, the artist has created Silverthorne Ice Castle - a massive ice fortress complete with soaring towers. The glittering structure is embedded with lights, creating a heavenly glow for visitors to enjoy at night.
As soon as the Colorado winter hit, Christensen began making icicles – around 4,000 to 8,000 daily! By building up the icicles, the artist made the castles’ ornate ten foot walls and stunning 40 foot towers. Over three million gallons of water and melted snow were funneled and pumped through an on-site system similar to a sprinkler to create the ice structure.
As the water spouts out of the PVC sprinkler heads, it freezes into smooth, fan-like pieces. The fan pieces are the basis of the icicles used in construction. Larger columns are made by hanging the PVC pipes higher and pumping a higher volume of water through to freeze. More and more icicles are created and joined to the support structure with water. The entire castle is freestanding, with no wooden or metal supports – it’s all ice.
Christensen has embedded 200 compact fluorescent bulbs into the building to create an ethereal experience. When illuminated, they cast 350,000 lumens of light in misty blues and greens, which make the castle glitter with light.
Visitors are welcome to wander the icy labyrinth by day or by night. The ice walkways are maintained daily – they’re cleared and leveled so that guests can safely explore the installation. As the season passes, the Ice Castle at Silverthorne changes, melts, and grows, making it a site to witness again and again.
Via Huffington Post