Snøhetta has unveiled its designs for 'Svart,' the world's first Powerhouse hotel, at the foot of the Svartisen glacier that runs through Meløy municipality in northern Norway. The hotel is situated just above the Arctic Circle.
Svart is the first building to be built after the energy positive Powerhouse standard in a Northern climate. Not only does this new hotel reduces its yearly energy consumption by approximately 85% compared to a modern hotel, but it also produces its own energy - an absolute 'must' in this precious arctic environment. The hotel will also become the world's northernmost Powerhouse building.
"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," commented Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Founding Partner at Snøhetta. "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."
The circular body of Svart extends from the shoreline by the foot of the Almlifjellet mountain and into the clear waters of the Holandsfjorden fjord. The circular shape provides a panoramic view of the fjord and an experience of living in proximity with nature.
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). The rorbue reference translates into the hotel's supporting structure which 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.
The precious nature surrounding the hotel can only be accessed by boat, and there are plans to introduce an energy neutral boat shuttle from the city of Bodø to the hotel.