In São Paulo, where the subtropical climate won't tolerate any real ice architecture,the closest thing may be this ice cube-like building designed by French-Brazilian architecture firm Triptyque. Inspired by the street the site sits on—it's called Groenlândia, Portuguese for the arctic country of Greenland—Triptyque appears to have carved functional commercial spaces out of a giant block of white marble, juxtaposing the glacial structure with all the palm trees and jacaranda vines in the neighborhood.
Inside the building, which can be used for a store, showroom, or office, the designers also wanted to create a surprising "paradox" with the perceived weight or lightness of the materials used. To that end, they gave the structure a "hovering" concrete roof supported by two pillars within the building, staircases composed of separate, "floating" concrete steps, and hinged marble slabs that can swing open to reveal windows or close to create a seamless façade. Take a look: