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A 50-year-old bivouac was replaced with a modern shelter in the Skuta mountain of Slovenia. The building is a result of real, wide-reaching international collaboration joining architects, students, and engineers from several countries. Originally a course assignment at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the final plans were executed by Slovenian firm OFIS Architects. From 2014, students have been working together in small groups on shaping their own ideas of a mountain shelter, and finally one project was chosen to be developed further. 

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The biggest challenge of the process was to establish a building that would not only survive but provide a real refuge for mountaineers under the harshest weather conditions. To make sure that the structure would withstand extreme temperatures, strong wind, snowfalls, and even landslides, Londoner AKTII office were involved to do a careful engineering job. The rest of the design was up to the uni workshop; students came up with a shape that reflects on local vernacular architecture while it responds to the environmental conditions as well. Strong wood and triple glazed glass make up the building that is standing on pin connections. 

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The shelter was assembled from 3 different sections that not only made the construction process easier but have different functional roles as well. The first one features the entrance and storage area, which is followed by a communal space for sleeping and socializing. The final tract is a bunk-bed system which provides comfortable last-minute solution for those who decide to spend the night in nature. 

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Whether mountaineers just hop in for a quick rest or need to take a longer break because of weather conditions, the visit to the shelter will be an absolute pleasure: the generous use of glass provides a stunning view, and the forces of nature can be observed closely, but from a safe point.

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Source: Contemporist
Photos: Anze Cokl, Andrej Gregoric, Nikolaj Gregoric and Janez Martincic

Shelter , Mountain , Slovenia

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