Retractable Ice Rinks On The Thames? Maybe When London Freezes Over

About 200 years ago, Londoners gathered around the river Thames for Frost Fairs, wintertime celebrations filled with food, drink, and shenanigans on ice. NBBJ, the global architecture firm, has created a proposal that seeks to revive the historic tradition courtesy of floating ice rinks.

Dubbed Frost Flowers, the metal structures installed in the river open like a blooming bud and rest just below the waterline. As the water freezes, the natural buoyant effect of ice will supposedly cause the platform to float on the river’s surface. During warmer seasons, the platforms fold back up.

NBBJ design director Christian Coop described the structure as having a “language that is very similar to London’s nautical past.” Moreover, the firm argues that because the southbank of the Thames has become a popular destination, more public space is needed; Frost Flowers offer a creative solution.

NBBJ plans to kickoff a funding campaign in 2016. Christmas miracles could happen and perhaps this pie-in-the-sky idea will take float in the future, but there’s no telling if climactic conditions will support this concept, even if the capital is there. Until then, perhaps a jaunt around Tod Williams and Billie Tsein’s designy rink in Brooklyn?

[via Design Week]DB