noa* network of architecture, Ötzi Peak 3251m (Italy)
Photos: Alex Filz
At the top of the Schnals Valley glacier, at an elevation of more than 3,000 meters, an observation deck invites excursionists to climb and take in some breathtaking views of the Tyrolean Alps and abrupt landscape. Following the natural topography of the ridge, a light structure of CorTen steel is raised over the ground to cantilever towards the void. A parapet built with vertical metal lamellas slightly set apart from one another adapts to the sinuous perimeter of the deck, forming a sequence of opening and closing vistas that, as the visitor moves, reveals changing perspectives of the mountain range.
As a respite from the multiple views afforded by the panoramic platform, a CorTen volume offers shelter and frames the massif to direct the viewer’s gaze toward the spot where a prehistoric mummy popularly known as Ötzi was found in the ice. The renovated site incorporates the preexisting cross, but its landmark character is nuanced by the way in which the metallic elements will cede to the rigors of the climate and change in color tone to blend with the Alpine surroundings.
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