Eco Temporary Refuge

A nearly-magical shelter from the sky could seem like a godsend to those lost in the wilderness … or a welcome relief for other wanderers, simply looking for somewhere to lie low on a mountaintop until a storm blows over. This seasonal, solar-powered prefab is intended to solve the difficult design challenge of locating rural and emergency shelters when and where they are needed most.

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Eco Temporary Refuge cliff

Cimini Architettura started with a straightforward and efficient central volume containing six bunked beds, a living room, entryway and bath zone. A single floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall window offers views out over the landscape, while letting in natural light.

Eco Temporary Refuge view
Eco Temporary Refuge inside

Meanwhile, the fundamental necessities for survival are built in as well – solar-collecting panels feed an emergency battery, helping melt ice for drinking water and fueling the under-floor heating system. Depending on the season, it is made to be moved up to twice annually.

Eco Temporary Refuge mountaintop

Fragile ecosystems tend not to fare well with permanent structures, making this light-footprint alternative the perfect temporary structure for remote and sensitive sites. Steel stilts sunk into the ground remain behind when the buildings are moved throughout the year, making for easy re-installation.

Eco Temporary Refuge diagram

Wait a moment, though, this all sounds great in theory but … since when is flying a whole habitat via helicopter a green way to go about building housing? As it turns out, less fuel is used in a few flights per year than would be by other means.

More info from the architects on “Eco-Temporary Refuge:”

“The primary objectives of the house are to be self-sufficient, flexible and easily removable. It is built and assembled in a factory and transportable by helicopter. The structure of the house rests on pillars, aimed at making minimal contact and disturbances in the pre-existing conditions of the soil when deploying the house.”

“ETR is designed to sustain 2 to 4 flights per year, with the anticipation that mountain rescue helicopters are the most efficient and least invasive way to transport the house from different sites with having to construct roads and transportation lines. The proposal is currently under development, to be used in the mountains 3000 meters above sea-level in the winter, and brought to the valleys in the summer to be used as information points for skier safety.”