Saturday, June 14, 2008

Monte Rosa Hut in Zermatt

The new Monte Rosa Hut at 2810 metres above sea level will be a special mountain hut, which has been planned for the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) by the Department of Architecture of the Swiss Federal Technical University in Zurich (ETH). The Concept and Design of the building was made by Prof. Andrea Deplazes.
The Monte Rosa hut will look like a glass crystal and will be relatively easy for hikers to reach (2.5 hours on foot from Rotenboden-Gornergratbahn station). The new building will be about 80 m to the north of the old hut on the granite ledge “Untere Plattje”, nestling between Gorner glacier, Grenz glacier and Monte Rosa glacier in Zermatt. From the Monte-Rosa-Hut you can enjoy a magnificent view and wonderful sunsets. It is a popular starting point for mountain tours and hikes.
The hut project is for a 5-storey modular wooden structure with a restaurant and places to sleep for 120 persons. The energy strategy was designed by the Energy Science Center of the ETH with the target to be environmentally friendly. In fact, the new Monte Rosa will be in the middle of a natural reserve with extreme alpine conditions, yet energeticaly to 90% self-contained and self-sufficient (90% autarchy). Solarthermics, photovoltaics and a combined heat and power plant (CHP) ensure the energy and heat requirements. Photovoltaic cells provide the power for wastewater treatment, ventilation, lighting and household appliances. Surplus energy is stored in batteries, guaranteeing an uninterrupted power supply even when the sky is overcast. Thermal solar panels satisfy the requirement for heating and water heating.
The price of the new Monte Rosa hut: CHF 5.7 million, of which the SAC will be contributing with CHF 2.15 million and the rest will be financed through sponsoring: Holcim (Schweiz) AG, Energie Ouest Suisse (EOS), Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU), Karl Steiner AG, Geberit AG, Sika AG, Saint-Gobain Isover AG, Kanton Wallis, and several Bachelor Partners.
The new hut will combine modern design and state-of-the-art technologies. Thus it will be Switzerland’s first completely digitalised building: The production machines for the hut components will be coupled to the architects’ design programs.
The realization of the building will start this summer and a year later the new Monte Rosa Hut will open.