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Svart Eiendom chooses Six Senses to run the world's first off-grid hotel in the Arctic Circle

27 Apr 2022
Svart Eiendom AS, owner and developer of Svart, one of the world’s first energy-positive hotels, has brought in Six Senses as its management company.

Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta – with interiors by Space Copenhagen – Svart will be located in Arctic Norway at the base of the Svartisen glacier.

Pre-pandemic, the 94-room property was slated to open in 2022, but the date has now been set for 2024

The glass-fronted, circular building will tread lightly, floating on stilts above the Holandsfjorden fjord. The aim is for Svart to be fully carbon-positive and zero waste to landfill within the first five years of operation.

The hotel will house an indoor-outdoor spa – originally designed by consultant Felicity Leahy and now being fine-tuned in line with Six Senses’ approach.

Wellness at Six Senses will extend beyond the walls of the spa and fitness centre, becoming part of an integrated experience, as Six Senses Svart will cover the ‘full gambit’ of integrated wellness, from compression boots and vitamin IVs in the biohacking lounge to all-round fitness in the sensory treatment suites. 

Guests will also enjoy state-of-the-art fitness equipment and wearable tech integration including a specially developed “Svart Touch” concept that Six Senses says will 'further elevate the brand’s wellness approach'.

There will be four restaurants – including an interpretation of Six Senses’ Marketplace concept – and an Alchemy Bar highlighting the history of region.

A centre for engagement and innovation – the Earth Lab at Svart – will serve as a sustainability outreach space, showcasing lifecycle living initiatives on and off the property.

There will also be a Svart Design Lab, which will act as an incubator for innovation and education for guests to understand how new technologies can bring the hospitality sector closer to carbon neutrality as part of a cradle-to-cradle hospitality offering.

Commenting on the brand’s first project in Scandinavia, CEO of Six Senses Neil Jacobs said: “Sustainable properties call for extraordinary creativity, and Six Senses Svart takes us to a whole new level in terms of pushing boundaries.

"The concept has become bigger than the project itself, as it will provide a futuristic showcase for what can be achieved in terms of sustainability and energy solutions, and therefore a blueprint within our hospitality industry and the development sector in general.”

Six Senses says the building will harvest enough solar energy to power the hotel, adjacent operations, boat shuttle, and the energy needed to actually construct the building – rendering it independent from the grid.

“Such energy-positive buildings could deliver 89 per cent of the 45 per cent decrease in emissions required to reach the scenario where global warming is limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels,” says Jacobs.

“As such, Six Senses Svart is the northernmost implementation of the Paris Agreement, demonstrating that carbon neutrality can not only be feasible in a sophisticated development at an eco-sensitive site, but can also be profitable.

“The project has been a long time in the planning to make sure all parts of the operation support the vision from the start, rather than being bolted on as an afterthought,” said Jacobs. “The result will set a new standard in carbon-neutral travel.”

Six Senses believes the operation at Svart will aim to inspire guests and raise awareness of the possibilities of regenerative travel and the importance of the polar region, in partnership with the local community, saying: “Inherent in the project is the commitment not to compromise the fragile and pristine glacial surroundings or the property’s beauty and quality.

"The major pillars of the design concept – environment and nature, sustainability, technological innovation, wellness, and mindfulness – are integrated in tandem because they all directly impact each other”.

Interior designers Space Copenhagen – founded by Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken in 2005 – have designed the hotel in their signature style of ‘Poetic Modernism’.

Bundgaard and Bindslev Henrikson said: “The design aesthetic does not seek to mimic or filter the magnificence of the Norwegian landscape, but to be a humble backdrop to it. The building itself – an unbroken, seamless circle – will become a portal dedicated to enhancing human connection to nature, the seasons and to time itself”.

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