Tourists from around the world head to Lapland, Finland in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. However, the bitter cold often plays spoilsport. Temperatures of -30 degrees Celcius are enough to discourage the best of us. But for Jussi Eiramo, owner of the Igloo Village, this provided a fantastic business opportunity.
In 1999, Eiramo built the first of the glass-domed temperature-controlled igloos that have become so popular among tourists. The idea was that tourists would no longer have to brave the oppressive cold to witness the wonder of the Northern Lights. The glass-domed igloos provided first-class accommodation, along with a smashing view of the skies up above. Then, with a little luck, guests could watch the skies light up if the Northern Lights shined down on them. In essence, albeit in a different context, it is very similar to the outdoor Cristal Box that I wrote about a few weeks ago.
However, building a glass-domed igloo in Lapland presented a few architectural problems. Providing guests with a clear view of the surroundings and the skies was tricky business. Eiramo required special windows that would not steam up or freeze over. The solution came from a Finnish glass that performed a dual function – heating up the inside of the igloo and melting the snow outside. A small door reduced the escape of heat to the outside. Curtains along the sides of the ensure privacy.
The glass-domed igloos cost 380 euros a night. Igloo Village also houses regular and cheaper igloos, but these have no heating. A traditional log cabin houses the restaurant, and serves up local delicacies.
Check out the video here: