The Messner Mountain Museum at Corones was recently inaugurated, having been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in close partnership with Reinhold Messner, the man who came up with the idea of creating a series of six museums high in the Alto Adige region of Italy. The museum explores the history of traditional mountain climbing and the structure was fitting designed to merge into the context, appearing to grow out of the mountain, naturally extending it. The large glazed sections and basement floor terrace offer views that encompass the Lienz Dolomites to the east, Ortler to the west, Marmolada to the south and the peaks of the Zillertal Alps to the north. A significant section of the 1,000 sq m construction across three stories is underground, creating an unusual opportunity to go into the mountain while also ensuring a constant internal temperature throughout the year and optimizing energy efficiency (it is the first high-altitude mountain in Europe with CasaClima A+ certification). The internal steel framework (787.51 sq m) and external one (842.96 sq m) along with the glazed façades were all created by Stahlbau Pichler. The company’s established operating procedures had to be partially modified to adapt to such a high altitude location (2,275 m), with the consequent extreme weather. The steel parts were custom made, carefully adhering to the numerous curves required in the architectural design. The museum’s substructure is made of a scaffold of steel sections with adjustable brackets and the steel counter-platers were cut using a pantograph technique at the company’s premises and then assembled on site. All aspects of this were designed, manufactured and assembled by Stahlbau Pichler. It was no easy task to assemble the structure as millimetric precision was required and the elements differed in size and weight (one piece even weighed 1,960 kg). The glazed façades were created using a Schüco AOC 60 system that has three panes and two air chambers with steel profiles. This solution was key, along with the thermal insulation coating, in achieving excellent energy efficiency. The design was selected as a finalist for WAF Awards (culture section), which will be presented at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin from 16 to 18 November.
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