See highlights from our digital travels this week…
Heaven is a halfpipe
A historic church in llanera, Spain, got a makeover this month when it was converted into this divine-looking indoor skatepark. A halfpipe was built in the nave, while artist Okuda San Miguel used its vaulted ceilings as a canvas for his psychedelic murals of geometric skulls and wildlife. Designboom drops in…
The hotel where you’ll get a frosty reception
Some 48,000 hours and 700 million snowballs later, Lapland’s Ice Hotel is finally ready for guests. Dezeen checks into the 55-room hotel, which is built annually from ice and snow near the town of Jukkasjarva and features 19 ‘art suites’ – decorated with ice sculptures including elephants, peacocks and unicorns – a bar and chapel.
New York set a-glow
No one does Christmas quite little the Big Apple. From the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to the window displays of 5th Avenue, the city lights up in a festive frenzy during the holiday period. Photographer Natan Dvir captures the best in this interactive essay for the New York Times, which lets you dress and undress the buildings in their festive garb.
Inside the shadowy world of the Freemasons
As secret societies go, the Freemasons is arguably the most famous. The world’s oldest and largest fraternity has lodges across the globe in some exceptionally beautiful buildings. Photographer Jamie Kripke managed to wangle his way inside some of them. Take a tour via It’s Nice That.
In America it seems everything is bigger. London might have had the burrowing Mole Man of Hackney, but New Mexico has Ra Paulette, a local artist who has spent the last 30 years digging caves (by hand) into the soft sandstone mesas of the northern plains. His beautiful subterranean grottos – or ‘luminous caves’ as he likes to call them – feature stairs, doorways and carved furniture decorated with organic designs. CNN Style has more on Paulette’s unusual ‘artchitecture’.