Solitary Wilderness Shelter Provides Warmth to Mountain Hikers

Photo credit: Janez Martincic

The Skuta mountain, located in Slovenia’s Kamnik Alps, presents many challenges for those trying to scale it. Strong winds, heavy snowfalls, and dangerous landslides are just a few of the hazards that await climbers. To make their journey safer, the students at Harvard University School of Design and OFIS Architects have recently constructed a shelter that sits along the beautiful rocky landscape.

Photo credit: Anze Cokl

The designers thoughtfully considered how the shelter, seen as a symbol of refuge, would function against the elements. They worked alongside engineers AKT II to ensure that it would be strong enough for the extreme mountain conditions. As a result, the pale grey exterior is made of glass fiber reinforced concrete, making the shell highly resistant to inclement weather.

Photo credit: Anze Cokl

The shelter takes the form of three separate modules, divided into individual spaces: the first serves as an entryway, storage area, and place for food preparation; the second part is for sleeping and socializing; and the third area includes a bunk bed system, in addition to gorgeous panoramic views of the valley and mountain range.

Photo credit: Janez Martincic

Despite the thorough design plan, installing the shelter on the mountain wasn’t exactly a straightforward process. Each module had to be airlifted in and fastened onto strategically-placed pin connections, which doubled as the site’s foundation. Luckily, even with the extra steps, transportation and installation only took one day—a short amount of time considering how much relief it will offer outdoor adventurers for years to come.

Photo credit: Anze Cokl

Photo credit: Anze Cokl

Photo credit: Janez Martincic

Photo credit: Anze Cokl

Photo credit: Andrej Gregoric

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