There are few things more satisfying than exploring the far-flung corners of the earth. However, both day hikers and long-term explorers know how important it can be to find decent shelter from bad weather or unfortunate circumstances. Thankfully, some architects love the outdoors just as much as they love design. Bosnia and Herzegovina-based firm, Filter Architecture has just unveiled a stunning and practical shelter. The Bivouac Zoran Šimić Cabin is a tiny 150-square-foot refuge located in the middle of one of the country’s most remote mountain ranges.
The Bivouac Zoran Šimić Cabin is located on Visočica, a majestic mountain range found in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pristine region is a favorite of many hikers and mountaineers who try to make it to its highest point, some 1,967 meters above sea level, to take in the amazing views. However, until now, the trek had no resilient structure for refuge in case of inclement weather, illness, etc.
As hikers themselves, the team from Filter was inspired to create a bivouac that would accommodate hikers in need, or anyone wanting to take a rest after a long trek. The resulting design, which was a collaboration between mountaineering association Željezničar and the Federal Ministry of Tourism, is a tiny structure that accommodates between 9 to 12 people.
Located at the edge of a deep canyon, the tiny shelter is found between two trekking paths that lead from Visočica mountain to the adjacent Bjelašnica range. The location is so remote that construction of the structure on site was incredibly difficult. In fact, the materials had to be transported to the site via military helicopter.
Once all of the materials were in place, the architects worked with several volunteers to assemble the structure. The angular exterior features a small base that spans outward as it rises on either side, a strategic feature that allows the volume to leave a minimal footprint on the terrain while adding interior space. The structure’s dark grey siding was chosen for its durability and resilience against harsh weather, and also helps reduce solar gain in an area where there is limited shade.
The interior layout is simple and functional, with a massive horizontal window that looks out over the spectacular view and lets in natural light. Inside, the space is comprised of three platforms that serve as flexible spaces. The platforms offer seating space for up to nine people or sleeping areas for up to 12.
Photography by Emir Handzic, Dženad Džino and Zlatan Kurto via Filter Architecture