Rifugio Zallinger - Alpe di Siusi (BZ) - Castelrotto (BZ)

Design and sustainability at high altitude

Sustainability coupled with a passion for landscape and local history are the hallmarks of a successful restoration project for a mountain lodge in the Alpe di Siusi
Elena Pasoli
Alex Filz
Studio noa* - network of architecture
Ceramic surfaces
Year of completion

Alpe di Siusi, an Alpine plateau located in the Dolomites at an altitude of 2,200 metres (close to Sassopiatto in the Sassolungo mountain group between Val Gardena and Val di Fassa), is the stunning location of a nineteenth century mountain shelter converted into a sophisticated, high-quality hotel. While maintaining the original characteristics of the mountain setting, the hotel has been built with special attention to the principles of sustainability and responsible tourism, and has gained Klima Hotel certification.
Rifugio Zallinger was renovated by Bolzano- and Berlin-based practice studio noa* – network of architecture. “With this project we wanted to propose a new lifestyle and hospitality model that would mark a return to traditional forms and materials while attaining high levels of design quality, comfort and sustainability,” says Stefan Rier, one of the founders of the practice. “The Alpine environment is a complex system that must be understood and respected. To experience it to the full, we believe it is important to create new human-scale spaces that are comfortable, welcoming and above all unique and authentic.”
Unique and authentic are adjectives that certainly apply to Rifugio Zallinger in terms of both its overall concept and individual details. The original settlement consisted of a central building surrounded by seven barns and a small church. In the late nineteenth century, the barns were demolished and a single large building constructed in their place. The restoration project by studio noa* recreated the historical structure by renovating the central building and constructing seven new chalets based on the original layout. The new units are clad with solid wood blocks in a highly distinctive alternation of solids and voids. Inspired by the structure of the old barns, the chalets have 24 rooms and feature a system of sliding wood panels that screen the windows looking out over the stunning Alpine scenery.
The central building houses the reception, the lounge and the restaurant, which at lunchtime also caters for skiers. Recreating the traditional atmosphere of the stube, the room where families used to gather around the wood-burning stove, it features wood-panelled walls, a large fireplace, and a huge spruce trunk counter in the bar area that establishes a connection with the surrounding nature. The spa, located in an independent building, is dominated by two large panoramic windows, one overlooking the valley and the other facing onto Sassopiatto.
While wood dominates in the rooms and lounge, in some areas combined with felt on the floor and in the accessories, the designers chose Marazzi’s Mystone Pietra di Vals for the busiest common areas such as the lobby, the restaurant and the spa, and for the bathroom areas which connect seamlessly with the bedrooms. This porcelain tile collection offers a highly realistic interpretation of the colours and surface veins of a rare quartzite quarried in the Canton of Grisons and combines the charm of natural stone with high levels of wear and weather resistance. Available in the three colours greige, anthracite and grey and the five sizes 60×120 cm, 30×120 cm, 75×75 cm, 60×60 cm and 30×60 cm (as well as 40×120 cm in a 2 cm thick version), it is suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor areas.

Ceramic surfaces
Marazzi Mystone Pietra di Vals
porcelain stoneware
60x120, 30x120, 75x75,60x60, 30x60cm, 40x120cm (2 cm spessore/thickness)

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