The Julian Alps that stretch from Italy to Slovenia are a beautiful yet unforgiving landscape that seems impossible to build on. Despite all odds, Ljubljana-based studio OFIS Arhitekti succeeded in placing a rugged alpine cabin on remote Mount Kanin that boasts breathtaking 360-degree views over Slovenia and Italy. The self-contained and prefabricated Kanin Winter Cabin was airlifted into place by helicopter and is only accessible by air or climbing.
Made mostly from timber and aluminum, the Kanin Winter Cabin is a handsome and modern structure precariously perched on a ledge overlooking stunning views to Triglav, Soca Valley, and the Adriatic Sea. The structure was prefabricated off-site and installed with help from the Slovene Armed Forces helicopter crew in an extremely difficult process that took three tries to complete due to bad weather. The partially cantilevered cabin is carefully placed to minimize impact on the ground and built to withstand the harsh weather conditions, including heavy snowfall that lasts over half the year, strong rainstorms, winds, and occasional earthquakes.
The compact timber cabin comprises three main areas: the entrance, living area, and a resting area in the rear that offers three raised surfaces for sleeping. Large glazed windows punctuate the narrow structure and let in copious amounts of natural light. The cabin accommodates up to nine mountaineers. The Winter Cabin was designed by OFIS Arhitekti in collaboration with CBD structural engineers, PZS, PD Bovec, JZS, Permiz d.o.o., and Ortar in Jerman d.o.o. The cabin was fully realized with donations and volunteer labor.
Images by Janez Martincic, Ales Gregoric