image by archi-lab
image by archi-lab

Mountain Hut | Illinois Institute of Technology | Konrad K Sobon | 2011

This Mountain Hut is a shelter for climbers and hikers. It provides space to sleep, eat and relax for those that choose to climb up to it. It is located “off the grid” thus designed to be as self sufficient as possible. In order to do that it utilizes various mechanical and electrical systems that allow it to produce its own electricity, heat as well as discard waste without negative impact on environment. To further minimize its environmental footprint it is prefabricated off site and delivered to its location via helicopter. Assembly is simple enough that it does not require specialized labor. Architecturally, this building is able to adapt and respond to various changing conditions. It is able to serve individuals as well as larger groups. It’s meant to be a good fit for those that seek seclusion as well as for those that embrace social interaction. It’s structural system is flexible enough to be able to expand and contract to adopt to changing seasons. It provides enclosure and safety but also openness.

Hut Concept:

This hut was designed based on few ideas. First, the concept of structure was developed as to create something that could be assembled off site and then easily delivered to this hardly accessible site. Series of trusses would be assembled in factory and then flown in to be put in place. To minimize number of helicopter trips they would be able to fold out from small volume to create something much bigger. I called it “slinky concept”. Formally, due to the climatic conditions it was important for the building to shed snow as well as maximize solar panel’s efficiency – thus simple gable roof was created. Programmatically, I envisioned spaces that would become “social enhancers” (dining, kitchen, bathroom and lounge) and located them at the extremes of the building. This made them into destinations and enhanced circulation allowing residents to bump into each other more frequently.

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