The project is articulated through a dual concept. The shelter serves as a threshold, where the boundless expanse of nature converges with the infinitesimal human presence in the face of creation, finds its synthesis in the pyramid-shaped form of a tent, a hut, as an archetypal and symbolic form of a Sacred space. And then as a spatial device intended to expand the limited space available: a primitive tool-kit to interpret the idea of home and refreshment: the vertical sequence of spaces to reenact the rituals and necessities of the human being.
The hut and the tent, like all pyramidal spaces, feature a converging point, upwards, towards infinity. The structure remains “open”: a transparent surface keeps it open towards the sky. The other viewpoint is in front, on the rock and the landscape ahead. The color selection strikes a balance between blending into the environment and ensuring visibility of the structure from long distances, even in low visibility conditions. The color is dark gray, matte, almost black, to blend in. But the slopes have a continuous orange band, painted with luminescent pigments, like a large signaling strip.
The structure is made of a wooden frame certified as responsibly sourced from forests and is reinforced with wood fiber panels (eco-plywood). An additional layer of insulation is made of cork, and the wooden slopes are covered with recycled aluminum sheeting. Both assembly and disassembly are completely dry. All materials are further recyclable. A small photovoltaic island is planned on the exterior, and the storage battery is housed in a dedicated well-like compartment into wooden platform.
Compared to traditional bivouacs, where the daytime space for sitting, resting, reading, and having a meal is minimal or almost non-existent, this project – by deviating from the most common layout in high-altitude bivouacs (two or three-level bunk beds arranged along the long sides of a rectangular space) and the introduction of a mobile and multifunctional equipped base - manages to offer a surprising communal space for these activities while ensuring 10 beds + 2 emergency beds in just 11 square meters and 28.5 cubic meters of volume. The project is structured around a multifunctional equipped base, made of pine plywood, on which people can sit, lie down, relax, and enjoy reading. This base defines a unique convivial space, capable of accommodating 11 people seated at a table. The base is structured with a system of compartments, including 4 large pull-out drawers at the front and 8 recessed compartments for backpacks, wardrobes, and equipment, along with a compartment for the storage battery of the photovoltaic system. This micro-architecture reinterprets the archetypal form of a hut, optimizing the usable space within a rigid structure that minimizes thermal dispersion and can withstand harsh weather conditions. The two pitches covering the bivouac do not meet at the ridge and allow a blade of light to penetrate through a fixed skylight. Extending beyond the entrance façade, they provide protection from winds and harsh weather conditions.
"The project beckons us to ponder profound, fundamental inquiries about our pursuit of climbing, ascending, and seeking summits, seeking beauty, and ultimately, 'searching.' The hut, the tent, along with all pyramidal spaces, possess an upward vanishing point that reaches towards infinity. The structure remains unenclosed, with a skyward-facing transparent surface that keeps it open to the heavens. The alternate perspective looks downward, towards the rock, the slope, and the majestic mountains"
Simone Subissati Architects is a multidisciplinary research lab of residential and public architecture. It’s finalist for the Mies Van de Rohe Award 2022, takes part in the Architecture Biennale of Venice 2021 - Italian Best Practice Section - obtains numerous publications and covers on Italian and international magazines and an Honorable Mention Compasso d'Oro International Award in 2015.
The training of architect Simone Subissati is from the Florentine school, where he was a pupil by Remo Buti and Gianni Pettena among the founders of the Italian Radical neo-avant-gardes. He specialized in Bioclimatic Architecture and Sustainable Design with Prof. Arch. Marco Sala, one of the first professorships in Italy to deepen these disciplines. He lives and works between Ancona and Milan where he founded the Simone Subissati Architects studio.