A shelter in the clouds
Text: Anna Bełezina, photos: press release
13 April 2019
Spending vacations in the mountains can always guarantee unforgettable views. Hiking enthusiasts can admire mountains from different perspectives and they are well aware that in addition to beautiful mountain views, they also ensure extreme conditions. And these require extreme solutions. They are also indispensable while building any mountain chalet. The creators of Skuta chalet were able to create a unique place in harsh conditions.
In the context of the dramatic temperature changes and a rugged terrain, it is important to construct a building that will survive even in the most severe weather conditions. Two lecturers from Harvard University Graduate School of Design have been working on this challenge. Although Skuta is a small chalet - a project itself required a lot of effort and commitment. There have worked with it up to 60 designers and architects from OFIS company, which had a very large part in the implementation of the idea.
Skuta- mountain chalet was built to provide convenient recreation conditions at a high altitude. It is located on the top of the highest peak of Slovenia, with the same name. This unique place allows you to enjoy the amazing mountain views, still little known the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The premise of the project was to preserve in tourists’ memory, the spirit and culture of the mountains, as a special place for the Slovenians. Skuta was built using glass fibre and reinforced concrete. Concrete elements meet all requirements in terms of quality of materials used for building in extreme conditions. Concrete structure also fits into the current stylistic trend, combining rawness with the best design.
The building is made of a concrete slab with large windows at both ends, providing great views of the surrounding mountains. Glass has a triple panel system, which is able to withstand any heavy wind and snow and even a landfall estimated for this place. The design of the chalet consists of three modules. The first one is designed for getting in, storage and preparation of food. The second one provides space for two people and common room. In the third part of the module there are bedrooms. Interior design shows its simplicity. It works as a shelter providing accommodation for up to eight climbers. The outer shape of the chalet and selection of materials has been adapted to strict, mountain conditions. The place where the chalet was built, requires respect for natural resources, therefore it should have minimum impact on the environment.
Skuta is an object that implements the basic human needs - safe haven. The chalet on Skuta- mountain peak has been existing for 50 years, but the original version required a total reconstruction. OFIS designers do hope that its modern and designer version will serve the travellers even longer and will be a great shelter for the brave climbers.