Living in a city like Hong Kong can be tough – the agonising work hours, the constant pressure to be social and the general hustle and bustle. Wouldn’t you love to get away? Is the Arctic Circle far enough? Then you’ll love the Svart hotel, which touts itself as the world’s first energy-positive off-grid destination, nestled in the pristine polar region.
Planned for operation in 2022, the hotel’s glass-fronted structure allows a 360-degree view of the Svartisen glacier from its position atop the waters of the Holandsfjorden fjord. The low-impact design will allow it to produce more energy than it uses, reducing its energy consumption by 85% compared with a modern hotel. The architects have also designed the rooms and terraces in such a way that it can fully take advantage of the sun’s energy. The roof will be laid with solar panels produced using hydro-energy.
The 99-room property has four restaurants, a two-storey spa and a farm. Inspired by the Fiskehjell – a traditional Norwegian wooden structure used to dry fish – the hotel is being constructed using poles that reach several metres below the water, reducing seabed disruption.
Once the hotel opens, guests can learn more about the making of Svart at an on-site education centre and design laboratory, which will also provide insight into waste management, glacier protection and sustainable farming.
Ultimately, the Svart hotel’s goal is to inspire travellers to care for the protection of nature, specifically the polar region. It claims that it’s the first building to be designed and built according to the highest energy efficiency standards in the northern hemisphere, aiming to meet the Paris Agreement. It can harness enough solar power to cover both the hotel operations – including the boat shuttle – and the energy needed to construct the building.
Svart plans to operate fully off-grid and to become carbon neutral and zero-waste within five years of its opening, which means that the hotel and its services, including the greenhouse farm, boat shuttles, and experiences, will be completely self-sufficient in electricity, water and waste management. For food, it is planning a “farm-to-table” service.
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