Lonely Planet Writer

The Arctic Circle is getting a hotel that produces more energy than it uses

With the Arctic Circle opening up more and more to tourism, maintaining the delicate eco-system is a concern for sustainable travellers. Now a concept for an “energy positive” hotel may help that.

The hotel will be in an unforgettable setting. Image by Snøhetta/Plompmozes

The Svart hotel uses 85% less energy compared to a standard, modern hotel but with the help of its own solar power, will actually produce more energy than it uses. This point is key to building the hotel in the planned site; at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in northern Norway.

Svart extends in a circle from the shoreline, giving guests a panoramic view of the clear waters of Holandsfjorden fjord and the surrounding mountains. In the summer, guests can stroll around the hotel on the boardwalk and in warmer weather they can even kayak underneath the structure.

The hotel is made of eco-friendly materials. Image by Snøhetta/Plompmozes

The solar panels on the roof will collect enormous amounts of energy during the long summer months and the hotel will be heated with geothermal wells. Even the materials used have been selected for their low environmental impact, so wood is favoured over steel and concrete whenever possible.

The hotel can only be reached by water and there are plans to introduce an energy-neutral shuttle boat from the nearest town of Bodø, the capital of Nordland and the gateway to Norway’s north. Svart is a collaboration between renowned architect firm Snøhetta and Arctic Adventure of Norway, who wish to become the leader of sustainable tourism in the country.

The hotel will generate a huge amount of solar energy during the long summer. Image by Snøhetta/Plompmozes

“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”, said Snøhetta’s Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “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.”

Snøhetta confirmed to Lonely Planet that they hope construction on the project will begin in the next year with completion planned for 2021.