It seems that everywhere we look online these days there is a modular design or architecture website dedicating their virtual print space to a Snohetta project, and rightly so. It has nothing to do with hype and everything to do with Snohetta’s ability to design unbelievable spaces that reflect a strong relationship between architecture and landscape . . .

You can understand our surprise when we discovered that the soon-to-be-completed Powerhouse Brattørkaia had received relatively little press until now. Spearheaded by the Powerhouse Alliance and designed by Snohetta, Powerhouse Brattørkaia is the first office building in Norway that produces more energy than it uses, making it the world’s northern-most energy-positive building.

Solar energy harvesting is the major design driver for this project which includes a variety of solar, hydro and heat technology to produce energy for the building and heating and cooling systems. The modular building rises from the fjord towards the north creating a unique south-facing sloping roof – an optimal condition for solar energy production. Passive sustainable design principles, including optimisation of solar cells and window locations in the façade, minimise overall energy consumption and maximise use of solar energy.

Construction isn’t expected to be completed until 2015, so for now you might want to check out some of Snohetta’s other designs to tide you over including the Opera Hotel we featured in March.