Opening in 2023, this striking hotel in northern Norway combines a futuristic design with traditional materials. It’s called Black and should provide a blueprint for sustainable travel developments worldwide.
Although the development has been delayed by about a year due to the pandemic, Development Director Ivaylo Lefterov said the shift to greener travel trends has brought others around in their mindset: “When we started talking about full sustainability, how to shake up the market and the hospitality industry, people looked at us differently. Then came COVID, and suddenly everyone starts speaking our language. ”
Another impressive Snøhetta design
The latest project from Snøhetta – the award-winning Norwegian design and architectural firm responsible for the Oslo Opera House and the revitalization of Midtown Manhattan’s 550 Madison Garden – will be the world’s first energy – positive hotel.
The new hotel will register approximately 85% less energy consumption than a standard hotel and produce all its own energy. To complete the offer of sustainable tourism, there is an energy-neutral boat transport from Bodø on the maps.
Puts the Svartisen glacier on the tourist map
While this would be of interest to eco-travelers, the hotel’s location at the foot of one of Norway’s largest glaciers is sure to spread its popularity to a much wider group, especially given the growing interest in nature-based luxury travel.
“Building a low-impact energy-positive hotel is a key factor in creating a sustainable tourist destination that respects the unique features of the site; the rare plant species, the clean water and the blue ice on the Svartisen glacier, ”said Snøhetta’s Kjetil Trædal Thorsen.
Inspiration from rural Norway
The most important consideration during the design of the building was to reduce the environmental footprint as much as possible. To achieve this, Snøhetta architects did not have to go very far.
They drew inspiration from the A-shaped fishing drying racks and traditional coastal huts used by fishermen in northern Norway.
The hotel’s support structure is built of weather-resistant wooden poles that dive deep below the fjord’s surface. Snøhetta said this design “places a minimal footprint in the unspoilt nature and gives the building an almost transparent look.”
While the circular design allows guests to enjoy panoramic views of the unspoilt natural landscape, the choice actually came after a study of solar energy.
Architects looked at how solar radiation behaves in relation to the mountainous surroundings all year round, especially important on a latitude with very long summer days and almost no sunlight in the early winter.
The floor-to-ceiling windows were another decision based on the study. In summer they will not retain too much heat due to the position of the sun high in the sky, while in winter they will retain the little heat energy the sun – low in the sky at this time of year – provides.
The hotel will be the northernmost implementation of the Powerhouse standard. These are buildings that, over a 60-year period, produce more renewable energy than it needs to operate and build, produce materials and demolish the building.
Powerhouse is a collaboration between Snøhetta, Entra, Skanska, ZERO Emission Resource Organization and Asplan Viak.
Hotel owners Miris AS claim that such energy-positive buildings could deliver 89% of the 45% drop in emissions required to reach the scenario where global warming rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.