case study
Design: Stifter + Bachmann, Photos: Oliver Jaist
Opened its doors in 2018

In June 2018 the new Sasso Nero mountain hut opened its doors, causing stir both in the architecture and construction circles and among the stunned hikers too.
Answering the needs of the growing tourism sector, the government of the Province of Bozen assigned €10 million for construction of 3 new huts and renovation of the other 22. 
A 2013 competition, involving eight, which invited architecture offices from the region was won by Stifter+Bachmann. The project divided public opinion - after heated discussions, a year later, the architects could begin working on the execution design. The construction started in June 2016 and continued with great efficiency during the short alpine summers until October 2017. 

The building

The new building stands directly on the rocks, which were left free and untouched, 100 meters above the now demolished Vittorio Veneto hut from 1894, where permafrost started to melt.
The hexagonal, copper-clad volume, towers up its six storeys towards the sky. Six small facade surfaces are a rational, yet beautiful answer to hurricane wind blasts up in the mountains.
Due to copper oxidisation over time, the shiny, crystal-like volume will change and melt with the surrounding rocks. 
The architects combined their know-how with the experience of the manager of the old hut. His inputs led to a spacious entrance with a wardrobe which allows alpinists to untangle their equipment inside.
The ground floor contains a kitchen and a large living and dining area. The 2 meter high windows let the sunlight in the depth of the room.

case studyDesign: Stifter + Bachmann, Photos: Oliver Jaist

Stifter + Bachmann architects

My favourite thing about the house... I like the dining area with the view over the surrounding peaks, the most luxurious thing in the house. But the thing I like most about the project is the team spirit that we had up there. We were like a roped party; the success depended on collaboration and readiness to help. We all learned so much from each other - because we all wanted to.

case study
Design: Stifter + Bachmann, Photos: Oliver Jaist
Architectural design

VELUX specialists were consulting the project from an early stage, and assured the architects that there is no need for underwater windows nor other extreme solutions. Apart from the gas pressure compensation and slight alteration of sealings, no other customisation was necessary.
Following the suggestion of KUB Ingeneure, an experienced facade planner, the windows are slightly protruding the facade to allow water and snow to run off smoothly. The architects achieved a spectacular appearance with affordable, accessible materials. The only thing that increased the cost is the extreme alpine location of the house.
The windows are also easy to use for the guests, as everyone knows how to operate them for airing. They have no sun protection: the climbers go to bed at dusk and get up with the sunrise. The whole house follows the rhythm of nature.

"Dusk in the mountains is a very special and calm time, and I think it's beautiful to watch the spectacle also from the inside of the building. Some people wanted us to mount TV screens, but we refused - one goes up to be immersed in nature."
Stifter + Bachmann architects


case study
Design: Stifter + Bachmann, Photos: Oliver Jaist
Daylight used as the most efficient energy source

Following the new trend of energy self-sufficient alpine buildings, the Sasso Nero hut is up to 80% well insulated without any further heating system. Passive solar gains through the roof windows secure a comfortable indoor climate on each floor from June to September. The strategic placement of the windows additionally facilitates natural ventilation.
90qm solar panels on the roof, connected to energy storage in the basement, provide electrical energy which activates the heating and ventilation system for the kitchen and the dining area. Gas, transported up in little bottles, is used for cooking.
A biodiesel-powered power generator backs up the system for long bad weather periods: the hut stands sharp on the meteorological divide, so cloudy weeks happen often.