Bearth & Deplazes Architekten is Swiss practice that design the Monte Rosa Hut, near Zermatt. The wood cabin has 5 floors and is located on an ice-free part at almost 3000 meters. It was inaugurated in 2009 as a research project of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) and Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) who describe the hut as “the most complex wooden construction in Switzerland“.
Inspired by the design of medieval donjon (castle tower), the studio developed a self-sufficient cabin: more than 90 percent of the power supply comes from the sun (solar energy and heating). Water is collected from surrounding glaciers, then filtered and stored in huge tanks. The hut was constructed from prefabricated frame elements that are isolated to store and distribute the heat throughout the whole cabin. Not only self-sufficient but also aesthetically pleasant, a modern shiny shelter that hides warmth interiors.
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All images © Tonatiuh Ambrosetti