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Small Alucobond Cabin On A Slovenian Snowy Mountaintop Defies Gravity

OFIS Architekti, Winter Cabin Mount Kanin, Slovenia, Alucobond Composite, Exterior, Janez Martincic
Photography © Janez Martincic
On a snowy mountaintop in the Julian Alps bordering Slovenia and Italy, sits OFIS Architekti’s cantilevered cabin retreat. The cabin on Mount Kanin was built for up to nine climbers to seek refuge from the area’s harsh climatic conditions. The site, only accessible by climbing or helicopter, was specifically chosen for its “360-degree views over Slovenia and Italy and spectacular views to Triglav, Soca Valley, and the Adriatic Sea,” the architects explain.

OFIS Architekti, Winter Cabin Mount Kanin, Slovenia, Alucobond Composite, Exterior, Janez Martincic
Photography © Janez Martincic

“Its position within the wilderness requires respect of natural resources ensuring the shelter stability while having a minimal impact on the ground,” the architects further describe. Additionally, the location has historical significance, as it was the site of numerous WWI battles and still contains artifacts of the war.

OFIS Architekti, Winter Cabin Mount Kanin, Slovenia, Alucobond Composite, Exterior, Janez Martincic
Photography © Janez Martincic

The wooden shell, constructed with the help of various structural engineers, is enveloped in Alucobond aluminum composite material. The ACM panels possess a protective topcoat that ensures the material will withstand harsh local weather conditions including ultraviolet, wind and snow degradation. The Alucobond material additionally features a polyethylene core that increases the material’s durability despite its inherent light weight. The metal exterior creates a beautiful distinctive element against the lavish landscape.

OFIS Architekti, Winter Cabin Mount Kanin, Slovenia, Alucobond Composite, Exterior, Janez Martincic
Photography © Janez Martincic

This landscape, although beautiful, is harsh not only in terms of weathering, but also terrain. This created numerous challenges for the architects during construction. For example, the site is prone to extreme episodes of wind, snow, and even landslides, and sees over 30 feet of snow in the winter and nearly 100 gallons of rain in a given season. The snow coverage lasts nearly six months. The mountain features caves and is also prone to the occasional earthquake as well.

OFIS Architekti, Winter Cabin Mount Kanin, Slovenia, Alucobond Composite, Exterior, Janez Martincic
Photography © Janez Martincic

Interestingly, the architects describe one of the most difficult elements of the cabin’s construction as its settlement and transportation. With the help of the Slovene Armed Forces helicopter unit, it took three attempts to achieve the cabin’s placement. But, in the process and failed attempts, the architects learned more about the site and its very unexpected conditions.

OFIS Architekti, Winter Cabin Mount Kanin, Slovenia, Alucobond Composite, Exterior, Janez Martincic
Photography © Janez Martincic

The site is now a destination for “hikers, climbers, cavers, mountaineers, nature loves and romantics.”

information courtesy of OFIS Architeki and ArchDaily
Photography © Janez Martincic

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