It took over 2,000 hours, 1,387 blocks of snow, and 14 people working in shifts to build on the glacier above Zermatt. But when it was finished the igloo secured its entry into the Guinness Book of Records. Built to mark the 20th anniversary of Igloo Villages in Switzerland, and sponsored by Volvo, the enormous igloo has a diameter of 12.9 meters and an interior height of 9.92 meters.
The impressive snow construction was opened to the public starting on January 31, 2016 and will be open until the end of the winter season. Seeing as this is the world’s highest showroom, the record-breaking igloo will also feature the new XC90 from the main partner, Volvo.
Building the igloo at an altitude of 2,727 meters above sea level was a huge challenge for the 14 igloo builders, particularly in snow storms and when temperatures dropped to minus 24° C.
But the team of builders, powered by Volvo, proved to be weatherproof. The snow was pushed together with Pistenbullys so that precisely measured blocks could be subsequently cut out using a power saw.
The project was headed up by Adrian Günter, the founder of Igloo Villages. When asked to comment on the progress of the work he said: “Everything went smoothly and the construction team was highly motivated even though it was sometimes hard to work day and night, even during snow storms and at very low temperatures. We are very pleased and proud to have set the world record.”
The record was ultimately achieved in just 11 days thanks to shift work and zero incidents, with a world record judge from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ confirming the official world record and entry into the Guinness Book of Records.
Once the igloo was completed, the work continued on the inside. In order to complete the second world record attempt of building the world’s highest showroom together with main partner, Volvo, the interior had to be designed.
Roughly two tons of granite flooring had to be put down and the entire construction was decorated with snow and ice art. The world’s highest showroom now showcases the all-new Volvo XC90.
The wonderful ice sculptures, pictures celebrating 20 years of Igloo Villages and a documentary about the “World Record“ project make the igloo a unique experience for snow sport enthusiasts and those who come on foot to see.
Throughout the rest of this season the spectacular record-breaking igloo at Rotenboden in the Gornergrat ski area above Zermatt can be visited daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Iglu-Dorf GmbH has been building hotels out of snow and ice for 20 years. Amidst wonderful mountain scenery amazing snow palaces emerge every winter at seven locations including in Davos-Klosters, Gstaad, Engelberg, Stockhorn and Zermatt in Switzerland, atop the Zugspitze in Germany and in Andorra in the Pyrenees.
Here’s a sped-up video of the build:
And the helilift of the car to the world’s highest showroom!