Designed by Tomas Ghisellini Architetto, the proposal for the new “Malga Fosse” refuge, which won an honorable mention, chooses the language of the rough and simple local construction scattered among the mountains. In doing so, their design builds up the impression of an old archetypal building surrounded by valleys and peaks of great beauty. Aimed at being an unforgettable place right in the heart of the Dolomites, the old is here replaced by a fascinating and iconic architectural body. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The existing volume, in bad conditions of conservation, suitably recoverable only through too much expensive repairs, is completely removed and reused in building the constituent parts of the new intervention. The design redraws the outline of a contemporary “hut” at high altitudes. Quoting in a rather veiled the oldest built trick for the occupation of the mountains, the new building redistributes the available volumes and reshapes them into a thin and transparent body that gets pure and meaningful architectural forms.
A large roof with two steeply slanted slopes is enough to design the new outstanding complex; the two cited slopes, crossed by thin metal ribs, are both roofing and walls for the enclosed spaces inside, thus so perfectly stereometric but even subtly dynamic, perceptually changing, nicely unpredictable. The building, like a pure prism standing on a stone “hard” basement, draws two main precisely triangular fronts addressed to the west (the representative and welcoming one, looking straightly to the approaching road) and to the east (the contemplation one, just to frame from the inside the extraordinary view of the looming peaks).
The two large metal roof slopes are exposed to the north and the valley at noon; the northern wall, almost completely hermetic to get protection from prevailing cold winds and heavy snowfalls, becomes on the opposite southern side a coverage plan in some ways similar to a built “lace”, perfect to let the sun in and to enhance the incomparable view of the landscape.
The existing stable and the new building keep on remaining in a particular state of compositional “tension” generated by a mutual slight rotation of the two planimetric shapes. The footprint of the new architectural body acquires unprecedented proportions compared to the existing one: more slender and elongated, it is spatially repositioned (while continuing to gravitate around the initial position) in order to maintain in any case a minimum distance of five meters from the edge of the building site, and so carefully avoid any approaching progression towards the existing byre currently in use. The two buildings, thanks to a special design of the outdoor spaces, keep themselves in a condition of mutual independence, adhering to the logic of autonomous functioning and to a principle of reciprocal non-interference.
The building will house a small charming resort, presenting itself to the public as a quiet and isolated “refuge” at high altitudes. At this spectacular contemporary “cabin”, just a new and unconventional destination of excellence, high quality services, attention to the person’s attitude and environmentally intelligent architecture constitute the most important added value. The project redesigns places outlining the features of a new piece of mountain scenery. The achievement of a real environmental restoration, a permanent tourist attraction throughout the year and a real revitalization of the balances about use of building sites can occur only through clear and decisive design choices, through the adoption of an uncompromising yet responsible architectural and formal language.
So the new architectural body plays the card of fascination and respect for the traces of the places, recovering the assets of local knowledge. The complex weaves a critically dialectical relationship with the stable, recovering and re-elaborating forms, profiles, proportional connections and materials. The observer perceives the poetry of a loving coexistence between the two bodies, being a witness of a silent talk. At the same time the new building, in the eyes of the astonished traveler, appears as a memory of an old hut, a monument to the emotional landscape, stylized profile of rocky peaks, formal reinvention of the historic constructions, a kind of rock formation among grass an flower fields. The non-ordinary character of this architecture lies in this possibility to be read by multilevel interpretations, in this sort of “monumental home” a new sense of being is inaugurated, a new way to experience the mountains is here provided, drawing an unforgettable place right in the heart of the Dolomites.
The complex, precisely designed to produce a negative environmental impact through the use of building materials, construction systems, production processes, installation procedures and traffic management strategies all related to very low CO2 emissions, is GBG Italia LEED® Platinum certified.
Architects: Tomas Ghisellini Architetto
Location: Siror-Passo Rolle (Trento), Italy
Structures: Beatrice Bergamini
Plants and Fire Safety: Nicola Gallini
Sustainability and LEED® Evaluation: Violeta Archer
Collaborators: Filippo Govoni, Federico Orsini
Client: Independent Province of Trento
Program: New touristic excellence destination – Refuge at high altitudes
Total Cost: 3.800.000,00 €
Open Competition: November 2012 / Honorable Mention
Building Construction: 2015-2016