Flamenco Ice Tower

An international team of Dutch and Chinese students and professors from Eindhoven University of
Technology (TU/e), Summa College, the Netherlands, and Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT),
China, realized the largest ice shell ever after two years of preparation. On 10 January the tower
will be opened by the Dutch ambassador in China.

Construction Process

Sino-Dutch Team Realized 31 Meter High Ice Tower

An international team of Dutch and Chinese students and professors from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Summa College, the Netherlands, and Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China, realized the largest ice shell ever after two years of preparation. On 10 January the tower will be opened by the Dutch ambassador in China.

TU/e and HIT realized this architectural ice structure, the "Flamenco Ice Tower", in the ice capital of the world, Harbin. This Chinese city is well known for its international ice and snow sculpture festival. The ice tower is located at the Maple Village Outlet Company. The team improved the 2015 record of 21 meters to 31 meters in 2018. In previous years Dutch students realized in Finland various ice structures as well: the Pykrete Dome in 2014, the Sagrada Familia in Ice in 2015 and the Bridge in Ice 2016. Further, in cooperation with HIT they realized a small pilot of the Flamenco Ice Tower on the architectural campus of HIT China last winter.

The design of the Flamenco Ice Tower is based on the shape of traditional Chinese towers and the flamenco dress. The thin shell structure of 31 meters is made with an average thickness of 25 cm of fiber-reinforced ice sprayed on a huge inflatable. It is possible to build large thin shell structures by reinforcing ice by adding natural fibers such as wood fibers. These fibers make the ice much stronger and create a reliable building material. This sustainable, fully recyclable building material can be a solution for temporary constructions in cold areas, events or even Mars missions. HIT and TU/e intend to cooperate in the realization of ice structures for the Olympic Winter Games that will be held in China in 2022.

Photo by Qiyu

Sustainable Reinforced Ice

Using fiber reinforced ice brings a lot of benefits. Not only is the ice to 3 times stronger but it also becomes way though compared to normal ice. This makes it possible to create larger spans and work with thinner shells. Also the fibers will speed up the process of applying every layer. Cellulose also provides insulation.

For extreme temperature area like Arctic circle and Siberia, where is very hard to bring common building material to those area, if you can only use the material around that area and only cellulose which is very easy to transfer and it is the way of sustainability.

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Construct ice ring foundation by Peng Zhao

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Place the inflatable by Peng Zhao

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Adjust the legs of inflatable by Peng Zhao

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Set up rope nets by Peng Zhao

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Tower model fully inflation by Peng Zhao

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Reinforced ice material production by Qiyu

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Spraying reinforced ice material by Yaron Moonen

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Spraying reinforced ice material by Qiyu

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Measure the thickness by Qiyu

The Beauty of the tower

After the inflatbale model was taken out, the real beauty of the interior part of the tower reveals. Like in the classic cathedral, when sky light come across the small windows of dome, the certain senses of sacred shows up. It is unbelievable when you stand on the ice stairs and look into the top.

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View to the top by Yiling Zhou

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Classical atmosphere from legs by Yiling Zhou

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Material details by Yiling Zhou

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When lights on by Yiling Zhou

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Cantilever of legs by Yiling Zhou

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Beautiful ice signal on ice by Yiling Zhou

Photo by Maple Village

Photo by Yi Guan

People, companies and organizations participated in the flamenco ice tower

Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands Department Built environment, unit Structural design

Teachers:

Students:

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Arno Pronk
Rijk Blok
Elke Mergny (Ulg)

Yaron Moonen
Yiling Zhou
Gillis Ide
Sjef Brands
Kalaba Banda
Zhora Karam

Summa College Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Department Mechatronics

Teachers:

Students:

 

Jean Paul verhofstad
Hans van den Elzen

Bart de Miranda
Gavin van Turnhout
Sjoerd Keltjens
Tim Dierx
Michiel Vrijsen

Harbin Institute of Technology, China, Department of Architecture

Teachers:

Students:

 

Peng Luo
Yu Dong
Ying Liu

Kai Wang
Lu Yuan
Qingchao Meng
Dian Ding
Zhaojie Cui

Ji Chen
Yujie Chen
Qiaoyu Hu
Taiyang Wang

Harbin Institute of Technology, China, Department of Civil engineering

Teachers:

Students:

 

Yue Wu

Xiuming Liu
Boxuan Chen
Qingpeng Li

Jianfeng Sun
Xiaonan Lou
Jiafeng Chen
Jiaqi Yang
Mingqian Guo

CompaniesRead More

Maple Leaf Village Outlet company
Mammoet
Easy cool
Engie
MCB

Iso Bouw
WAGO
Valken Power
Daken shop
Café d`n Ekker

Organisations

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing
Netherlands Business Support Office Dalian
Ice research center
IASS workgroup 21

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