The Monte Rosa Hut sits 2,883 meters high in the Swiss alpine sky between the Gorner, Monte Rosa, and Grenz glaciers. It was conceived as one of fifty projects undertaken to commemorate The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology's (ETH Zürich ) 150th anniversary. Teaming up with award-winning architecture firm Bearth & Deplazes Architekten and the legendary Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), the students at ETH designed and built a high altitude mountain shelter--setting new milestones in sustainability and innovation in the process.
The design team used Vectorworks Architect software to create the complex geometry of the Monte Rosa Hut, designing 420 different wall and ceiling elements that were pieced together. The software also provided the basis for calculating project costs according to Swiss standards and enabled the students to employ a "digital chain" methodology to fine-tune the hut's components at each step of the project and move their data seamlessly from concept to design, to development, to fabrication, and finally to construction. The end result: precisely-manufactured building elements and smooth collaboration with numerous other project teams. By using the digital chain to address complexities and efficiencies, they were able to reduce the number of building elements by 30 percent and the weight by 40 percent, and also adjust design elements throughout the process.
The Monte Rose Hut is a 90 percent self-sufficient facility and has earned the MINERGIE-P label by the Swiss Confederation and Swiss Cantons because it provides "high-grade, air-tight building envelopes and the continuous renewal of air in the building using an energy-efficient ventilation system."
To read more details about this fascinating project, please visit the Case Studies section of our website.