Ice Structures
Site Map
Ice Structures 

Ice Structures

This photographic exhibition presents the construction of full-scale pykrete and cellulose-ice composite structures in Juuka - Finland, during the winters of 2014, 2015 and 2016. The photos highlight the main phases of the construction of four astonishing structures.

Structures promoted by Eindhoven University of Technology

Pykrete Dome – 2014

The Pykrete Dome project was the first build using fibre reinforced ice. The span of the dome was 29.1 meters, 4.1 meters more than the standing record of the biggest dome in pure ice by T. Kokawa. The dome is built by inflating a big balloon below a large reticulated net. This net is anchored into the ground, which will give the correct shape to the balloon when inflated. When the balloon is fully inflated thin layers of water, snow and sawdust are sprayed on top of the balloon which will form a thin layer of reinforced ice.

Sagrada Familia in Ice – 2015

The Sagrada Familia inice was realized in January/February 2015 in Finland. The church was built by using the same construction method as the pykrete dome. The design of the ice domes refers to the original Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí and was a 1/5 scale model with some of the aspects of the original design. Four towers of 21m(2x) and 18m (2x) and the nave were realised.

Leonardos’s Bridge in Ice - 2016

The original design by Leonardo Da Vinci from the 16th century was designed to span the Golden Horn in Istanbul. This design would have had a span of 240 meters and a width of 24 meters. For the construction of the bridge cellulose reinforcement was used instead of sawdust. This material has better properties and is easier to process compared to sawdust. In 2016 was done an attempt to build this bridge in ice with a free span of 35 meters, a total length of almost 70 meters and almost 10 meters high. Technically it would have worked and it was astonishing to see that a week with weather of +3C and rain destroyed the efforts just one week before the planned opening of the ice bridge.

The projects were built in Juuka, Finland by master students and staff members of the department Built Environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology in cooperation with volunteers from Juuka, Ghent University, KU Leuven, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, RusHydro, Aalto University, University of Bath, University of Edinburgh, University of Jyvaskyla UClouvan, Sint Lucas Eindhoven, Summacollege, TUDelft, ETH Zurich, University of Minho, and the Structural Ice Association.

Structure promoted by Ghent University

CandelaPavilion in Ice - 2016

This unique 15 m diameter doubly-curved shell structure in cellulose-ice composite was based on the 1958 Restaurant Los Manantiales by Felix Candela in Mexico. The project was built by master students of Structural Engineering and by staff of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Ghent University, and by a couple of students and a Professor of the School of Architecture of the University of Minho.  


Arno Pronk, Assistant Professor, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Jan Belis,  Prof. dr. ir.-arch., Department of Structural Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium & Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Paulo Cruz, Full Professor, School of Architecture, University of Minho.


Pykrete Dome 2014: Joep Rutgers, Bart van Overbeeke 

Sagrada Familia in Ice 2015: Bart van Overbeeke

Bridge in Ice 2016: SintLucas-ThomasMeijerman   

Candela Pavilion in Ice 2016: Bram Ronsse; Coen Dalenoord; Jan Belis; Paulo Cruz and Thomas Meijerman


IDEGUI – Design Institute of Guimarães

Lab2PT – Landscape, Heritage and Territory Laboratory

Structural Ice Association

Eindhoven University of Technology

Ghent University

  © 2021 Universidade do Minho -  Legal Terms  - Updated by ICSA2016 Símbolo de Acessibilidade na Web D.
Last Update: Monday, 27.09.2021