Network of Architecture perches Ötzi Peak 3251m viewpoint above a glacier in Italian Alps
Perched 3,251 metres above sea level – hence its name – the viewpoint looks towards Austria over an alpine landscape.
The Corten steel viewing platform is an added attraction for hotel guests and visitors to the remote spot.
Ötzi Peak 3251m incorporates the existing summit cross. Network of Architecture designed the platform so that it would only touch the ground where structurally necessary, to add to the drama of the experience.
Visitors climb up to the platform via stairs and can enjoy panoramic views from the curving platform. A funnel made of weathering steel encloses part of the platform that juts out over the edge of the ridge framing the mountains beyond.
A glass railing at the end of this platform provides an unobstructed view of the alpine scene and the glacier below.
Network of Architecture chose weathering steel as the material for the platform for its ability to withstand the elements combined with its aesthetic qualities.
“The surrounding nature, its texture, and its feeling has induced us to choose a material that reflects those characteristics best,” architect Andreas Profanter told Dezeen.
“Corten steel has the unique attribute to change over time and it evolves depending on the environmental conditions,” Profanter added.
“In doing so it resembles the never-ending transformation of the glacier itself.”
Slim vertical slats of Corten steel wrap around the rounded platform edge, opening and closing views to visitors as they walk across the structure.
Extensive planning and working closely with contractors was required to build at such a high and exposed spot in the mountains.
“Building at 3,251 metres of altitude is not a standardized process,” said Profanter.
“The harsh environmental conditions as well es the exposed building site are factors that pose a series of limitations not only to the material, and hence the structure of the platform, but also to the workers and the technical gear,” he added,
“Every detail of the platform had to be drawn out with the fabrication, transportation, and assembly process in mind. But it was a special challenge that we were glad to accept.”
Network of Architecture was founded by Lukas Rungger and Stefan Rier, and has offices in Bolzano and Berlin.
Recent alpine projects include a lakeside cafe and changing room in South Tyrol, and a glass-bottomed pool that projects from a hotel in the Dolomites.
Photography is by Alex Filz.
Architect: Network of Architecture
Client: Schnalstaler Gletscherbahn
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