The primary vision of Atelier 8000 was to conceive a sustainable mountain hut design that is to be built atop Slovakia’s High Tatras Mountains. Conceptualized as an entry for Kežmarská Chata (Kežmarská Hut) international competition, the end result is something much more than just a specimen of low-impact architecture. It flaunts its visual flair with an element of illusion – thus emerging as a brain cell-titillating object against the stark backdrop of the rocky landscape.
Naturally, the first question that would arise is – what will be the building materials for the tilted structure? To that end, the architects have decided to go for glue laminated larch timber beams that will form the primary framework, while the outer skin will be crafted from durable aluminum. We used the term ‘crafted’ because, the facades will comprise of individual modules (1×1 m squares) that will be arranged on the site, thus facilitating both construction and transportation to the remote site.
The interior of the cubical, three-floored Kežmarská Hut (with additional basement and attic) will be in tune with the ‘avant garde’ nature of its exterior embodiment. In that regard, the inner walls would exhibit a minimalist wood-finish cladding with seemingly odd angles and gradients resulting from the sunken part of the shelter. The user-oriented spaces within this wooden wonderland will entail sleeping and lounging zones, a tiny restaurant, bathrooms, a dedicated storage space for skis and a snowmobile garage.
As for the mountain hut’s ‘green’ credentials, the Kežmarská Hut will boast of a large array of solar panels that is embedded on to both the roof and the side facade. This main energy generating mechanism will be complemented by a heat recovery system, indirect solar gain (via orientation), rainwater collection system, waste management component and a heater that will run on sustainable bio-fuel.
Finally, there is also a visual side to the whole affair of photovoltaic panels, with the Atelier 8000 architects claiming –
Thanks to the positioning of the construction, three sides of the facade are visible from any viewing point, which amplifies the play of light and shadows – the same effect which can be observed on the neighboring rocks. The glass surfaces of windows and photovoltaic panels along with the light transparency of the metal plating complete the whole picture of the site with a touch of glimmer – just like the glints and reflections which can be observed on the surface of a mountain lake or on thawing ice.
Image Credits: Jan Cyrany