[2300] TRIPOD

Mountain hut competition in Arolla, Val d’Hérens (VS) Switzerland.

Client – CAS

Location – Arolla

Status – Project


Photography – b86.digital

The project proposes a new landmark that emerges from the ground in a threatening environment. The new cabin, isolated in the large landscape, sits on an observation platform facing the grandiosity of nature. Located on the extension of the crest line of the new perimeter, it stands out from the terrain with a slight intervention on the topography. The objective is to minimize the impact on the ground and simplify the assembly of the construction on site. The building rests on three points like a tripod with an adjustment system capable of resolving the instability of the terrain. Thus the impact on the landscape is minimal: only three specific reinforced concrete pads accommodate a metal structure which adapts to earth movements.

The simple and basic volume of the refuge is inspired by the primitive cabin and the rocky massifs near the site. The slightly flared morphology of the building responds to the natural constraints of resistance to strong winds while establishing a dialogue with the facets of the landscape. The volume is modified by biases and vertical cutouts along the facade which reduce the visual impact on the surrounding context. These vertical strips become a call in the landscape, facilitate the orientation of visitors and make the refuge clearly visible on the snow for the rescue services. The inclination of the roof and the folding of its facades allows the mass of snow not to accumulate on the roof and to always have a clear surface. The elevated position of the cabin always guarantees access in the event of heavy snow as well as visibility.