The best ice hotels, igloos and snow villages open in 2020- Lonely Planet- Nisha Designs

Cozy up in the coldest hotels in the world © Iglu Dorf / Massimo Cappuccio

In longitudes where long johns are all but compulsory and rugged alpine regions where the snow tumbles down sideways, creative grizzled folk brave the cold to cut and chisel and craft chunks of frozen water into sparkling ice hotels, uplit overnight igloos and snow-covered villages for mere non-mountain mortals to sleep over. 

Iglu Dorf – Gstaad, Switzerland 

Built using traditional igloo techniques, but with tunnels connecting each of the 11 rooms, it takes around 3000 hours to create the Iglu Dorf hotel in GstaadSwitzerland each winter. With breathtaking views out across the crucible of the vast Bernese Alps and its crown of fir trees, this slice of wonderful isolation can be enjoyed by up to six guests in a room overnight. 

With a sauna and swimming pool just outside as well as homemade mulled wine and a traditional hot cheese fondue, this is Switzerland in its purest mountain mode. Iglu Dorf also builds overnight igloos in Davos-Klosters, Stockhorn and Zermatt in Switzerland as well as on Zugspitze in Germany, and the Kühtai ski area in Austria.

Design Ekaterina Barsukova and Vladimir Barsukov _ Photo Asaf Kliger _ © ICEHOTEL www.icehotel.com.jpg
Ice sculpture in a hotel suite, designed by Ekaterina Barsukova and Vladimir Barsukov © Asaf Kliger / ICEHOTEL http://www.icehotel.com

Icehotel – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

First built in 1989 in JukkasjärviSweden, this is the original Icehotel. It’s crafted annually from 2500 two-ton blocks of snice (snow and ice) plucked from the vast meandering Torne River. At the end of the season it simply melts and the water returns to the river. But whilst it’s up, its shimmering catenary arches and individually-designed rooms with snow statues and ice artwork make it a startling imaginative triumph. 

Located in northern lights territory, high up into the Arctic Circle, guests can also try husky sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. For the artistic, there’s ice sculpting as well. Can’t wait for winter? The Icehotel 365 offers 20 suites, an ice bar and an art gallery all year round. Plus it’s run entirely on renewable energy.

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Snuggle up in your suite © Kaisa Siren / Arctic SnowHotel

Arctic SnowHotel – Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi‘s Arctic SnowHotel is in Lapland, where Santa Claus kicks back for 364 days each year. Standing on the toes of the Arctic Circle, this part of Finland cycles through eight seasons, but it’s the sparkling magic of winter that’s most alluring: a calming white-scape of thick, crunchy snow; the swirling purples and greens of the northern lights; the excitable yap of huskies waiting to pull their sledges.

But hidden amongst these miles and miles of white wilderness is Arctic SnowHotel, a fully-functioning 30-room igloo that’s built afresh each winter using ice from the nearby Lake Lehtojärvi. The bedrooms are built of snow and ice, as is the bar, the restaurant and the chapel. Snow saunas and outdoor hot tubs also help make the most of this winter wonderland. 

Arctic SnowHotel is open December 15–March 31.

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You could have a frosty wedding ceremony © Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel / Frank Rune Isaksen

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – Alta, Norway

Sculpted deep beneath the magnetic gaze of the aurora borealis, the world’s northernmost ice hotel in AltaNorway, is also one of the biggest. Some 250 tons of ice and 7000cu meters of snow are used each year to freshly carve its 20 double rooms, three family rooms and five suites.

Located on the banks of the Alta River, a short snow sled from the Cathedral of the Northern Lights, the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel also has uplit ice sculptures, an ice bar and even its own ice chapel for couples hoping to melt hearts. The beds have reindeer leather as a natural sleeping mat and sleeping bags capable of withstanding temperatures of -22°F (-30°C), but the sauna (no, not located inside the ice hotel) opens at 7am each morning. Just in case.

Sorrisniva is open December 20–April 7.

SnowVillage – Kittilä, Finland

Created from 350 tons of crystal clear natural ice and 20,000 tons of snow, this extravagant SnowVillage in Kittilä, some 125 miles (200km) into the Arctic Circle, is crafted with the care and precision of a medieval church. Decorated with ornate ice sculptures that change year-on-year, each work is lit up in the swirling colors of the aurora borealis. 

