Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

 

Perched on a ridge, yet dwarfed by a pretty vicious looking glacier, the New Monte Rosa Hut could easily be mistaken as a villain’s secret lair in an epic bond novel. Designed by Bearth & Deplazes architects, the five storey mission-to-mars hut provides accommodation for members of Zurich’s ETH university alpine club. Dressed in uncoated, double standing-seam aluminium sheeting, and internally lined with spruce/fir joinery and wall claddings, this diamond in the rough undoubtedly provides a fresh outlook on alpine architecture.

Described by the architects as a contemporary interpretation of the medieval ‘donjon’, or a fortified tower or castle, the hut surprisingly grew from a series of prefabricated timber elements. Which, I’m pretty sure were airlifted to the site by a chopper. How else could they do it? Catering for up to 120, the hut is composed of a waste-water treatment plant in the basement, a reception and dinning space on ground, men’s dormitories on first, women’s dormitories on second and an apartment on third for the hut’s caretaker. To facilitate vertical movement, an impressive spiral stair wraps the buildings circumference; providing fantastic panoramic views but also a stunning ribbon-like detail to the building’s façade. Serving a third function, this strategically placed strip of glazing passively heats the interior using solar irradiation.

 

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

Monte Rosa Hut in Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten | Yellowtrace

 

Due to its isolated context, the hut is highly self-sufficient. By strategically placing the glazing, applying a photovoltaic façade to its south-facing edge and incorporating a waste-water management system amongst a myriad of other self-sustaining mechanisms, the architects have ensured the new Monte Rosa Hut will remain a strong and steady beacon for hikers, skiers, mountaineers and now architects, for years to come.

 


[Images courtesy of Bearth & Deplazes Architekten. Photography by Tonatiuh Ambrosetti.]

 

About The Author

Samuel Dowleysmith
Contributor

Originally from Melbourne, Sam is a design-crazed architect currently living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nuts for all things futurist and technology based, he is super interested in the evolving relationship between design/ architecture and the process of industrialised production - probably derived from childhood ambitions to make his own, personalised R2D2. Totally crazy about concepts like self-assembling architectures, Sam gets an unreal kick out of trying to understand the complexities behind any design. In his limited, non-design time he is currently learning Danish and practicing it shamelessly with the poor coffee barista down the road twice a day, every day.

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