Svart – an evolution in Northern Lights hotels

Energy-positive innovation in Norway's spectacular Arctic north

Pushing the boundaries of design is nothing new in Scandinavia. After all, this is the region that brought the world ice hotels, tree hotels and, most recently, glass igloos. So, it should come as no surprise that the region’s latest offering – Norway’s Svart Hotel – promises a cranking of the quirk-ometer all the way up to 12 and beyond.

While it’s not due to open its doors until 2021, its architect’s recently released images have already led to it being dubbed as a ‘spaceship on stilts’. And it does genuinely have an extra-terrestrial quality to it; all glass and steel, its circular design and stunning location beneath the dreamy Arctic landscapes of Norway’s Svartisen glacier and Almlifjellet mountain only add to the pervading otherworldly feel. One can only imagine the effect once the Northern Lights’ psychedelic swirls are added to the mix.

But, amid all this talk of a hotel from another planet, there’s some good old Norwegian tradition enshrined in its unique design. Indeed, the original inspiration for the hotel was taken from the traditional ‘fiskehjell’ frames used by Norwegian fishermen for centuries to dry their catch that are so prevalent along the Norway’s northern coast.

What’s more, Svart is an energy-positive ‘powerhouse’, a building designed and built to a strict environmental standard to have minimal impact in its environment, and to create more energy than it uses. And all from renewable sources, of course, with the likes of geothermal wells and solar panels proving lighting and hot water for guests. In fact, Svart will be the first hotel of this kind above the Arctic Circle.