Artist Builds Igloo In Backyard

UPDATED 02/04/11 9:17 a.m.

Following the blizzard this week, most people were pulling out their shovels or snow blowers, while some were just trying to skid through it.

But an artist from the Andersonville neighborhood has taken advantage of the snow to build an igloo.

Darick Maasen has been building an 8.5-foot-by-11-foot igloo in his backyard. He has been working on the project for the past few days with some friends.

Maasen said shortly after midnight Friday that he was adding three or four more layers before declaring the project complete.

Maasen told CBS 2 the igloo was the brainchild of his friend, Drew Huening, who has owned an igloo kit for a few years, but has had limited success in past attempts to build igloos.

“He always had problems with the amount of snow being too little, or not having the ‘right kind of snow’, it needs to be a little dry, but sticky,” Maasen said in an e-mail. “This was the PERFECT snow for the project.”

Maasen moved into his apartment with its sizable backyard this past summer. He and Huening decided if the right kind of snow fell, they would go ahead with the igloo project.

They built the igloo using a system called “The Icebox” by the company Grand Shelters. The design involves setting p a form with clamps and filling it while packing the snow, using poles to maintain the structure.

The design is intended for construction in the tundra for protection from the elements, but is usually hard to build in cities due to the lack of snow, Maasen said.

Maasen says the igloo probably won’t be opened to the public, but will be used for a party on Saturday to celebrate its completion, and a Super Bowl party on Sunday.

“Of course, our neighbors have been curious and have pitched in ladders, tools and labor. They and their kids (who are amazed) are more than welcome to check it out,” Maasen wrote.

Maasen and Huening built the igloo with a team of friends, including Selena Grodek, Tim Shumate, Kish Jackson, Donald Price, Evan Kuchar, Tina Rasic, Ashley Haywood, Andrew Kyser, Jovak Zdravkovis, Tim Merrill and several others who dropped by.

The word “igloo” is derived from the Inuit word “iglu,” which refers not only to houses built out of snow, but also out of other materials such as sod or driftwood. But outside of Inuit society, an “igloo” only refers to a house constructed of snow, usually in a domed structure.

CBS 2 Web Producer Adam Harrington contributed to this report.

  • Sarah B

    Love it! Wish I could have made it over to help with the construction (or to help Selena wash dishes).

  • jerzy

    one should leave a “step down” at entrance, it acts as a “cold well”- keeps igloo warmer

    • Darick Maasen

      Thanks jerzy, I may add one!

  • Tweets that mention Artist Builds Igloo In Backyard « CBS Chicago --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Leah Jones, Evan Kuchar. Evan Kuchar said: Igloo in @darickmaasen's backyard is now news. According to CBS: […]

  • Connie Jackson


  • Norma

    Love it! Nate may need to come over and check it out!!

  • Greg McNichol

    Beautiful thing. I’m their upstairs neighbor and it was something to see how much work they put into achieving something this grand.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live