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Robert L. Peters

7 December 2011

New Refuge Gervasutti

Courmayeur, Italy

Climbers in the Alps can now spend their nights sleeping in a tube that cantilevers over the edge of a mountain. New Refuge Gervasutti provides an optimal combination of comfort, safety, and respect for the environment. Installed in mid October on the Freboudze glacier (in front of the spectacular East face of the Grandes Jorasses of the Mont Blanc Range) this alpine refuge is now ready for use by mountaineers and climbers.

This innovative survival unit was designed by Italian architects LEAPfactory, who specialise in modular accommodation for extreme environments. The tube was prefabricated off-site and airlifted to the site by helicopters. The living area is lit in the daytime by a big panoramic window facing towards the valley and contains a kitchen, a table, and seating. The sleeping area is equipped with bunk beds and spaces for the storage of gear.

The comfortable wooden interior finish recalls a traditional mountain hut and is intended to make a stay in the module a pleasing and relaxing experience. A red pattern (inspired by the shaved straight stitch of mountain pullovers, to evoke warmth and comfort) decorates the structure’s exterior and aids visibility to climbers and mountaineers approaching from a distance.

Owner: Italian Alpine Club CAI Turin

30 square metres of usable space

6 contact points with the ground

2500 kg. total weight

12 bed spaces

2.5 Kwh of solar energy produced

2 days to install unit

For a full description of New Refuge Gervasutti, including drawings, interior images, links, and full creative credits, visit dezeen.com (Thanks to designer friend Oliver Oike for putting this lovely shelter on my radar).

 

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