Winner of the 7th Active House Symposium – Sasso Nero mountain hut
On 16 and 17 October 2019 the Active House Alliance held its 7th symposium, where experts from all over the world interested in the sustainable construction exchanged ideas and best practices. This is the first time that this international event has come to North America.
During the event, the Active House Label Awards have been organized, where projects submitted to Active House have been evaluated and awarded in different categories.
The Sasso Nero mountain hut from Italy has been a winner of the PROJECTS WITHOUT RADAR BUILT CATEGORY, sharing the award together with the AONI de HAUS, a project from China. The architects of the building are Helmut Stifter and Angelika Bachman, while the developer has been the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.
The monolithic building’s form is a response to the location in the high mountains where “comfort” mainly means offering protection from the rough climate and the wind. For this reason, the windows in the guest rooms have to be small and resemble picture frames. From the dining room at the ground floor with a ribbon window that runs the entire way around the dining, the guests can enjoy a 180 degrees panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.
The whole interior of the hut resembles a large piece of furniture that can be lived in and is clad or made from natural spruce.
The architects stacked the schedule of accommodation in six levels that bend slightly at the top and the bottom. The advantage is that this enables the architectural footprint in the landscape to be kept very small, as the hut touches the ground below only along narrow strip foundations that are anchored in the rock.
In awarding the prize, the Jury Committee stated:
“A very strong and inspiring building that shows how architecture can be energetically independent in extreme conditions. The outside skin metallic and very resistant to strong winds are in contrast with the “souple” interior made of wood. Natural light makes beautiful atmosphere with and heart-breaking possibility of views on the surrounding mountains.”