Alpine Research Center
By Anisha Kamat
Architecture Intermediate 5 | John Blood
The alpine research facility is a live-work research building that houses small teams of geologists and archaeologists who study the receding glaciers and climate change in the Otzal Alps and the ancient inhabitants and settlements in the region. The building is located on a ridge between the similaun peak and the similaun hut in front of a small lake, allowing for some accessibility through hiking trails while remaining private. The design logic of the building stems from an enclosed central core volume perched on the site wrapped around with an organic ribbon space containing private research facilities. These spaces allow for expansive views of the unique site conditions of the landscape, such as the receding glaciers, ridgeline, valley below, and mountainside. The panoramic linear view of the ribbon space serves as an ever-changing snapshot of the alpine ecosystem, connecting the past with the present and physically/ideologically uniting the archaeological and geological teams. The organic ribbon spaces intersect and dissolve the more regular central core creating a contrast between private vs. communal workspace and forming unique spatial qualities that separate work and living. The research facilities high off the ridge with the living spaces bridging the mountainside with the core, allowing the building to suspend as an observer of the dynamic alpine landscape.