08–10 OCTOBER 2019 | NEC | BIRMINGHAM News
nikolas and lukas bentel construct the geodesic igloo from triangular sheets of ice | Construction Buzz #210
new york based artists and designers, nikolas bentel and lukas bentel, have created the ‘geodesic igloo’ using large slabs of ice. the concept has been developed as an architectural exploration that combines igloo construction and the modernist tradition of geodesic domes. the project employs a very simple construction method that allows triangular sheets of ice to be easily cast and then formed together into a habitable ice structure.
building a traditional igloo requires a specific snow type which is easy to pack into hard blocks. however, the snow often becomes either too cold to pack into hard blocks or not deep enough to cut into blocks big enough for an igloo. nikolas and lukas bentel have therefore used individual sheets of ice to construct a cohesive domed structure. in order to create the igloo, only one mold is needed using one equilateral triangle. this equilateral triangle shape is cast 15 times until the full igloo is formed.
the designers aimed to create a building technique that incorporated modern building technology with on hand methods. the building uses a fraction of the material an igloo is made with and is easier to assemble. unlike traditional igloo construction, the geodesic igloo allowed us to build the structure with less material than traditional igloos made of packed snow. because of this, they were able to use thin sheets of ice that stayed completely transparent. in total, the bentel’s structure took around 4 hours to make with materials found in nature. nikolas and lukas aim to use continue to pursue creating different ice casting techniques in order to make larger structures at a faster pace.