Architecture studio BCW Collective designed an aluminum-clad hikers’ cabin overlooking the Italian Alpine Valley. Called Bivacco Brédy, the bivouac shelter is located in the Aosta Valley and was conceptualized by the family of Claudio Brédy, a local politician and Alpinist who died in 2017 during a mountain excursion.
Designer: BCW Collective
The minimal cabin is perched on a rock slab, 2528 meters above sea level. It has a massive window that provides views of the Grivola and Gran Paradiso mountains and the Gran Paradiso – which Claudio Brédy climbed.
“The architecture interprets both openness of spirit and introspective nature through a minimalist approach; it offers protection yet is open to the horizon, as if springing free. Beyond the symbolism, the orientation is an environmental strategy, maximizing solar gain to warm the bivouac in the cold winter months. Thus the Vertosan Valley has a new memorial icon, solid in form yet light in touch, protective yet ephemeral,” said the studio.
The interiors of the cabin are marked with pale timber and feature two large windows which create the sensation of being at one with the surroundings. The windows provide an immersive experience. It also contains three bunk beds, a window seat, a desk bookshelf, and an entrance area with built-in storage space to hold hiking equipment. The space has been optimized for maximum functionality -“focusing on the view and sensorial experience as users immersed in the surrounding mountain context”.
The cantilevered form of the cabin was adopted to evoke the absence of an important member of a family and community. The cabin was also prefabricated in an attempt to minimize the impact it would have on the natural landscape. The components were delivered by helicopter and assembled efficiently within a few days. The cabin is secured onto the rocky site with the help of a metal-frame foundation. This foundation ensures that minimal disturbance is caused to the site, and allows the shelter to be easily moved to another location in the future if need be.