Life threatening conditions, abode of trolls and witches:
The Alpine inhabitants of the Middle Ages avoided the mighty peaks and icy heights of the high Alpine regions. Nowadays they are accessible for tourism. Alpinism the way we know it today dates back to Romanticism, which is when several Alpine associations like the German Alpine Society (Deutscher Alpenverein) or the SAC (Swiss Alpine Club) were founded. They provided basic lodges or camps to their members. Today, on the one hand great care is taken of the Alpine environment, while on the other hand the needs of Alpine tourism must be attended to. Lately this field of tension has given rise to a few buildings worth mentioning.
Modern architecture 2883 metres above sea level: the new SAC lodge Monte Rosa
Alpine construction, with its extreme conditions, remains a challenge in engineering, as shown by the recent example of the Monte Rosa lodge.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) took over the architectural and technical concept, creating a crystalline body with remote-controlled energy management from a computer at the ETH in Zurich. The energy needed for heating water and air come from solar collectors. The sewage is micro filtered on a bacterial basis and the resulting greywater is reused for flushing and cleaning purposes.
The silvery, shining aluminium cladding and the photovoltaic structure on the southern facade conceal the wooden construction beneath. Inside, the building is more homey, the Alpine crystal has a warm, soft core and you can carve your name in the restaurant furnishings.