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International competition - New Kežmarská lodge /1. place/

Client: Kežmarská chata o.s.
Programme: mountain hut
Status: new house
Phase: competiotion
Usable area: 689m2
Dates: Draft 2014

The international architectural competition was aimed at designing a modern mountain hut, which would be the starting point on the way to the highest locations of the High Tatra Mountains. The cottage is to accommodate 40 guests and serve as a restaurant with a panoramic view of the landscape. The building site was selected in a location at the elevation of 1,615 m, in the vicinity of Velké Biele pleso (Great White Mountain Lake). This is a location of the original Cottage of Kežmarok, built in 1922, which burnt down in 1974. The location at the Biele pleso lake under the Kopské sedlo mountain saddle is distinctive for its harsh climate.

Our task was to design a building that would meet the most stringent environmental standards and be energy self-sufficient to the maximum possible extent.

The compact three-storey aerodynamic shape of the building is based on a spherical shape for its lowest thermal losses. With its skewed walls, the cottage resonates with the walls of nearby mountain peaks and forms a natural landmark of the landscape location, while also responding to wind flows, rainfalls and snowfalls. Its minimised floor plan area, combined with its aerodynamic shape, reduces the occurrence of snowdrifts around the building. South-facing façades are used for capturing the sunshine – both thermal energy through the glass façade and electrical energy through photovoltaic panels on the sloping roof. The structural frame of the cottage is designed out of wooden panels and beams, which also occur inside. The exterior of the building is enveloped by titanium-zinc sheet metal because of extreme weather.

The chosen design and proposed technologies are close to the passive energy building standard. 70-80% of its operation will be covered by solar energy, with the remainder to be supplied by a biomass cogeneration unit, a heat pump and an accumulated heat storage system.