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Blue Crystal

sustainable design, green design, blue crystal, dubai, iceburg, glacier, greenwashing, solar power, photovoltaics, resort

Temporary ice hotels materialize each winter in frigid northern towns from Russia to Canada. As temperatures rise in the spring the structures melt back into the earth. Now Dubai is poised to get its first year-round ice lodge, Blue Crystal. And considering the amount of energy needed to keep a man made iceberg under 32 degrees in scorching summers on the Persian Gulf, it’s almost amusing to hear Blue Crystal touted as sustainable.

sustainable design, green design, blue crystal, dubai, iceburg, glacier, greenwashing, solar power, photovoltaics, resortA growing trend in Dubai architecture seems to be the creation of not only the utmost in luxury, but of the impossible, improbable, and downright outrageous. Dubai’s arid desert climate doesn’t easily lend it to ice sculptures–especially not ones with 6 stories of luxury entertainment including an underwater lounge and ballroom. The German design duo Frank and Sven Sauer claim that Blue Crystal will harness the world’s natural energy sources, keeping it self-sufficient. It will supposedly be powered by solar cells embedded in the icy facade and employ an ‘energy recycling system.’

So far it isn’t clear how much energy the structure will be able to produce and how that will be distributed amongst lounges, cafes and the most massive task of keep the ice frozen. Even if it does manage to stay off the grid I’m not convinced that a refrigerated iceberg in the middle of the desert counts as sustainable architecture.


Blue Crystal combines the organic forms found in the nature along with the main elements that compose the structure of the ice, to offer an architectonic form; also the structure this combined with the typical Arab ornamentation of the zone, creating a calm atmosphere.



An ice cylinder penetrates the organic forms of the building, this cylinder acts like a light tunnel which supplies light each zone according to the sun, this way the visitor has a unique point of view to hourly.



In this lounge each visitor is absorbed by silence and the immensity of the aquatic world, the light plays an important role because the walls semi I am transparent offer a diffuse reflection of the light, and it makes shine.



Lounge with a variety of spaces to sit down is part of this attractiveness; in each table there will be a projection that interacts with the surface of the table creating a unique atmosphere; each visitor will be able to interact and to change the sound, the projection according to his desire.



In certain corridors there will be a system that recognizes the footsteps and projected a light as it is advanced.



During the night, when the bay of Dubai is opaque by the dark Blue Crystal would be transformed into a super star, the facade of the building would change hourly of color, offering to the spectator a superb game of lights.




Blue Crystal owns an intelligent system of located solar energy in the outside of the building. This system of energy recycle the energy to the same time that provides its main function to maintain the building sufficiently frozen to avoid defrosting.



+ Blue Crystal


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