As its name suggests, this isn’t just an ice hotel. There’s a restaurant made from glacier-clear ice, a chiseled ice bar that gleams like a diamond, and a beautiful ice chapel too. Each snow suite has been individually designed and brought to life and, yes, there are saunas nearby as well.

SnowVillage is open from December 21–April 4. 

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Keep warm in the on-site snow bar © Schneedorf Igloo / Frank Neuner

Schneedorf Igloo – Hochötz, Austria

The Ötztal in Tyrol is one of those striking Austrian gram-oramas: a sweeping valley of glittering chalets dwarfed by the brooding dark hulks of snow-covered schist and gneiss striding starward. But up here, nestled some 2670ft up the mountainside in the ski region of Hochötz, you’ll find Schneedorf Igloo. Beneath what looks like a fresh dump of plump white snow is actually a hotel with enough room for 44 people to survive a blizzard overnight.

The silence is rejuvenating at night as the temperatures drop and the constellations start to twinkle against winter’s blueberry-dark sky. Dinner is gooey cheese fondue and the on-site snow bar has enough potent liqueurs to keep guests warm until sunrise. Thankfully, the igloo toilets here are heated.

Schneedorf is open Wed–Sun from December 26–April 4.

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This is Japan’s only ice hotel © Ice Village Tomamu

Ice Village Tomamu – Hokkaidō, Japan

Japan’s only ice hotel is a shades-down dazzler. Surrounded by uplit birch trees, the exclusive genetically-domed igloo sleeps just two people a night on its stylish ice beds, with an outdoor arctic bath and a heated dressing room to keep their lucky bones warm.

Located at Tomamu in Hokkaidō, near the smooth wide runs of Tomamu ski area, the temperatures regularly tumble to -22°F (-30°C). That may sound like visitors are consciously choosing to be cryogenically frozen, but it also means that Ice Village Tomamu guests have access to an ice rink, an ice slide, an ice instrument room, an ice chapel, an ice bar, an ice sweetshop, an ice bakery and – you’ve guessed it – an atelier that only uses ice.

Ice Village Tomamu is open December 10–March 14.

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There are real fires in the rooms at North America’s only ice hotel © Hotel de Glace

Hôtel de Glace – Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Canada

North America’s only ice hotel is in Saint-Gabriel-de-ValcartierCanada, and will be cutting back on the poutine this winter to present a slimmed and trimmed version of its typical regal self because of COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean the ice chandeliers and hand-chiseled snow sculptures will come crashing down – if anything, this luxurious igloo, which comes complete with an ice chapel for weddings, becomes even more exclusive.

Hosted on the outskirts of Quebec City, master craftspeople detail the igloo’s fine frozen furniture, gleaming ice entranceways and curved snow roofs each year. With hot tubs and a sauna under the stars as well as real fires in each room, no guests should go to bed cold. There are even real mattresses and an isolating bed sheet to ensure a great night’s kip. Hôtel de Glace usually opens earlier than January 2, depending on the weather.

Hôtel de Glace is open January 2–March 21.

Snowhotel Kirkenes – Kirkenes, Norway

So far up the longitude meridian that there’s only really Svalbard in the way of Kirkenes and the North Pole, this wonderful Norwegian snow hotel is open 365 days a year. In the cold, blizzard-blanketed winters this is reindeer and husky country: a quiet, isolated region endured by only the most hardy of creatures. But for overnight guests, it’s a beautiful once-in-a-lifetime spot for a winter vacation.

Inside the plump hotel itself, artists bring each bedroom to life with snowy bas reliefs of local winter animals like wolves and owls, whilst specialist ice sculptures that line the halls and ice bar area turn frozen water into glacial artworks worthy of Frieze Art Fair.

Snowhotel is open year-round.

DANIEL FAHEYLonely Planet Writer

PLATUS NOW ALSO WITH ANTIBACTERIAL TREATMENT- Nisha Designs

The currently proven and certified effectiveness of the treatment is directed against the following bacteria: Klebsiella pneumoniae.

(Klebsiella pneumoniae: Can cause pneumonia (hospital infections) and other infections; are known as a multi-resistant bacterial strain).

The usage properties and flame retardancy existing for Platus also apply to the article with antibacterial finish. The minimum order quantity is 300 metres per colour. All colours of the Platus 300 colour range are available.

The compass of a world called Intuition- A synthesis of Design, Tarot and Gestalt Psychology. Created byMatteo di PascaleIntùiti- Nisha Designs

Intùiti is a pack of 78 cards that really helps you dive into your deepest creative process.

It was born as a project of the Polytechnic University of Milan and it represents a new way of living the subject of creativity, an issue that is often superficially tackled. Instead of forcing the user to find an idea, as it happens with some techniques like brainstorming or the mind map, Intùiti invites to sit calmly and to feel what one has to give, remembering that creating must be a source of joy and satisfaction. 

Intùiti proposes pointed suggestions, obtained from the analysis of classic tarots, that are a rich collection of archetypes. It has no divination purpose: each card is related to a thinking model that belongs to our culture, a powerful incentive that can put in motion creative and inspirational processes.

Intùiti is a synthesis of Design, Tarots, Numerology and Gestalt Psychology. It is both a serious game and a powerful tool that brings out the brightest side of creativity without employing rigid schemes.

Visual incentives and Tales

In the pack you will find two series of pictures: the primary intùitiand the secondary intùiti. The first ones are extensive inspirations; the second ones are more specific. To each picture corresponds an evocative tale that intensifies its sensation.

Each card represents a powerful incentive and is designed using Gestalt principles so you can recognize emotionally the related archetype.

You can play as you see fit. There are no main rules. It’s a tool for creative thinking based on visual and imaginary associations, so you just have to shuffle the deck, pick a card, and “let it speak”.

Give it a look: these cards are truly gorgeous!

Backstage

It took over one year of study and development and then other 6 months for enhancement. All the drawings are handmade and later digitalized for the industrial production.

Foto di Attilio Marasco

Intùiti is not an answer!

People often want to find the solution to their “creative problems” in a tool or in method; they would like to have an equation, an algorithm able to solve the real issue of Creativity: to create something new. But using a “recipe” for writing a novel means to have produced something, not to have invented something.

It’s important to reiterate: Intùiti is not an algorithmic function that can “make people creative”, or a scientific method able to produce thousands of brilliant ideas. It’s an inspirational tool: it’s not an answer, but a continuos question.

Via: https://intuiti.it

Moroccan women collaborate with architecture students to design and build women’s community centre near Atlas Mountains from earth and stone

A small earthen village near the Atlas Mountains of Morocco is now home to a women’s community centre, designed and built by local women and a group …

Moroccan women collaborate with architecture students to design and build women’s community centre near Atlas Mountains from earth and stone

ZeroCabin: Zero impact sustainable cabins for off-grid living in the thick of nature

Chile-based ZeroCabin has created a collection of 100% self-sustaining and off-grid cabins for those who want a retreat in nature that leaves zero impact.

Developed by a small team of scientists with no architectural training, each cabin is built by the ZeroCabin  team upon an elevated base of two-metre high wooden piles to maximise views in nature.

The timber-framed structures, which are built without using nails, use biodegradable insulation and thermally efficient glazing systems, which cut down on the use of active heating and cooling systems.

The “kit of parts” offered by ZeroCabin includes maintenance plans for photovoltaic panels, waste recycling and rainwater collection through reverse osmosis. These kits provide buyers with the tools and information to create a self-sustaining cabin with negative impact customised to function anywhere in the world.

ZeroCabin say: “The ZeroCabin is zero impact, it is a perfect symbiosis between you and nature. We build it wherever you want, we just leave a path, we don’t use a boom truck. 10% of our utility is invested in plans to preserve native forests and wildlife.”

Each cabin is oriented at a precise angle within its context for optimal exposure to the sun, making the most efficient use of solar panels for on-site generation of energy.

ZeroCabin

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Spiritual Living is Security- Nisha Designs

Photo by @kjp

As an artist, textile designer, women business owner it is my responsibility to create and service that serves the greater good leading by example and shifting my own life. And it is important to be aware how my life choices impacts the environment by my energy, thought, belief system, choices and actions. What I create, how I use the energy and intention behind that creation, service will tell me if my focus is on physical or serving the greater good. If I create art, design, sell the products that I am selling with the intention of money, pride, popularity, then no I am not serving the greater good. Because here my focus is about physical things. But if I create my art, design service products because I love what I do, love what I provide to my customers regardless of the outcome for that design, art piece, fabric then yes I am serving the greater good. That is my security. That pure joy in creating, servicing and not focusing on physical and what it will bring me is the spiritual living taking care of me.

