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Design contest launched for Slovakian mountain hut

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A design competition has opened for an iconic alpine shelter in the High Tatra mountains of Slovakia

The new £1.2 million rest facility for mountaineers, climbers and hikers will replace the historic Kežmarok cottage which burnt down in 1974.

The project will be 1,616 metres above sea level within the Biela Voda valley close to the Veľké Biele mountain lake where the High Tatras and Belianske Tatras meet.

The 300m² structure is expected to feature a common room with space for 70 people, a 12-seat dining room and ten deckchairs for sunbathing on a terrace outside. It will also include 32 beds and further accommodation for employees and porters.

Mountain huts providing food and shelter to travellers are an important part of the landscape in the Czech Republic and Slovakia where they are known as ‘chata’. During the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia the alpine shelters were key centres of alternative culture.

The competition organiser – Civic Association Kežmarská chata – is seeking an ‘original architectural masterpiece’ which will act as a ‘visual feature’ to raise public awareness of the mountain retreat.

The design must also be high-quality, economically efficient, energy-passive and ecologically suitable for its unique environment – according to the brief.

Competition judges will include Czech architect Ján Stempel and Slovak University of Technology architecture professor Ľubomír Závodný.

The winning team will be appointed to complete a zoning study for the project and subsequent design stages as required by local law.

Participants in the single-stage open anonymous contest must be registered as an architect or civil engineer within an EU member state. The competition language is Slovak but communication will also allowed in Czech and English.

The High Tatras are the only part of the Carpathian Mountains to feature an alpine habitat.

The mountain range borders northern Slovakia and Southern Poland with its highest peak at 2,655 metres in Slovakia.

The deadline for submissions is 2 June 2014

Visit the competition website for more information

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