Himalayan Mountain Hut
Competition 2015 Himalaya Nepal
The New Mountain Hut is an elemental assemblage of stone and wood rising out of the mountain floor. Dressed in the hight altitude materials of place the hut will blend naturally into its settings. A primitive cairn offering explorers shelter in the shadow of the Himalayas. Through a thoughtful selection process, materials from Nepal’s Terai, Hill and Mountain regions are brought to the site on the backs of Nepalese porters and yaks. Taking the phyical demands of transporation into consideration the weight of the material corresponds to the distance it must travel to the site. The heavier the material the closer it is sourced from the site. Acknowledging size restriction for material trasport, a shallow grid spacing of 2.7m was selected for the building layout.
The width of the stucture is based upon the 3m program space and a 1.5m corridor. Program is grouped per floor and occilates back and forth redirecting visitors to vistas on either side of the Mountain Hut. The cross sectional development of the project took its inspiration from the formal lanuage of the Stupas of the region. The outline of which defines the 5 natural elements in Buddism - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. The construction language for the Mountain House was inspired by Philip Deidesheimer’s Square Set Timbering diagram he developed for the Comstock Mine in Nevada, USA.
Merging wood and stone together Deidesheimer was able to create sophisticated voids in the mountain. The huts construction vocabulary will be similar however it relies on through bolted lapped joints, used in wood trestle construction. These joints are more forgiving and easier to assemble.
Using the climbing piton as inspiration a shear anchor/ connector plate was developed to help create wood to wood connections while also wedging itself into the gabion wall for additional shear support. A series of steel rods, running the full height of the wall and joined together with turnbuckles, will post tension the gabion wall. Provideing the necessary lateral support from any seismic activity or lateral thrust from rock slides and avalanches.