Made for visitors or those living in an extreme setting, conquering nature against all odds; these projects are designed to thrive in adverse climatic conditions and allow the resident to be comfortable in an otherwise hostile location.
This shelter -located at 12,582 feet above sea level, almost at the summit of the Gouter needle- is a self-sufficient shelter/hotel that houses the French Alpine Club; it can accommodate up to 120 people, and it's the highest mountain shelter in France. Its internal structure is mostly built of pine wood, which was locally sourced; it also relays on solar panels and wind turbines for energy.
In order to withstand the heavy winds on top of the mountain, the building was built on top of pillars dug 39,4 feet (12 meters) into the mountain's rocky soil; its aerodynamic oval shape prevents the wind and snow from putting extra stress on the structure.
This former military outpost located in the Alps, dating from WWI, was reformed and turned into a mountain shelter; the architects took the concept of the bivouac, a makeshift temporary tent made by mountaineers, and merged it with the existing structure (the leftover concrete walls at the bottom) to turn it into a more permanent building, capable of standing up to the mountain's relentless weather.
The shelter is completely off-grid, and it takes its electricity from a small solar panel; its asymmetric shape provides a defense against strong winds and avoids the accumulation of snow on top, which could collapse the structure.
This house was built to face the strong tropical storms present in the region. The roof was designed to allow the heavy rain to fall freely- stopping it from puddling on top and causing structural damage- and cleaning the windows in the process.
A series of removable plastic canopies protect the most vulnerable sides of the house during typhoons; the west side of the house is protected by large eaves, which shield that side of the house from the harsh sunlight. The windows of the project were strategically placed to create an artificial airstream if opened at the same time, passively cooling the house.
This project -inspired by Navajo architecture- was made to endure the hardships of desertic weather; it features a series of openings on its south facade, which allow the passage of wind inside of the house, passively cooling it. Its long narrow shape and its orientation, prevent the cold western wind from infiltrating the house during winter.
The project also has a considerable amount of insulation and protection, starting from the exterior cladding; the windows of the project reflect sunlight and tame it, and long deep eaves offer extra protection from direct sun rays.
These lodges- aimed at passerby hikers and mountaineers, who share the cabins based on a trust system- needed to meet three conditions: they had to be contemporary looking, had to be easy to assemble and had to be sturdy enough to withstand the unpredictable local weather.
The cabins are heated with wood, the electricity comes from solar panels, and the bathing facilities are fed by water from a stream. Their metal cladding is designed to be low maintenance and highly protective against any weather condition; the interior wood cladding provides a sense of warmth and a homey ambiance.
The weather at the Fogo Island is characterized by its intense cold, strong winds and humidity. The project's closeness to the ocean, the scenic views, and the weather conditions through the seasons predisposed the design of the project : the central part of the project remains exposed, to capture sunlight in spring; the covered but open part of the project controls the amount of sunlight the project gets without jeopardizing the view; its narrow shape makes it more aerodynamic, as there are fewer surfaces opposing the wind that comes from the ocean; the choice of timber cladding to dress the facade is perfect for the salty and humid weather present on the island, as it doesn't corrode as easily as metal in those conditions.