Snøhetta has revealed the first-of-its-kind Powerhouse hotel in the world, giving it the name “Svart”, meaning black. Located at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in northern Norway, the self-powered hotel is positioned right above the Arctic Circle.
“Svart” is the first building to be built after the energy positive Powerhouse standard in a Northern climate,” said the developer.
The Norwegian company, which began working on the hotel in 2017, expects the completion of its construction by 2021.
Snøhetta highlighted that the hotel reduces energy consumption by as much as 85% compared to other modern hotels. They further added that the “Svart” self-powered hotel produces its own energy, which is an “absolute must” in such an arctic environment.
Directly linked with its natural setting in the northern part of Norway, the hotel’s circular form offers panoramic views which include the stunning Northern lights.
“The construction is inspired local vernacular architecture in the form of the “fiskehjell” (A-shaped wooden structure for drying fish) and the “rorbue” (a traditional type of seasonal house used by fishermen),” Snøhetta said in a statement.
“Svart” is built from weather-resistant wooden poles stretching several meters below the surface of the fjord, ensuring that the building “physically places a minimal footprint” in its natural surroundings.
The poles also give the building an almost transparent appearance.
To develop its new hotel, Snøhetta said it will be collaborating with Arctic Adventures of Norway, Asplan Viak, and Skanska.
Snøhetta further revealed that in order to build a hotel in such an environment, there were requirements it had to fulfill to preserve the natural beauty of the area along with its flora and fauna.
“It was important for us to design a sustainable building that will leave a minimal environmental footprint on this beautiful Northern nature. Building an energy positive and low-impact hotel is an essential factor to create a sustainable tourist destination respecting the unique features of the plot; the rare plant species, the clean waters and the blue ice of the Svartisen glacier, says Founding Partner at Snøhetta, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen,” the Oslo-based company said.