during sweden‘s cold winter, ulf mejergren architects (UMA) built a temporary structure in stockholm from a very easily-sourced material — snow. the project, called ‘snowball hut’, marked the first of the swedish architecture studio’s ‘primitive huts’ series, where the team will be creating simple yet thoughtful structures using one material only, preferably found in nature. the goal is to create at least one hut every year.
exterior view of snowball hut
images courtesy of ulf mejergren architects (UMA)
snowball hut takes inspiration from a snow lantern: a wintertime tradition found in scandinavian countries. in sweden, the cone-shaped lanterns are called ‘snölykta’ and they’re made by stacking snowballs, with little tealights put inside to make them glow at night. just like the snölykta, but super-sized, ulf mejergren architects utilized 4000 snowballs to make a hollow and permeable hut that people can sit inside of. when the interior is lit up, the gaps between the snowballs afford a satisfying glow, perfect for sweden’s long winter nights.
the entrance was gently carved out after the hut was built
ulf mejergren architects says that the optimum temperature to make snowballs is around 2-3°C. ‘if it is colder, the snow will not stick properly and if it is warmer, it will melt away. during the day of creation, the conditions were optimal, but when the evening came it became warmer. the good thing was that the snowballs melted together in a nice fashion, and the hollows became more prominent. it also became easier to create the entrance by gently removing the desired snowballs,’ tells the architect.
close-up of the snowball skin
day time view before the entrance was carved out
day time side view
the permeable structure makes the hut glow when the interior is lit
the hut slowly melting away
name: snowball hut
location: stockholm, sweden
architect: ulf mejergren architects (UMA)
edited by: lynne myers | designboom