Client: CAI Fiamme Gialle
Status: Competition (2023)
Clasification: 3 prize
Location: Dolomites, Italy
Coordinates: 46.283936, 11.827264
Climate: Cold, Artic / polar
Budget: 65.000 €
Scale: 8 ㎡ Extrasmall
Ratio: 8.125,00 €/㎡
Types: Cabin, Microarchitecture
The craggy peaks of the Lagorai chain and the Pale di San Martino make a stunning backdrop for a new high-altitude mountain hut, a new prototype design to replace existing huts managed by CAI Fiamme Gialle. The design by BCW Collective was awarded 3rd Place in a recent design competition for the first of the prototypes, to be located on he shoulder of the Cimon della Pala at an elevation of 3005 meters. The new hut typology is designed to be recognisable and representative of the Fiamme Gialle athletic group, part of the Guardia di Finanza. Dubbed ‘GRIFO,’ it takes its name from Grifone, the symbol of strength and vigilance, and spells out the fundamental characteristics of the hut design: Geometric. Robust. Innovative. Functional. Original.
The structure takes the form of a capital ‘A’ with one axis rotating to create a comfortable interior space based on human proportions. The hut is extremely compact, maximising efficiency and functionality while minimising footprint, material use, and environmental impact. It can sleep up to ten people comfortably, eleven in an emergency situation. Ample openings provide natural daylight and views; a skylight illuminating the third level sleeping platform allows for both emergency access and gazing at the stars.
Materials and construction techniques were chosen based on specific criteria of sustainability, durability, resistance and ease of maintenance; the yellow cladding also renders the hut a bright beacon in case of emergency in low-visibility conditions. A simple yet innovative solution of prefabricated wood construction facilitates ease of helicopter transport and rapid, optimised assembly on the high-altitude site. The entire structure sits lightly on the fragile alpine terrain; anchored to the rock on only four removable posts, it is designed to be completely removed to return the site to its pristine conditions.