As demand for recreational facilities in the pristine wilderness grows, so does our footprint. At the same time, the prospect of staying in a mountaintop cabin in the Swiss Alps with views from the top of the world is irresistible. The Eco-Temporary Refuge is one proposed solution that consists of a small cabin that can be helicoptered to the site and set up on embedded pipe piers. Cimini Architettura's solar-powered retreat is designed to be fully self-supporting, and it can be removed with minimum impact to the site.
The simple design has room for six bunks, a bath, a foyer, and living space. One huge window overlooking the breathtaking views can also let in precious solar heat. When the sun goes down, a thermal curtain helps keep the heat in. The cabin is supported by a 4kW solar array mounted on the walls to keep snow from covering it. The array supplies basic electricity for the occupants of course, but the designers also intend to heat the cabin with an under-floor heating system. Details are vague as to how this system works — suffice to say we are guessing it is not electrically heated.
Snow is melted by the solar system to feed into the unit’s water supply, and all appliances are powered by the solar electric system. A supply of bioethanol is available for emergency heating and cooking needs. The system details are sketchy for the proposal, but the intent is clear: low-impact and easily removable buildings can help us to experience the wilderness while maintaining a pristine environment.