Students at Eindhoven University are designing a gorgeous model of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia— out of ice! Taking inspiration from the still incomplete church by Antoni Gaudi, the ice version will be made from a super strong water and sawdust mixture called pykrete. The team decided to tackle the famed church model after completing their last project — the world’s largest ice dome.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Eindhoven University, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, ice dome, pykrete, ice architecture

Like Gaudi, the students used catenary design, which involves using hanging chains to create architectural arcs and curves. Applying catenary design to ice is especially challenging because ice has low tensile strength. The wooden fiber and ice mixture, or pykrete, is three times stronger than regular ice, however, ensuring the arcs will be structurally sound.

Related: New Video Reveals How Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Will Look When Finished in 2026

The ice Sagrada Familia design includes the original big tower, nave, and four smaller towers. To construct the nave, the students will use hanging ropes and frozen textiles for strength and shape. The pykrete will then be applied over the fabric frame. For the towers, water and snow will be sprayed over an inflated membrane, along with the hanging ropes for shape. The resulting details translate Gaudi’s iconic design in translucent ice.

The students plan to construct the ice Sagrada Familia on the lawn owned by the Tulikivi company in Juuka, Finland, which is one of the coldest regions in Europe. With temperatures ranging from -15 to -30 C, the ambitious project will be sure to last! The Sagrada Familia in Ice team will be accompanied by a group of master students from the Eindhoven University of Technology from September 2014 until January 2015. Stay tuned!

+ Familia in Ice

Via Arch Daily