I recently visited the Ice Bar in London’s West End but was bitterly disappointed. However, when I came across Austria’s coolest bar at Hotel Alpina in Obergurgl, I realised that the Austrians really know what they’re doing. What may look like a big snowy hill turns out to be a wonderful world of ice! In front of the spa area of the Hotel Alpina in Obergurgl, a team of civil engineers from the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have built a superb ice dome of 10 metres diameter, using an ingenious construction method.
The research group, supervised by Prof. Kollegger of the Institute of Structural Engineering, is looking into ways of building large-scale, stable domes made of ice. Following a thorough preparation and research phase, a new ice dome construction method is now being put to the test in Obergurgl – a world first.
There’s a lot of technical stuff I could tell you about but to be honest, if you’re that interested, you’ll find it elsewhere. What is important to know is that this unusual venue is the best place to head after a day of skiing for a lovely cocktail. Although, be warned, it is probably wise to leave the cocktail dress in the hotel wardrobe!