No doubt you’re familiar with the old image of a St. Bernard toting a small cask of rum around his neck to help keep lost skiers and mountain climbers warm until they are rescued. While that may sound quintessential, the comfort and cozy safety of the Smart Mountain Shelter is a better bet.
The Shelter was designed by Lusio Architects with Krassimir Krumov and Ivanka Ivanova. The concept won the Architecture of 2050 award in part because of its innovative combination of sustainability, materiality, and technology. The Smart Mountain Shelter is a series of modules that can be transported via helicopter and then assembled on site. To make it durable, the designers opted for aluminum cladding. The design of the shelter is such that in good weather, it can remain “hidden” and not attract “unwanted visitors.” But when bad weather strikes, lights and sound can attract lost explorers and skiers. Three different communication methods with rescuers can then be activated: “FIND ME”, “RESCUE ME”, and “RELAX”.
The shelter is made up of four different modules. Each has integrated floor heating system powered by the solar and wind energy captured and stored by the shelter. The open area has a system of hammocks in the walls to maximize space. If needed, a crowd of “25 struggling for survival” can cram into the shelter.
A prototype will be delivered and installed in Vitosha, Bulgaria. If successful, another shelter will be delivered to the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute for their base in Antarctica.