Architects: Lucio Serpagli
Location: Monte Penna, Italy
Photographs: Olinto Malpeli
Adolf Loos pointed out that “the plain requires vertical architectural elements, the mountains horizontal ones.” Thus, one of the challenges presented by this building for a mountain site was to define a horizontal plane as a way of creating a datum, thereby establishing a connotative element rooted to the landscape.
The project is an expression of a way of thinking of architecture and how it relates to a mountainous landscape - not just for linguistic belonging, but also for the interest created by a geometrically pure and abstract object that affirms itself by contrast. This project's programmatic aims are based on the above reflections. The mountain hut is located at 1400 mta.s.l., on the ridge of a mountain group characterized by Mount Penna.
The strict comparisons that emerge between architectural structures and its environment are expressed in a linguistic reduction and a formal essentiality that results in an intimate dialogue between the shape of the building and the Apennine ridge. The refuge is based on few simple and symbolic elements: two volumes placed on two different levels, connected by an internal staircase.
The service-information part is articulated in a tourist office 16 sqm wide, a movie room 20 sqm wide where tourists can watch films about flora and fauna of Mount Penna and there is also a storage facility 10 sqm wide for bikes. Next to this area is located the refreshment room. On the upper floor the volume is hut-shaped, accessed from inside by a staircase in the refreshment room and from the outside by a dirt and wood path.