The mountain lodge is situated at 2.545m above sea level on the crest between the two passes of Ponte di Ghiaccio and the Fundres and Lappago valleys, close to the border of Austria. The original mountain lodge was built in 1906 by the DÖAV’s (Deutsche Österreichische Alpenverein) Edelraute division of Vienna and after WWI changed hands to became property of the Italian State whereby the local division of the CAI (Alpine Club of Italy) became the property managers. In the 1950s the original mountain lodge was added on to, then renovated in 2012, and after a change in proprietorship and an evaluation of the building’s conditions, it was decided to demolish the existing structure and rebuild the Edelrauthütte Mountain Lodge.
The new lodge interweaves the programmatic elements of the “rigufio” with the symbolic and ecological aspects into one, unifying project. The “L” shaped volume of the lodge defines the south-facing outdoor area that inscribes the footprint of the now demolished, original “Ponte di Ghiaccio” lodge. This design strategy allowed for the planning of a multi-step construction phase whereby the existing lodge could remain standing while construction began. The construction crew slept in the old lodge during construction which greatly facilitated the logistics in the building of the new lodge.
More importantly, by using the footprint of the original Edelrauthütte to define the new outdoor space, the presence of the former lodge is registered and made evident in its very construction despite its absence. It is this testimony to the former lodge, giving place to the memory and cultural significance of the old refuge that resonates with the local community. As hikers arrive they are welcomed by the rugged, high altitude patio formed by the rocky foundations of the former lodge.
The lodge is conceived as a reference point, a visual bridge between the “Pfeifholdertal “ valley with the Nevesstausee Lake and the “Pfundrestal “ valley with its respective lake “Eisbruggsee .” The dining room—the social heart of the lodge—sits exactly at this point between the valleys whereby those visiting can sit and enjoy the view at this intersection between the two opposing, north-south valleys. Finished in the reclaimed wood of the original Edelrauthütte—the presence of the century past lingers in the air as the sap continued to ooze from its pores as it was cut and reworked into the interiors of the new lodge. The ground floor is paved using what was considered to be scrap skirting of the locally quarried stone. The dense pavers create a robust surface whose textures and colors speak of the surrounding, rocky landscape and are able to withstand the wear and tear of ski boots, hiking shoes, and other sporting paraphernalia. All of the furniture is custom made using locally sourced pinewood.
The sleeping rooms are located on the upper floors and range from 4-8-person rooms. The biouvac accommodates up to 12 people and is accessible during the winter months via the mid-stair landing on the north side of the building.