It’s one thing to build a hotel on the foot of a glacier just above the Arctic circle, it’s another thing entirely to also make it energy positive. But that’s precisely what award-winning Norwegian architects Snøhetta have been tasked with creating.
In collaboration with Asplan Viak and Skanska and the team at Arctic Adventures of Norway – they’ve created ‘Svart’ – a stunning circular hotel unlike any other. It’s name is a nod to dark imposing glaciers of Svartisen itself.
“The name “Svart”, meaning “black” in Norwegian, is a direct tribute to the deep blue ice of Svartisen and the Svartisen name. As the word for “black” and “blue” are the same in old Norse, the name is a reference to the natural heritage of Svartisen, its precious glacier and its natural surroundings. “
It’s circular shape was inspired by traditional Norwegian fishing equipment, with a focus on natural wood and minimalism. Its inviting and warmly lit rooms hack back to the humble homes and inviting campfires of local fisherman.
The hotel’s supporting structure is built from weather resistant wooden poles stretching several meters below the surface of the fjord. The poles ensure that the building physically places a minimal footprint in the pristine nature, and gives the building an almost transparent appearance. Once built ‘Svart’ will offer unprecedented views of the surrounding glaciers and fjords – whilst having a minimal impact on the environment itself.
“This will be the world’s most environmentally friendly hotel” explains lead architect Zenul Khan.
But just how carbon neutral will Svart actually be?
For starters it’s been painstaking designed to reduce its own energy consumption by 85% when compared to a present day hotel. It’s also equipped with facilities and mechanisms to produce it’s own energy – something that limited its carbon footprint in such a delicate ecosystem as the Arctic.
Construction is already underway and if all goes to plan (weather and funding permitting) the hotel will open to the public in 2021. In the meantime, here’s a few conceptual renderings of what the final hotel will look like.
Count us in for a winter getaway in 3 years then!