Living spiritually is where our security is. When I shifted my focus from physical things and people to complete spiritual living, I had and have complete security for life now. My purpose becomes my security. My life every moment, energy, thought, belief system, choices and actions are spiritually guided that which serves the greater good. Each of us born here are here as a guest, temporary not permanent. As a guest it is my responsibility to treat Mother Earth and all of her resources with respect and kindness. That means my life belongs to Mother Earth in everything I do. It is my responsibility to respect the land that has given me a life to experience Mother Earth. Your focus on Physical and financial things, body do not give you security. Security is your inner being, soul and higher mind not your conscious, money mind. Approaching life as a physical and material security can and will be taken away from you at any given moment in split second. You think you have but no you have no control on anything physical. If you say your job is a security? Hmm it can come to bankrupt or close down at any given time, money? Hmm that also can be taken away from you at any point, car, health, home, career, business, acquiring physical things, falling in love with a body than the inner being can be taken away from you at any given moment, if you think having a physical body to love, marry, kids is security then really look deeply they all can be taken away from you in split seconds coz you are focus on the physical not who they are inside. Physical things including physical bodies are not security. This so called magickal life you say by doing things, going to places, traveling, clothes, restaurants, brands you buy all have a physical focus. A magickal life is living spiritually that magickally takes care of you. And what gives you magickally will also be sustained magickally. You truly have no control on your physical life. But if you stay spiritually connected then yes it will secure you. Living spiritually is your security. Your focus is the key. Believe and you will see. Shift your focus. Just by shifting your focus you can bring change not only to your life but to Mother Earth. That is what is required to shift and bring change so mother earth can do what she has to do to bring things to balance.

Looking at your life what would you say is your foundation based on? What does security mean to you?

The Brighton Waste House: A blueprint for public buildings made almost entirely from waste

The Brighton Waste House – made from 20,000 toothbrushes, 4,000 DVD cases, two tonnes of denim jeans, 2,000 floppy discs, 2,000 used carpet tiles, and construction waste – continues to inspire six years after it was constructed.

A permanent building, the award-winning waste house, designed by the architect and University of Brighton lecturer Duncan Baker-Brown, was opened in June 2014 and continues to be a “live” on-going research project and design workshop.

Situated on campus at The University of Brighton’s College for Arts & Humanities in the South of England, The Brighton Waste House was constructed from approximately 90% waste, including surplus material and discarded plastic gathered from the construction industries and homes.

In the construction of the Waste House, 10 tonnes of chalk waste and 10% of clay was used to create a rammed chalk wall. Rammed earth can contribute to the overall energy-efficiency of buildings. The density, thickness and thermal conductivity of rammed earth make it a particularly suitable material for storing passive solar energy as well as that given off by occupants of the building.

The “carbon negative” building, which was built by students and volunteers, also draws attention to the huge environmental consequences of throwing away everyday domestic objects. Therefore the Waste House also “locks away” other sources of waste material, such as duvets, toothbrushes, music cassettes and old plastic razors, that were slotted into wall cavities to help with insulation in the house.

Now an open design research studio, the Brighton Waste House is also available to schools, colleges and community groups for “green” themed events.

Image Credits: The Brighton Waste House and BBM Sustainable Design Limited

The Brighton Waste House

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

FABRICS FOR CRUISE SHIPS- Nisha Designs

Within the Cruise Industry great importance must be placed upon the materials that are to be used, especially in terms of sustainability and function. Design requirements and ambience are part of the process and these must create a memorable impression & feeling that people will not forget.

Safety plays an important part therefore  the decorative and upholstery fabrics must pass special flame-retardancy tests specially developed for shipping (IMO Res. A471 (XII), IMO Res. A652 (16).

Especially with curtains, high light fastness is of great importance, since the solar radiation is much stronger than on land due to the reflection of the sea surface. Substances used in outdoor areas must withstand extreme solar radiation, seawater and possibly chlorine water. 

