As the saying goes: It’s not the destination that matters, but the journey. And though that may be true for many things in life, whoever first said it had sure as shit never visited Slovenia’s Skuta Mountain. Perched near the summit of the imposing geological formation is an off-grid shelter erected as a free, temporary home for any and all in need. (OK: It’s mainly mountain climbers.)
This article originally appeared on The Field, an online magazine devoted to good design and the great outdoors. If you like what you see, visit thefieldmag.com for more.
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Originally designed by a group of Harvard Graduate School of Design students, the design became a reality during the summer of 2015. With the help of the Slovenian military, the students and their architect teachers built it off-site in three pieces, then airlifted it into the alpine environment with a military helicopter. Amazingly enough, the entire structure was assembled and ready for use within 24 hours.
The modular shelter is comprised of three volumes, each with a designated function (dining, chilling, and sleeping), and can sleep up to eight mountaineers—or eight of anyone with the endurance and tenacity to make it there. Triple-pane glass walls bookend the structure, providing incredible views of the valley below and mountains above. The exterior is clad in a thin fiberglass-and-concrete material selected for its ability to weather everything from heavy wind and rain to sun and snow. Light wood on the interior helps keep moods high and spirits warm.
Now, the real question is: Who has some vacation days saved up?