Apline Archipelagos

a typological study of mountaion huts conducted as a Branner Fellow at UC Berkeley

Mountain Huts (Cabanes, Rifugios, Hütten) are buildings located in the mountains, typically only accessible by foot, intended to provide food and shelter to mountain travellers. Mountain Huts are usually operated by an apline club and staffed by wardens.

Mountian Huts vary drasticly in scale, style and construction method. The specifics of each are determined by demand, the regional preferences and construction methods of the era constructed. Many include additions as demand increases.

While the Mountain Hut is seen as an isolated figure in the landscape, the typology is better understood as a network of interconnected nodes linked by hiking trails. The Huts are islands of civilation in the mountainous terrain, each not more than a days walk from the next. 

Hut networks can span mountain ranges, countries and continents. These vast networks require a complex organizational armature built over centuries with international cooperation.

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