For more information on samples, pricing please contact Nisha Desai at nisha@nishadesigns.com or 702.622.8321

Via: https://www.delius-contract.de/en/products/contract-fabrics/filter/569

A NEW GENERATION OF FAUX LEATHER

High-System PU (Polyuretan)
Modern artificial leathers are coated with polyurethane (PU) instead of PVC, as PU is much more environmentally friendly in production, use and disposal.
Conventional PU, however, has the disadvantage that moisture and bacteria can penetrate through the openness of the pores and thus permanently damage the PU.
A new manufacturing process enables PU artificial leather to be produced with closed pores, so that there are no fractures in the surface – it is much more durable and hard-wearing.
Our artificial leathers SOLO, KANO, JAGO, ENA and ROMY have been produced with this special PU manufacturing process, called High System PU.

Our modern faux leathers are also particularly soft and insensitive to soiling. They are quick and easy to clean. With over 300,000 rubbing cycles, our faux leathers are durable and robust. Due to their permanent bi-elasticity, the materials can be easily upholstered according to all processes customary in the upholstery industry.
The advantages of High System PU faux leather are:

  • free of phthalate
  • high and permanent elongation
  • particularly hard-wearing
  • easy care
  • insulating against cold
  • breathable
  • PU is recyclable

FAUX LEATHER

Romy has a beautifully grained, matt surface that can hardly be distinguished haptically from genuine leather. The leather look is supported by warm natural shades. 

Ena, on the other hand, is modern and bold with its smooth, metallic surface and strong accentuated colours. In addition to the classic metallic tones such as gold, copper and silver, strong tones such as orange and red stand out. 

Jago has a natural leather apperance; its slight vintage look makes it extremely suitable for the furnishing of a modern hotel. It is ideal for headboards, bed surrounds and seating furniture of all kind. The authenticity of the faux leather is underlined by the colour range which concentrates on natural and grey tones.

Kano is a faux leather with a fine graphically embossed structure and a modern metallic sheen. The colour range comprises metal tones such as steel, titanium, silver and bronze as well as black and white.

Solo has a large colour palette with strong colours paired with natural leather tones. Solo is particularly beautiful in combination with upholstery fabrics from the DELIGARD series. 


COLOURLINE

Colourline is an imitation leather made of PVC which is extremely durable. It stands out due its good resistance to weather influence, UV light, water, heat, cold and chemicals. 70 colours offer extensive design possibilities.

GARDENS Flower Flashes bring much needed colour, natural life and joy to the city streets of New York- Life & Soul Magazine

Flower flashes have been bringing some much needed colour, natural life and joy to the concrete jungle of New York, transforming trash cans into larger-than-life flower vases and embellishing the subway system.

The beautiful flower arrangements come courtesy of floral designer Lewis Miller and his team who create what they call “Flower Flashes” very early in the morning, which they aim to get finished before the daily stream of commuters hits the streets.

In addition to repurposing trash cans as flower vases, Lewis Miller Design have also used flowers to decorate a public phone booth with an abundant flow of blooms making their way on to the street.

Lewis Miller came up with the concept of flower flashes to “create an emotional response through flowers” and to “gift the people of New York the same experience he gives his paying clients”.  All of the blooms used in the installations are repurposed from his company’s events. Passers-by are encouraged to admire the display and take a flower if they desire.

Lewis Miller Design

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Being the Architect of my own Life- Nisha Desai

Queen of the Curve,” the late architect will be remembered for her bold, fluid designs. She is one of my favorite women in architecture.

I almost did step into the world of architecture. I had got an opportunity to spend a week in Columbia University to see if architecture was something I would be interested in. But it wasn’t for me. I have always been fascinated with creation and creating things. I thought at some point chemistry was something that will help me create to what I wanted to create. Loved equations, experiments, science. But then even that didn’t move my soul. And I finally ended up with textiles and art my soul and passion. Architecture and textiles have a lot in common. One of them being both are 3 dimensional. The love for architecture never left me as the architect of my life lived within me. Hence, I became the architect of my own life.
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“Up to even twenty years ago people did not anymore believe in what I always call the fantastic, they did not think that world is possible – some people still don’t think it’s possible – and, it is!” Zaha Hadid