Floating at the foot of the Svartisen Glacier, the Svart Powerhouse Hotel is the first of its kind above the arctic circle. Snøhetta has designed the world’s first Powerhouse hotel in collaboration with Arctic Adventures of Norway, Asplan Viak and Skanska.
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.
The hotel’s main goal is to preserve the pristine natural environment of its Northern Norway location. 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.
In reference to the “rorbue” (a traditional type of seasonal house used by fishermen), the hotel’s supporting structure is built from weatherproof wooden poles that stretch several meters below the surface of the Holandsfjorden fjord. The poles of the hotel double as a wooden boardwalk for visitors to stroll in the summer. In the winter, the boardwalk can be used to store boats and kayaks, reducing the need for garages and additional storage space. The height of structure also allows for paddlers to paddle under the hotel corpus.
The hotel’s roof is clad in Norwegian solar panels produced with clean hydro energy, while its facades protect against insolation during the summer to eliminate the need for artificial cooling. In winter, when the sun remains low in the sky, the facade’s large windows allow for maximum insolation. For heating, the hotel uses geothermal wells that are connected to heat pumps.
Inspired by the local fishing heritage, the round design pays tribute to vernacular architecture while also affording guests with 360-degree views of Holandsfjorden Fjord and the alpine landscape.