The 'Mountain Refuge' by Architects Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi

Designed by Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi (The Mountain Refuge, @themountainrefuge) from Milan, Italy.
Visualized by Massimo Gnocchi (CGMood, @massimo_gnocchi).
Description by Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi.
First prototype is located in Andorra.
Year: 2021.
Area: 25 m².
Architects Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi. The original project came from an international competition on mountain shelters. After a few years, we decided to publish the (unbuilt) project and it became very popular. We started receiving the first inquiries regarding having it built and prices - of course we were kind of clueless - so we decided to set up a website, and start developing our project into a tiny house. Soon enough, The Mountain Refuge became a well recognised brand, and every day we receive inquiries about the project's details and status.
The project acts as a contemporary interpretation of traditional mountain refuges, bringing in architectural character and spatial quality. A space in which human’s essence, a connection with nature and history can be experienced. The Mountain Refuge aims to find a balance between sustainability and design, yet it does not want to become a design item, nor a technological system. The Mountain Refuge is modular, so the design could stand alone as one 24 square-meter space, or include two optional modules to add 24 square metres of floor space.
The cabin can be placed off-grid. Living off-grid is possible, if you want to. To us, it might be a good reason if your goal is finding balance and reconnecting with nature itself, while having some basic services. The Refuge does NOT want to become a design item, nor an extremely technological Swiss knife. Because of that, we found optimal solutions to guarantee a self-sufficient building in terms of water, electricity and heat, without sacrificing the design too much.
We are currently entering the prototype phase. We'll start the first prototypes in March/April, and we'll hopefully begin commercialisation by the end of summer 2021.
The Mountain Refuge has been developed to fit in a mountain/dramatic environment, although it aims to be a "product" that can be delivered to the most beautiful locations.
The main challenges were finding reliable building partners, and solutions to the most important problems: price optimizations, modularity, transport, sustainability, and off-grid equipment. For example, finding answers to questions such as "How do I manage waste and hot water if I am 100 km away from my town?". In one year of development, we made a lot of progress and we have found solutions to almost every problem.
The structure is timber frame, insulation is wood fiber, and all materials are sustainable. Mountain Refuge is almost entirely built in our warehouse, using premium and natural materials in a sustainable process, minimizing waste, transport complexity and on-site labor. We offer a fully off-grid solution, with equipment able to provide hot water, heat, electricity and waste management.
Reconnecting with nature and primordial archetypes, with a fair amount of technology. I would say, providing all this in the most sustainable way is the main concept behind our brand.
"Great things are done when men and mountains meet." — William Blake.