Floating on top of Europe’s highest peak Montblanc, a luminous hideaway invites mountaineers for an unforgettable experience on their ultimate stage of conquest. It’s called the Refuge du Gouter.
The context and the surrounding landscape plays a very significant role in the whole experience of this architectural gem in the mountains. It covers an area of 2,300 square foot, with a capacity of maximum 120 people. The self sufficient complex provides heat and electricity to its guests by means of two separate sets of solar panels, and clean water is produced from melted snow. This refuge provides power and warmth by utilizing the reflective properties of snow and solar light. It consists of four levels: sleeping dormitories, communal living areas, a kitchen and a dining room with panoramic views
Structural, technological and meteorological considerations led to the design of an elliptical plan. The main axis of the ellipse was positioned against the prevailing westerly wind, in order to hasten the masses of air on the sides of the building and to create a whirlpool on the back section.