Co.Design

Terrifying Mountain "Refuge" Juts Out Over An Alpine Cliff

Architects have officially lost their marbles!

Oh, look. It’s just another retreat shaped like a missile, painted like a Christmas sweater, and hanging clear off the side of a mountain.

Architects have officially lost their marbles! These particular architects, LEAPfactory, were enabled by the Turin arm of the Italian Alpine Club, which wanted to build an overnight hikers’ hut to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its ski-mountaineering school.

The New Refuge Gervasutti cantilevers over the eastern face of the mega-huge, mega-scary Grandes Jorasses in the western Alps—a location so remote, the shelter’s parts had to be prefabricated off-site, then helicoptered in. The Christmas-sweater pattern was added to make the place jarringly visible to mountaineers and skiers.

Inside, the shelter is designed to create a "pleasing and relaxing experience." It has a kitchen, a table with seating, bunk beds, and plenty of storage space. An integrated computer offers detailed information about the weather and climate. And the trimmings are done up in a cozy wood finish. You could nearly mistake the place for a pint-sized Swiss chalet. Except for that whole part about the kitchen jutting out over nothing but air.

The New Refuge Gervasutti was completed in October. Unlike a lot of mountain retreats, it’s open to the public, and it’s free. Though if you’re anything like me (i.e. a big old wussy) someone would have to pay you to stay there.

[Images courtesy of LEAPfactory; hat tip to Dezeen]

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10 Comments

  • RKeyTeq

    You don't have to pay me to go there. Just send me a plane ticket and I'll gladly spend a weekend there.
    The cable on top looks like either a hoisting cable, to bring it to the site, or a power cable.
    From the pictures, the boxes on the side don't look like emergency exits. The single door is at the back end facing the stone cliff. They look more like the shower and toilet (HOLY CRAP!!! Look at the view!)

  • Mark MacKay

    This is the perfect getaway for the James Bond villain on a budget. There's enough space for the villain and her - thin - sidekick. Goons and thugs will have to camp on the ledge. If this is too scary there's a concrete house in Poland that closes up into a tight dark box. It think it's called the safe house.

  • kharen0017

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  • roger mader

    Just don't have everyone crowd around the window at the same time. Or maybe that's the point of the missle shape. Retreat/luge.

  • willshome

    Somewhat akin to the last shot in The Italian Job. "Hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea..."

  • HeadPack

    What's wrong? People suffering from vertigo won't make it there anyway. Seems those rectangular shapes at each side are emergency exits. Once you step trough one of those you create an emergency.