A UFO-inspired house may be one of the last things you’d expect to find in a quaint Italian village, but this Space Age mountain chalet fits surprisingly well in its forested surroundings. Charmed by the unusual home, which had been designed by Innsbruck-based architect Josef Lackner in 1973, Bruneck-based architect Stefan Hitthaler has given the five-sided building a modern refresh and expansion for better usability and comfort. The remodeled chalet is used as a holiday retreat that can sleep multiple guests.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

exterior side view

fireplace and main beds

When architect Stefan Hitthaler was commissioned to renovate the UFO House, the dwelling had fallen into disrepair and was in sore need of an amenities update. Hitthaler decided to replace all the siding and introduce a fresh material palette mainly comprising untreated larch, fir and gray-waxed concrete. The home, set on six low concrete pillars, was also expanded to include a more spacious outdoor deck and a retracting spaceship-inspired ladder entrance.

glazed windows to balcony

main room

The relatively compact mountain chalet offers just over 61 square meters of space across a main floor and smaller basement level, which is why the architect opted for an open plan. Full-height glazing that frames landscape views and opens up to a balcony also brings plenty of natural light into the main room, which is anchored by a fireplace and two large beds on either side. Behind the fireplace is a small kitchen unit and two extra, smaller bedrooms. A bathroom has been added to the lower level, which is finished in waxy gray concrete.

Related: Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

bathroom sinks

expanded larch balcony

“The project provides better usability and optimized living comfort thanks to an increase in thermal insulation and the installation of floor heating with heat pump and ventilation,” said Stefan Hitthaler of the energy-efficient upgrades to the UFO House. “All these solutions generate a greater energy savings. These interventions haven’t compromised the idea and the structural quality of the outer shell and the interior.”

+ Stefan Hitthaler

Images via Harald Wisthaler