title: Carpineto mountain refuge
location: Lepini mountains, Italy
This contemporary huts are to be built at
crucial points of the main mountain paths hiked over by tourists, that go from
the valley to the tops of the mountains that surround the medieval town of Carpineto.
The hut is characterized by a rather simple prismatic form, that raises over a square base. Diagonally pitched roof is introduced to avoid excessive snow accumulation and allow rainwater and sun energy harvesting. Large insulated glazing on the front (south-west) side of the refuge creates a distinct relationship between nature and the interior, while also providing natural light and passive solar heating.
Gross area of the shelter is limited to 20m2, and its height to 5m. Internal space is divided into two levels: lower-relax/dining area and upper-sleeping area. Ground level contains mini kitchen and a toilet, shelves for backpacks, clothes or hiking equipment and an adjustable bench, that can be transformed into a dining counter. The upper level host 4 beds and it's accessed by a ladder.
The refuge is to be built from locally sourced materials to minimize its impact on the surrounding environment. The base is built from local stone, and the rest of the structure is made completely out of cross laminated timber - fabricated of locally harvested wood. Prefabricated modules are transported to the construction site, where the assembly is carried out. The exterior is covered with wood wall cladding, coated with a water repellent impregnating agent, while the roof is covered with trapezoidal steel sheets. Internal walls and floors are treated with coatings based on polyurethane with transparent effect to allow the surface of the veneer to be visible.
Several sustainable systems are incorporated into the design, allowing the hut to be completely self-sufficient. Rainwater harvesting is enabled on the northern slope of the roof. Collected water is stored into a tank, housed under one of the beds inside, and further used to supply the toilet. Part of the collected rainwater is filtered, so it can be used for drinking. Photovoltaic panels are installed on the southern slope of the roof. Collected solar energy is converted to electrical and stored in the battery, also housed under one of the beds inside. The energy is used to supply LED lighting, electrical outlets and mini water treatment plant. A septic tank, positioned under the hut, is utilized to collect waste and gray water from the toilet and kitchen.