The practical but spartan bivouac on Slovenia's Skuta Mountain got a major upgrade recently in the form of a new alpine shelter that's not only tough but inviting as well. Coming out of a collaboration between OFIS Architects, students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and engineers from AKT II, the shelter had to satisfy the requirements of a high alpine escape for climbers as well as adapt to Skuta Mountain's landscape and the challenges of the site. According to OFIS, the shelter was inspired by the architectural heritage of Slovenia. The massing of the structure's three modules reads alpine, and each part fills a need: the entrance provides storage and food preparation, the second module is space for socializing and rest while the last provides sleeping quarters. The three modules were built offsite and dropped into place by helicopter to disturb the site as little as possible, with the process taking only one day. The structure's concrete exterior provides protection from the elements while wood paneling warms the interior and triple-pane glass provides sweeping views for up to eight mountaineers staying at the shelter.
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