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Cozy, Warm and Organic Experience for a High Mountain Refuge


Before the end of winter, one winter fairytale – cozy, warm and organic experience for a high mountain refuge. This amazing reconstruction project in the Italian Alps presents us with a new model of high mountain hospitality and responsible tourism. The renowned noa* network of architecture created the new structures of the ClimaHotel in the South Tyrolean mountains combining traditions, comfort, quality and, most of all, sustainability.

Guided by respect for the mountains, local traditions and direct contact with untainted nature the architects created a new way of experiencing a mountain refuge. Even small details of the new hotel constructs ( not to mention the extensively organic materials palette used for the renovation) such as- no illumination on the paths connecting the chalets, to avoid light pollution and allow guests to admire the charm of the starry sky; restricted flow of cars – the arrival of guest is only by the hotel bus, and in the winter by snow car – the efforts of the designers were aimed toward sustainable and gentle towards the alpine environment renovation.

Based on the existing barns the mini-chalets were reborn in a charming contemporary read of traditions and landscape. New spaces were created without altering the existing volumes, and at the same time, the resort’s configuration was returned to the historic settlement with the characteristic of the original small village. The unique facades of the chalets are composed of solid wooden blocks that alternate in a playful pattern the solid and voids and allow, when the window shutters are closed ( a regular occurrence- taking under consideration the local climate), the outside natural light to filter into the rooms in a unique play of shadow and light whilst protecting the cozy inner environment form the harsh winter.

The extensive wooden cladding continues into the inside design of the chalets and the main shelter. Here the designers integrated other rich textual elements- such as trendy velvet and silk-like upholsteries, wrought iron decorative elements, heavy curtains, and linen textiles – to enhance the feel of cozy and welcoming cave-shelter. But the leading role in the interior remains for the wooden structures, craftworks and custom-made insertions that introduce the natural feel and the beauty of organic, tactile sensations into the whole experience.  Photography by Alex Filz;