Czech architecture firm Mjölk Architekti has built a series of tiny ice pods, the design of which took first place in the Warming Huts Competition five years ago, in their home town of Liberec. The “Polar Hens” sit adjacent to the Liberec dam so that local hikers and ice skaters can take a break in the icy retreats.
The igloo pods are made out of a very thick ice shell of compressed frozen river water. To construct the pods, a large inflatable balloon is equipped with a sprinkler connected to a compressor and generator. A water pump sprays icy water over the air-filled silicone balloon, creating a thick wall of ice that glows with a light blue tint. When the walls are thick enough, the inflatable base is removed, leaving a nicely formed igloo in its place. Although the pods look small from the outside, the smooth interior is quite spacious, and provides a nice haven for cold weather adventurers.
The Polar Hen design won the Warming Huts Competition in 2012. The annual event features architecture firms from all over the world showcasing their unique cold-weather shelter designs along the Red River Mutual Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The winning designs are chosen by a “blind” jury who judge the entries based on creativity in terms of materials, shelter characteristics, assembly and form, along with integration with the landscape.
Images via Mjölk Architekti