PHB Case 1
Design: Element Design GmbH Basel, Photos: Kasia Jackowska
A day with a view

The concept of spending a day immersed in the landscape - yet in a comfortable bivouac - was invented by a team around Ms. Mag. Maria Wilhelm, General Manager of Millstätter See Tourismus GmbH for an annual tourism innovation contest organized by the Austrian government. 
Seven tiny two-person cabins are located in prime locations around the lake: some right at the shore, some at the mountain top, all with splendid views. Only two of the current locations are fixed, as the cabins are on wheels, and can be moved to new places. A large opening only on one side guides the tourists to the most spectacular view and allows maximum of privacy and "wilderness feeling" even when very close to a hotel with all amenities. Thanks to provided picnic basket they don't have to get in touch with civilisation until the next day.

Simplicity under the sun

A modest design with pitched roof, one fully glazed facade and roof windows opening to the sky was done by Elementdesign, an office from Basel, dealing with spacial concepts for tourism and museums. The form derives from the "primitive hut", an imaginary, romantic concept of a first dwelling - minimal shelter for humans in nature.

Although the roof shape is traditional, the aesthetics could not be farther from kitchy mountain hut romanticism, so widespread in Kärtnen. Ms. Wilhelm, adding: "We introduced a special drawer, where the guests can stow away their mobile phones during the stay. Most of them do it.”
The cabins feature only basic furniture. Actually one piece takes over most of the functions: bed, drawers, place to stow away suitcases and a shelf for glasses, lamp or books. 

PHB Case 1Design: Element Design GmbH Basel, Photos: Kasia Jackowska

Maria Wilhelm, Millstätter See Tourismus GmbH

When the cabins arrived at their sites, we checked each roof window location ourselves, lying down and gazing to the stars, and adjusted the position of the cabin, if necessary. Some windows are meanwhile under the trees, foliage grazing the glass gives the feeling of sleeping in a forest.

PHB Case 1
Design: Element Design GmbH Basel, Photos: Kasia Jackowska
Constructing a dream

After being constructed in company's headquarters they were wheeled, attached to a farm-tractor to their destinations. Some were put on foundations and provided with running water, while the others still can be freely moved.
The mobility of the summer huts proved to be a constructive challenge, as the weight distribution on the axes as well as leveling in uneven terrain are not everyday tasks to solve. Mr. Moser was lucky to have the right partners during the preparations of tender documents. He got inputs on the mobility issues, as well as on roof openings. A big fix glazing drawn in the concept design had to be replaced by windows to provide necessary natural ventilation.

"As my company collaborated successfully with VELUX on several occasions, I reached out to our area sales manager asking for advice while preparing the offer, to check the feasibility of proposed solutions. This time there was no need for light evaluation, as it was the case on other projects, but we were thankful for inputs on untypical construction details."
Marco Moser, Ralf Moser Holzbau GmbH


PHB Case 1
Design: Element Design GmbH Basel, Photos: Kasia Jackowska
Successful solution

The walls and roof have a simple wooden structure and pine cladding. They are well insulated and rear-ventilated, which allows a good climate in the summer and, with electrical heater, winter use. However, as the pine cladding wrapped the entire building, and the whole structure, despite insulation, thinner than in standard housing, typical solutions could not be used.
VELUX staff provided help on solving of the insulation issues, suggesting the use of foil normally applied in flat roof constructions, glued to the windows from all sides. This proved to be the most successful solution, although it caused a slow and precise work flow, as the windows are located very close to one another. Thanks to use of prefabricated wooden elements the construction of one hut, including the built-in furniture, took only two weeks.