The Ice Hut
Excerpt from To Paradise and Back by Cedrin Plithenal
It's cold. It's very cold. It's FREEZING!
Those were my first thoughts when I arrived in Paradise. How can anyone live here in this cold? Looking around, there was ice and crushed ice everywhere. My first experience with snow might have been amazing to me if I hadn't see the houses. This is what impressed me the most. The people here lived in ice? Now I was baffled and confused. How is that even possible? They building looked small and possibly cramped. They were rounded in some areas, but square in others. I could see someone walking in and taking off their thick coat as they closed the door. Another mystery! Was it warm inside the houses made of Ice?
Purpose / Function
Ice Huts were designed specifically with the challenges of Paradise in mind. A land made of ice is a hard place to live. Even harder to sell as a vacation spot for those who are not used to the cold air. Everyone lives in these houses. Even the Beacon of Love is largely made from similar technology, although on a much grander scale.
The Ice Hut usually has an entry hall that leads to 2- 3 small rooms. These are usually just designed for short term guests and for preparing to enter the cold air. A storage room with warm clothes is almost always available.
Going downstairs is the the real treat. The ice is carved out to create a multitude of designs. Sometimes just simple houses, others are massive manner homes with several floors. Most are kept warm with stones and a complex piping system that collects melted water and reapplies it to the walls. Homes usually turn off the heating stones in specific rooms allowing for the water to melt again. This constant cycle keeps the walls from melting completely.
Sensory & Appearance
Although the top floor is usually still pretty cold, you should be able to take off the heavier jackets. Most will keep one or two warming stones around the top floor because these walls are usually very thick to prevent minor melting from having an impact. You can smell the Snow Worms roasting below as someone is cooking dinner. Going downstairs, the warmth will hit you. You will barely even need long sleeves in some of the rooms. There is this slow trickle sound that seems to be constantly there as the water moves through grooves in the floor to a floor vent. Specially designed shoes crunch a bit on the ice as they dig in with every step. If you closed your eyes, you may never know you were in the middle of Ice.
Although the first Ice Huts were usually semicircle and small to keep it warm, but let the heat the heat out, time has allowed quite a few advancements. One of the most remarkable moves is creating the houses under the Ice. The top still has some curve architecture, but it is largely unnecessary. Venting pipes allow for the warm air to move around the room without too much concern of melting and living under the ice allows for a natural balance. With the ice so thick, the warm air is unlikely to do much structurally. This has allowed for even bigger houses to be built and bigger buildings as well.