The Most Exclusive Stay in the Julian Alps is Nothing Like You Would Expect By Grant Rindner

(Photo courtesy of Janez Martincic and OFIS)

Perched high atop Slovenia’s Mount Kanin, this Winter Cabin by OFIS Architects offers shelter and a breath-taking view for hikers and climbers willing to brave the region’s frequently harsh weather. In fact, the only thing harder than reaching the shelter may have been installing it in the first place.

Getting the three-level building to its ultimate location required the assistance of the Slovene Armed Forces and not one, not two, but three attempts to place it via helicopter after it was pre-fabricated. Once in place, the cabin was secured and cantilevered, so as to have as little impact on the actual mountain face as possible.

An illustration of the shelter's journey from base level to its perch atop Mount Kanin (Janez Martincic and OFIS)

“The challenge is to install real objects, shelters in 1:1 on remote sites and study their response to extreme weather, radical temperature shifts, snow and rugged terrain,” according to an OFIS release. “The harsh conditions of wind, snow, landslides, terrain, and weather require a response of specific architectural forms, structures and concept.”

The project began in 2013, with construction commencing in 2015 and the final product being finished earlier this year. Now safely in place, it can fit up to nine intrepid mountaineers, and was designed to withstand the mountain’s otherworldly winters, where snow cover can last for more than six months of the year.

“The harsh conditions of wind, snow, landslides, terrain, and weather require a response of specific architectural forms, structures and concept,” - OFIS release

The exterior of the cabin is aluminum, while the inside is lined with timber. With such a surreal view, the interior of the cabin goes for a more minimalist aesthetic. The only decoration is a pair of antlers hung from the wall. There are three resting platforms for weary hikers to catch their breath and take in the impressive surroundings. The cabin boasts views of not only the Alps, but also Italy, the Adriatic Sea, and the Soca Valley.

The cabin is designed to accentuate its stunning view (Janez Martincic and OFIS)

There’s no shame in choosing one of Mount Kanin’s many ski resorts as your home base for a trip to the Julian Alps, but those who are willing to scale the mountain and brave the fearsome conditions will be rewarded with a breath-taking view from one of Central Europe’s more daring recent architectural creations. Hopefully they never have to figure out how to get it down.

With such impressive surroundings, OFIS could afford a sparse interior (Janez Martincic and OFIS)
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All images courtesy of Janez Martincic and OFIS

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