Refuge du Gouter, a series of five cutting edge buildings, reside along a precipice of Mont Blanc, France. The buildings offer an array of sustainable features, to gently teach visitors about climate change, without leaving their own heavy footprints.
Steel piles drilled 20 feet into the mountain support the steel-clad wooden structures. The interiors are minimalist, with pine benches, bunks, and floors. The center of the refuge features a room that regulates melted snow for consumption, and storing batteries that supply electricity. Further down Mont Blanc sits the new Hotel Bellevue. Built with robot-milled wood, the building uses 10% less energy than a conventional building thanks to geothermal energy, and high-spec insulation.
Skyway Monte Bianco, situated on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, may soon open up the southern side of the mountain to mass tourism. Skyway's all-glass cable cars revolve as they ascend, provide tourists panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and an opportunity to witness the consequences of climate change.
In Toggenburg, Swtizerland, Tate Modern architects Herzog and de Meuron took on the job of renovating a cable car station. The new building is made entirely of locally sourced and crafted spruce. To further reduce the building's footprint, the timbers were brought in using the existed cable car instead of helicopters. Monte Rosa Hutte, Switzerland features the most complex wooden building ever made in the country. The building, which uses eco-building approaches similar to Refuge de Gouter, features a grotto blasted into the rock to store melted snow
More about the projects on The Guardian.
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