Igloo Houses

Igloo is a term from the Inuit language used by the Eskimos (people of the Mongol ethnic group, who live in the Arctic). The Igloos, houses built with blocks of ice, were created by the Inuit, and are characterized by their hemispherical shape.

types of igloo houses

Thus, igloos are ice houses built by the Eskimos and other peoples of similar characteristics, to spend the winter. These shelters are usually temporary and have been widely used by hunters during the long arctic winters.

Types of Igloo Houses

In general, three types can be distinguished:

The smallest is the one built by  hunters  looking for a night refuge while they have to travel far away areas to obtain food.

Other igloos are larger and are used as  a family home  during the winter, which usually lasts for long months in the Arctic.

The larger igloos, on the other hand, are  permanent  and have several rooms.

Igloo-style hotels in Norway.
Igloo-style hotels in Norway.

Construction of an igloo

Knowing the technique, building an igloo can be simple and cheap, which makes this type of Eskimo housing an alternative for regions with very low temperatures. 

Building other structures of HOUSE STYLES in such cold and isolated territories, on the other hand, would be very expensive.

An igloo is built from accumulated snow and ice, so it is built in the same place where structural snow is obtained. Instead of using temporary support structures, the Eskimos hold one block of ice on top of another until the gap is closed.

igloo houses

What’s Inside an Igloo?

The main characteristic of an igloo is that they are usually made in the shape of a dome. Other of its particularities of architectural design are the following:

• They have a rear part, which is usually used as a bed.

• Typically, the entrance door is very small, to prevent the entry of cold. In addition, it must be oriented to leeward.

• It is essential that there is a hole in its upper part, in order to recirculate the interior air.

• Inside it can register temperatures ranging between -7º and 16º.

• On some occasions, they include a window to give more light to the interior.

Image of an igloo house inside.
Image of an igloo inside. Source www.lepaveblog.com

Although it may seem contradictory, the interior of an igloo is cozy thanks to the good insulating properties of snow.

In any case, some Eskimos will spread animal skins around their houses to increase the interior temperature.

Tourist igloos to visit in Canada.  Hotel de Glace, Quebec.
Tourist igloos to visit in Canada . Hotel de Glace, Quebec .
Hotel de Glace, Quebec . Source: corp-promotores.es

It is also possible to join different igloos creating a kind of tunnels. In this way, a small town is created where several families can live together, protected from low temperatures.

Igloo Hotels

The ingenuity and uniqueness of this type of architecture has transcended into modernity. For this reason, igloos are currently being created with clear tourist objectives in different parts of the world.

For example, Andorra has a village of igloo houses, where you can enjoy these unique accommodations, during a short stay or vacation.

Construction of an igloo house in Andorra.  Structure with stereo-lattice.
Construction of a modern tourist igloo: Hotel Grandvalira in Andorra. Structure with stereo-lattice.
Construction of a tourist igloo in Andorra.  View from the outside terrace.
Tourist construction in Andorra. View from the outside terrace.

Ice Hotels

Igloo-style hotels are all the rage, and it has led people to discover some unique tourist attractions, such as Jukkasjervi in ​​Swedish Lapland, home to the world’s largest ice hotel, the ICEHOTEL .

Entrance of the Icehotel Hotel, Sweden.
Entrance of the Icehotel Hotel, Sweden.

This jewel of architectural and interior design has decorations and an ice bed, giving the “sensation of being embraced and protected by ice”, according to the designer.

Ice Hotels in Greenland

Arctic Hotel Ilulissat is the only igloo-style hotel in Greenland, and features a five-star conference center. The hotel has free Wi-Fi in all rooms and guests can choose between 7 different types of rooms and suites.

Ice Hotels in the United States

How about living in an igloo? Undoubtedly, living in an igloo HOUSE can be a great adventure that is worth experiencing.

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