Mathieu Forest Architecte and Zone of Utopia lend a hand and unveil the multifaceted nature of ice architecture. The two Paris-based studios have created an “urban indicator” for the cultural tourism center in Xinxiang, China, to bring together this new tourist district, which will be dedicated to winter sports. More than a building, Ice Cubes, to be built in 2021, looks like a monumental sculpture. These nine ice cubes, each 17 meters high, are superimposed and deliberately offset.
The glass texture is made of tangled translucent ice crystals that filter the light and the vision on the interior. The patterned glass and steel create this opaque appearance, also allowing the building to change hues: pristine white in sunlight, vaporous on cloudy days, frosted under certain lights. The architects also play with the metaphor of water: from the liquid of a lake to the solid body of ice, through the nebulous and diaphanous atmosphere of the landscape.
Ice Cubes is thus defined as “a place of pleasure and contemplation,” doubling as “a visual experience” because its aspect changes according to where the visitor is. A singular architectural design with a “Sky Lounge” at the top for a 360-degree view.