The first “powerhouse” hotel that will be built above the arctic circle is creating high expectations. The name of the hotel, Svart, means “black” in Norwegian. This is no coincidence: the environmental-friendly hotel is planned to be built at the foot of one of Norway’s largest glaciers, Svartisen (”the black glacier”).
“This will be the world’s most environment-friendly hotel”, explains one of the architects, Zenul Khan, to the local newspaper Helgelendingen. The concept of “powerhouse” means that the building will produce more energy than it consumes. This will reduce its yearly energy consumption by around 85 % compared to a modern, regular hotel. The whole hotel will be run by the energy produced by the building itself, such as by solar panels. As the hotel will be situated in an area with midnight sun, this will be especially efficient during the summer months.
The Norwegian architecture office Snøhetta has designed the hotel, and the tour operator Arctic Adventure of Norway is their client. Svart is one out of five “powerhouse” hotels to be built in Norway, and the first one ever to be situated in an arctic climate. “Building in such a precious environment comes with some clear obligations in terms of preserving the natural beauty and the fauna and flora of the site. It was important for us to design a sustainable building that will leave a minimal environmental footprint on this beautiful Northern nature”, said Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, the founding partner at Snøhetta.
The hotel will have a circular form. This will give an amazing opportunity to get a panorama view of the fjord and mountains surrounded by the glacier. Svart’s design is inspired by local, traditional architecture, such as by the “rorbue” (the fishermen’s seasonal fisher house) and the “fiskehjell” (an A-shaped wooden structure for drying fish). A large part of the building will be of wooden material, which gives lower greenhouse gas emissions than steel and concrete.
The guests at the world’s most environment-friendly hotel will have to be going there by boat, making the experience even more exclusive.
There is still some waiting time left before we can visit Svart, which is set to open in 2021. In the meantime, read more about the project here.