In February 2018, MIRIS launched the world’s first energy positive hotel by the arctic circle, in cooperation with our close architectural partner Snøhetta and the rest of the Powerhouse alliance, consisting of Skanska, Asplan Viak, Entra and Zero.


SVART will become the world’s first energy positive hotel. Situated in Norway, north of the arctic circle with a 360° view of Svartisen Glacier and arctic nature, it is the first hotel ever designed after the ambitious Powerhouse standard. The hotel reduces its yearly energy consumption by 85% compared to other modern hotels, and harvest enough solar energy to cover both hotel operations and the energy needed to construct the building.

The architecture is inspired by local coastal building traditions and stands on wooden piles dissolving the boundaries between land and sea. The hotel is planned to open in 2021.

Svartisen Glacier is Norway’s second largest glacier and covers an area of approximately 370 square kilometres. Svartisen is a very popular tourist destination and has visitors from all over the world year around.


Man paddling in sunset Photo by Snøhetta Plompmozes Men hiking on mountain Biking Glacier, hiking people Svartisen Glacier Resort: Borealis


The project aims to be the leading project in terms of sustainable hotel. The new and innovative facilities should have a low footprint on the environment and be developed according to the Powerhouse standard. This philosophy will be seen in how the architecture and natural elements interact. The building typology is sensitive to its surroundings and facilitates an experience of living within the natural elements. As such, innovative architecture contributes to international attention and attraction.


The Powerhouse collaboration defines an energy-positive building as a building that will produce more clean and renewable energy throughout its lifespan than it uses in the production of building materials, construction, operation and demolition.

Powerhouse represents a collaboration in the development of energy-positive buildings and consists of the real estate company Entra, the entrepreneur Skanska, the environmental organisation ZERO, Snøhetta architects, and the consulting company Asplan Viak.



The design of the building is inspired by local vernacular architecture in the form of the “fiskehjell” (A-shaped wooden structure for drying fish) and the “rorbue” (a traditional type of seasonal house used by fishermen). Here no replica is attempted. The form is clearly unnatural but at the same time unmistakably site specific. It is a symbol of an era, bound in time as the glacier itself. A parallel conceptual instrument has been the crab; and as a crab the resort is neither land bound nor aquatic, but rather occupies a super-position between land and water.

The building is supported by narrow triangular pile constructions made from wood, which are fixed to the bedrock foundations underwater. The triangular pile constructions are radially distributed along the room axis along the entire building. These support a series of boardwalks and floating piers that form exterior sheltered corridors. The wood material is guaranteed to withstand water and underwater submergence for at least 60 years, and has been tested in marine environments globally.





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