Energy Positive Hotel on the Arctic Circle

Svart Hotel FjordA Norwegian Fjord basking in the sun. Photo: Geoffrey Werner /

First Energy-Positive Hotel To Open on the Arctic Circle

The Svart Hotel is set to be the world’s first «energy positive hotel concept». Situated beside the Arctic Circle, the hotel’s preliminary model takes shape as a futuristic, ring-shaped building resting upon stilts in the Holands Fjord, giving the illusion of an overwater, floating hotel.

The Svart Hotel’s main attraction is its energy efficiency: it’ll be using 85% less energy than traditional hotels in Norway. It also generates its own electricity and is completely self-sustaining. The hotel’s design and construction is a collaborative venture between Arctic Adventure of Norway, Snøhetta, the Powerhouse Collaboration, and local partner, Vitar AS.

Harnessing the power of solar energy

While the hotel’s modern design is a thing of beauty, it also serves a utilitarian function. The ring shape maximizes the harvest of solar energy, which the hotel then uses to run on. The building’s solar panelled roof (spanning about 51,000 square feet / 4,000 m2) makes the most of the summer midnight sun, while the floor-to-ceiling windows allow for maximum sunlight and thermal energy absorption during the colder winters.

In order to determine the best design to harness maximum solar energy, the hotel architects spent months studying solar radiation in the area and the way in which it behaves with the mountainous surrounding landscape.

Svart Hotel, Inside Panorama. Photo: Svart Hotel.

Eco-friendly design

The hotel is built from locally-sourced natural materials, primarily wood. The design is inspired by the «fiskehjel», a traditional structure used by fisherman, complete with wooden stilts — keeping the use of steel and concrete to a minimum.

“These are old building traditions that are well adapted to a tough climate by the Norwegian coastline”, Project Manager of Snøhetta’s Svart Hotel, Zenul Khan says, adding:

“They are both a functional and aesthetic echo of Norway’s second most important industry: the fishing industry”. The creation, transportation, and use of wood and stone don’t require much energy. Avoiding common materials like fossil fuel-derived cement or steel, therefore, decreases the hotel’s overall carbon footprint.

Luxury guest experience

The Svart’s window-lined rooms offer panoramic 360-degree views of the surrounding fjord, mountains, and sky. The rooms themselves offer a luxury experience.

Each one comes with fur throws, a fireplace, dining space, sauna, an observation deck, a full-service kitchen complete with modern technology for guest’s ease and convenience, and even an on-site personal chef. Guests also have access to hiking and cycling trails and kayaking and boating.

Temperatures average 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 oC) in the summer and 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 oC) in the winter — both perfect for exploring and experiencing the landscape.

Although a colder time to stay, guests have an unmissable chance to see the aurora borealis dance above the Svartisen glacier and snow-capped mountains in the winter.

“These types of natural phenomena, in a way, represent a new type of luxury,” Khan explains. “It’s not about gold-plated sinks and bathtubs, but about experiencing nature in its purest form.”

The Svart Hotel is scheduled to open in 2021. Rooms start at USD 2,300 (NOK 20,000) per night. It’s sleek design, breathtaking setting, and green footprint are bound to make the Svart Hotel a world-class attraction.

This article is written by our contributor, Karoline Gore, to be shared with the esteemed readers of Norway Today. Karoline is a freelance writer and editor.

© Karoline Gore / #Norway Today
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