Modular Alpine Shelter / 2017
architectural design / competition proposal
Vitosha mountain / 2017
The project is a competition proposal for the restoration of an existing shelter in the “Three Wells” locality in Vitosha Mountain.
After thorough examination of the plot and the possibilities for a modular unit, the shelter is designed as a composition of two units with outer dimensions of each 2.30mx2.30m in plan and an inclined roof as part of the unit. The height of each module measures 2.30m/ 3.77m. The steep inclination of the roof helps to keep snow-free and contributes to the visual inscription of the shelter in the mountainous relief. The size of the modular unit derives from the minimal space needed to form a sleeping area /a bed/. The square footprint allows for a variety of rotations and placement of the units resulting in 14 possible combinations of the two modules within the plot. This, in its turn, allows for the optimal configuration of the structure in view of the climatic and other situational features.
The shelter will be built from environmentally friendly materials. The design features façade panels of fiber reinforced concrete or metal and environmentally friendly and non-combustible stone wool insulation. Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roof with their optimal orientation taken in consideration when determining the appropriate positions of the modular units.
Interior and design features
Pine plywood panels cover the walls and ceiling of the shelter on the inside. The floor is covered with metal sheets to ensure its durability. Two opposite walls of each module have built-in transformable furniture, which can easily turn into a bench, a bed or a shelf folded to the wall when more free space is needed. The niches / cabinets under the windows provide storage for equipment.
The shelter is equipped with photovoltaic panels which provide night and signal lighting and enable the charging of a smartphone and other small electronic devices. The extra power generated by the panels is stored in a battery accessible through a lid on the floor. Transverse natural ventilation of the shelter is provided through appropriate window layout. For larger configurations, a rainwater tank for domestic purposes and a wind turbine could also be installed - depending on the scale and location of the facility.
Adaptability and other options for the modular unit
The dimensions of the module, combined with the variability of its positioning make it possible to choose the optimal solution for each situation, plot and configuration. The size and weight of the module permit transportation via helicopter, a standard shipping container, a truck, a trailer, and also allow for wheel mounting and mobility of the unit itself. Modifications of the outer shell /façade panels/ are possible depending on the location of the structure and its optimal integration in the surrounding environment – e.g. - a highly reflective surface for shelters in the deep forest would make the structure “disappear” allowing for wild animal observation.