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Ski Haus

location: Switzerland various

year: 1991

client: Private

design: Richard Horden Associates

Ski Haus was conceived while skiing late and high in the Alps: evening sun, a beautiful, clear, starlit night, twinkling lights of the village in the valley, a reluctance to return: Would it be possible to stay here in the beautiful, cold silence? The SkiHaus serves as a mobile alpine hut or a ‘hard tent’. The lightweight, all-aluminium structure weighs only 315 kg and is designed to be lifted into position by helicopter. It is well-insulated using lightweight aviation materials and has a self-sufficient energy system powered by solar and wind generators.

Since 1992 the SkiHaus has been tested by the team together with mountain guides and helicopter engineers at varying altitudes in the Swiss Alps up to 3901m (next to the ‘Kleines Matterhorn’). It will be used further by the local mountain guide centres for ski touring, climbing, guide training, ski races and medical positions. Besides its rescue and safety functions, the SkiHaus is an architectural vehicle with which to explore the third dimension and the wide clear spaces on top of the mountains. It has been situated on the Swiss-Italian ridge close to the ‘Kleines Matterhorn” since May 2004 and is currently used as shelter and accommodation for skiers and climbers.