Alleghe's Lake: Nature & History
Massimiliano Dell'Olivo

Alleghe's Lake: Nature & History

Massimiliano Dell'Olivo as Architects

Alleghe is a small village located in the heart of the Dolomites, a mountain range also known as “monti pallidi” (Pallid mountains) which in 2009 were awarded in with the Unesco World Heritage Site prize, thanks to their beauty and their particular geologic and geomorphologic constitution.


The tourism activity started to develop in Alleghe by the end of 19th Century, alongside with the beginning on the Alpine climbing activity. The town of Alleghe is located right at the bottom of Mount Civetta, a mountain defined by writer Dino Buzzati as “the most wonderfull wall of the Alps”, which peak reaches 3,220m. The climbing of the North-west wall, proved to be challenging even for well known climbers and famous people who decided to spend their vacation in Alleghe, as King Albert 1st from Belgium. Around the same years, a more romantic summer tourist activity developed in Alleghe, due to the healthiness and pureness of its air and the attractiveness of its uncontaminated landscape, which yet characterize it. Alleghe sits on the shores of the lake that takes its name from the city, and benefits from an unbeatable position, which helped the development around the beginning of the 20th Century, of many Villas like, Villa Paganini Ruspoli, Villa Bressanin and Villa Erler, for the summer vacation of wealthy nobles and Italian artist. Winter tourism has developed in Alleghe since the beginning of the 1980’s when the Civetta Ski district opened to public and the the ice skating stadium was opened The opportunity of practicing downhill ski, ice hockey and ice skating turned Alleghe of a couple of decades into one of the most attractive italian ski resort Nowadays, Alleghe is visited by tourists all year long thanks to its direct contact with wild nature: walking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, windsurfing and parachuting


Design concept: Within the concept of an unchangeable The touristic offer’s missing piece has been included by adding the explanation of historical facts that led to the construction of the town as we can see it. Through the added signs, located in strategic place on the path (where to stop, where to observe, were to think) there was the intention to tell the story of a unique place All this because story its not just a matter of communities and buildings, but also woods, green fields, mountains on which these were build Lake Alleghe was formed in January 1771, when a gigantic landslide blocked the river, drowning all the villages that were located at the bottom of the valley 5 landscape windows located across the path tell us about the above cited events Some tables explain to us that looking is different from watching, the latest is strictly related to the understanding of what lies in front of us When standing by these tables we try to insulate our self, observing the chosen landscape The architectonical idea began from the concept of a windshield, an idea of sheering, and thus thanks to these screens, the landscape is revealed harmoniously. The discovery has always to be gradual, through some filters that allow us to slowly appreciate the knowledge. That’s the true meaning of these tables, some special observatories, throughout which the landscape is revealed. We wanted to characterize a simple explicative panel, matching it with “window” created to be a framework for the landscape. Through some QR code the scripts are available online in English, the platform is expected to be implemented in the near future The concept represented hereby is the local building culture, wood, iron all strong elements that characterized the history of the valley It has also been decided to build a little terrace on the path’s highest point, a rocky outcrop from which you can benefit of a panoramic view of the lake, the town of Alleghe and the Civetta Mount. The terrace has a trapezoidal base and is realized supported by a foundation in line with the street level The size is not massive because it was not the architect’s intention to invade the surrounding nature (it must be said that the panoramic point is also well visible from other standpoints) To protect the visitors, there is parapet, made of vertical metal bars in order to not to be seen from far away. The upholstery is made of natural larch wood. The framework that sustains the base is made of steel. The body of the main pillar, is a HE 140, and its upholster is made of a piece of natural larch, in order to smooth the lake’ view. The terrace floor is made of pieces of natural larch width 40mm, which lies directly on the framework. The trapezoidal base guides tourists to the panoramic point The terrace’s design was developed in order for the structure to be built very quickly, using screws and bolts, in order to minimize the works required on site, favoring the factory work, more precise, cleaner and safer most importantly The usage of natural and recyclable goods characterized the works, with a particular angle to the sustainability of the ambient


Influence and effect on local tourism


Following the construction of the terrace, an increase in tourism activity has been registered on the lake walk and more people were interested in the town’s history, the valley’s and the lake’s formation We noted this increase, not only through the increased number of visitors but also through the increased number of sold books that talk about the town’s history and the growing number of people that visit the project’s webpage The path has also become the ideal place for various activities such as treasure hunts, quizzes and various prize competitions, nonetheless a chance for the valley’s schools to held some outdoors activites.

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