Zallinger Refuge: Hotel at high altitude by noa*network of architecture

PHOTO:

Alex Filz

YEAR:

2017

Stefan Rier tells us about the project and the construction of this hotel located at over 2000 meters high on a plateau of the Dolomites.

INFO:

Typology: Hotel conversion and extension
Client: Berghaus Zallinger, Luisa Schenk & Burger Markus
Construction start: June 2017
Completion: December 2017
Volume: 9.608 m3
Surface area: 1.870 m2

Zallinger Refuge – Alpe di Siusi (BZ) – Italia – Photo: Alex Filz

Stefan, can you tell us about this project?

This was a very particular project in several aspects.

The first aspect was certainly the bureaucratic process because we are inside a natural park; it took about two years and a half to get the approval.

Another problem was the management of the yard because you are working at a high altitude, at over 2000 meters above sea level, so even in August you will find 20 cm of snow.

At the design level we also knew that the Alpe di Siusi is closed to traffic, only customers and hotel employees can pass through it. Together with the client we believed that it was no longer appropriate to arrive by car in these areas, so we decided that customers would park in the valley and be picked up by appropriate means. We placed the garage that we could build by law downstream, 3.5 km away. Together with all the owners in the area, we signed a letter of intent to leave the guests’ cars in this garage.

In the design of the external doors there are so many blocks of solid wood resting on top of each other that are inspired by the structure of barns. The choice of these doors has allowed us to have homogeneous facades and to avoid seeing the annoying reflective surfaces of the glass.

The supporting structure is also in wood.

Knowing that we were at high altitude we decided to make rooms of about 22 square meters despite this would have penalized us with the number of stars of the hotel.

Zallinger Refuge – Alpe di Siusi (BZ) – Italia – Photo: Alex Filz

Can you explain this star thing to me better?

There is a European law for the stars in which all the countries have joined, while in Trentino-Alto Adige we have different standards according to the provinces.

In South Tyrol for a 4-star S you need 30 net sqm, while a few years ago I did a project in Bormio where for a 5-star S it was enough 21 square meters. Also for this reason I consider the star classification to be obsolete and almost none of our hotels put the number of stars on their logo.

In this project the double rooms are about 22 square meters, well furnished, all in wood and with a particular attention to details. Moreover the landscape context is beautiful, I think this aspect is also important for the evaluation of a hotel.

Zallinger Refuge – Alpe di Siusi (BZ) – Italia – Photo: Alex Filz
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