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  • Jukkasjärvi is a small town in northern Sweden that each year becomes home to the world's largest ice hotel.

  • Historically the sculpture has melted each spring but now, thanks to an innovative new solution, it can stay year-round.

  • So how is it done?

  • Jukkasjärvi is situated on the Torne River, some 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.

  • Every winter when the river freezes, a new 5,500 square metre ice hotel is constructed on its banks.

  • The hotel's design is unique each year with over 200 designers collaborating to sculpt unique forms for the bar, gallery, 65 rooms and a church that is popular for wedding ceremonies.

  • Guests usually stay for two nights in a "warm room" adjacent to the Ice Hotel with heating, bathroom and dining facilities.

  • Their night in a cold room is spent on an ice bed in arctic sleeping bags protecting them from the hotel's ambient temperature of -5 to -8 degrees Celsius.

  • The 2,500 ice blocks used to construct the hotel each winter are actually harvested during the previous spring and preserved in nearby storage halls ready for work to commence.

  • The material used is referred to as "snice" – a carefully calculated mixture of snow and ice that reflects the sun's winter rays and prevents the hotel from melting.

  • Jukkasjärvi's high positioning on the globe means that it experiences almost 100 days of continuous daylight in summer months.

  • Traditionally the midnight sun has spelled doom for the Ice Hotel, and the unique sculpture has steadily melted back into the river.

  • But a newly engineered approach is now harnessing the continuous sunlight and turning it to the Ice Hotel's advantage.

  • A vaulted concrete extension filled with snow and ice to create the same hotel experience, is being cooled by refrigerators that run on solar power.

  • The site's 600 square meters of solar (PV) panels have the unique ability to capture solar energy and convert it into electricity 24 hours a day, producing 130,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.

  • While some of that goes toward maintaining the hotel's low ambient temperature, the surplus is used for powering ancillary office buildings and the adjacent "warm room" hotel.

  • The extension's exterior is designed to blend with the surrounding landscape and be compatible with the winter ice hotel that is constructed each year.

  • With a 365 day operation in place from 2017, visitors can now choose whether to combine their Ice Hotel visits with dog sledding and the northern lights, or hiking under the midnight sun.

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Jukkasjärvi is a small town in northern Sweden that each year becomes home to the world's largest ice hotel.

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