Refuge in the Alps Looks Like a Giant Telescope

After a long day of climbing mountains in the Alps, looking out over snow-covered boulders and valleys shrouded in fog, wouldn’t it be amazing to spend a night in this cozy cantilevered getaway? The prefabricated tube juts out over a cliff, resembling a giant telescope from which occupants can continue to gaze at their incomparable surroundings.

‘New Refuge Gervasutti’ was designed by Italian architects LEAPfactory, who specialize in modular survival structures that can withstand extreme conditions and environments. The tube was built off-site and carried to its rocky perch by a helicopter. Though the red pattern has a practical function – making the refuge visible to climbers and mountaineers – it also has a bit of Alpine charm, looking like decorative trim on a sweater.

The refuge pod features a number of circular porthole-like windows on either side, and is covered in solar panels which power lights, a weather monitoring station and other electronics. There’s a living area with a kitchen, a table and seating, and a sleeping area with bunk beds and storage space for gear.

Say the architects, “The realisation of the refuge is a great achievement, in that the materials used are of a high standard and use sophisticated technology capable of handling the problems of extreme temperatures and the difficulties of installation, given the altitude and the position in the midst of a glacier.”

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