The world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel, Svart, will open in Norway’s Arctic Circle in 2022. The property will have a 360-degree view of the Svartisen glacier and the sensational Northern Lights. A low-impact, ground-breaking design will allow the project to produce more energy than it uses, consuming approximately 85% less energy than the traditional hotel.
The 99-room property will house four restaurants, a 1,000-square-metre spa, two electric boats, a sustainable farm, an education centre and a design laboratory on-site. Svart will be open to overnight guests, the local community and day-visitors alike.
Located deep within the arctic wilderness of Norway’s Meløy municipality, Svart will perch atop the crystal-clear waters of the Holandsfjorden fjord, at the base of the glacier itself. A glass-fronted, circular design will provide a panoramic view of the fjord, glacier and in the winter months, the spectacular Northern Lights, all without compromising on guests’ privacy.
Inspired by the Norwegian Fiskehjell (a wooden structure used to dry fish) and Rorbue (a fisherman’s traditional seasonal home), the hotel will be built upon a weather-resistant wooden supporting structure. This will be constructed using poles that stretch several meters below the fjord’s surface, dissolving the boundary between land and fjord. This ensures zero land impact and reduces seabed disruption to the absolute minimum
Science & Sustainability
A collaboration between MIRIS, Snøhetta and Powerhouse, Svart will be the world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel, meaning it will produce more energy than it uses. It aims to be fully off-grid, carbon neutral and zero waste within the first five years of operation.
To reach these sustainability goals, several cutting-edge design choices have been made. Architects working on the project first conducted an extensive mapping-out of how solar radiation behaves in relation to mountainous context throughout the year, in order to optimise energy output. The findings influenced the design of the hotel, with hotel rooms, restaurants and terraces strategically placed within a circular design to exploit the sun’s energy no matter the time of day or season.
The hotel’s roof will be clad with Norwegian solar panels that were produced using clean, hydro-energy. This will further reduce overall carbon footprint, while energy-intensive building materials such as structural steel and concrete have been avoided as much as possible.
Guests and visitors will be able to discover the science and technology behind the making of Svart in the hotel’s very own education centre and design laboratory. The centre will demonstrate these processes on a smaller scale as well as educate on waste management, glacier protection and sustainable farming.
Four restaurants will provide a variety of dining options at Svart, from rustic, authentic fare to gourmet tasting menus. Dishes will make use of local, home-grown and foraged produce as much as possible, and guests will be invited to participate in the preparation of their gourmet meals, from mountain-side to plate.
A 1000-square-metre, indoor-outdoor spa will offer a variety of holistic treatments, from the traditional and Norwegian, to the medically and technologically cutting-edge. All Svart therapists will use 100% sustainable, locally-sourced products.
Guests of Svart will enjoy exhilarating arctic experiences year-round, from ice climbing on the glacier to practicing yoga in the midnight sun. Svart’s two electric boats will be charged by the surplus energy produced by the hotel, and will provide transfers by water. Home to some of the rarest flora and fauna species in the world, wildlife-spotting, diving, fishing and foraging will all be on offer.
One need not venture far to enjoy nature’s splendour. The hotel’s wooden supporting structure will double up as a boardwalk to be enjoyed during Summer, also acting as a storage space for boats and kayaks which guests can take to the water from directly beneath their hotel room.