The Igloo – Smart Design for Warm Spaces

Have you ever wondered why igloos are round and how they keep their occupants warm? Well, there is a whole science behind the construction of igloos and a good enough reason why they are built that way.

Firstly, creating the structure does not take an experienced builder much time – just an hour or so. The snow is chosen in a way that it has been exposed to the most wind – this makes it compacted. The ice crystals easily freeze together in a strong, foolproof, interlocking system. Then blocks are cut out of the snow and placed inside a large circle the size of the planned igloo. A spiral pattern is built from the blocks to create the dome shape. Then the structure is polished well so that all the blocks fit snugly against each other.

Next, the entrance to the igloo is created by digging down one meter in front of it and then creating a trench that passes under the blocks of ice. The trench is covered with extra snow blocks so as to make it solid.


Using the dome shape is really smart for a whole lot of reasons. It can stand on its own and doesn’t require any other internal or external structural support. Also, it requires minimal building material. Additionally, the shape is strong and resilient and stubbornly holds its shape against the worst imaginable weather conditions.

In terms of simple physics, the dome is made up of a sort of arches, which redirect the force of gravity, downwards. The keystone of the igloo is the centre of mass for the entire structure. This creates equilibrium in the opposing forces, thereby preventing the ice blocks from falling inward, into the structure. Further, the dome shape creates enough place inside for a grown person or two to reside comfortably inside. What’s more, an igloo is heat-efficient and its highly sealed, airtight construction insulates it from the extreme cold weather.

There are wonderful lessons we can learn from the igloo. Use the above-mentioned principles to create round, dome-shaped spaces, which could become cozy alcoves for your clients to rest, relax and rejuvenate!

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<i>About</i> Vivek Agrawal
About Vivek Agrawal

Vivek is a global sourcing expert and has worked with and assisted clients with their sourcing requirements for 1000+ projects in his 15+ years in the industry. With the aim to fulfill the evolving needs and demands of architects, interior designers, project managers, and HNIs, he started Arcedior – the most loved, curated products platform with 60,000+ products from 600+ brands spanning 35+ countries. Being a design enthusiast with an eye for details, he also started a group on LinkedIn called ‘Design Leaders Roundtable – A Collaborative Community for Architects & Interior Designers’ which now has over 4K members. In his free time, he loves to travel with his family.

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