Refugi Guardat de L’illa Mountain Retreat

Renovating a building is difficult work. But when that building is on top of a mountain and surrounded by a protected UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site? It’s near impossible – but that didn’t stop firms Arteks Architectura and Ginjaume Architecture i Paissatge from taking on the Refugi Guardat de L’illa.

Located 8,162 feet up in the Myreneese mountains and completely lacking access roads – the logistics around refurbishing this old mountain refuge from the 1930s ended up informing the design. Due to the lack of access by vehicles and limited 6 month window in which it could be built (winter makes the outpost all the more inaccessible), the parts that make up this building had to be pre-fabricated off-site and made light enough to be airlifted by helicopter to the site. The architects behind the project also had to account for the fact that the building had to be completely self sufficient for durations of at least 4 days at a time. As a result, they ended up designing and constructing light wooden frames that rest atop the old structure, and are adorned with photovoltaic panels along the top. These wooden walls give the interior of the outpost a warm, cabin-like feel that all the same boasts a clean, modern look. All things said, this is an incredibly attractive and impressive building.

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