High altitude architecture

South Tyrol

The evolution of mountain architecture through the history of the Alpe di Tires hut.

At the end of World War II, the boys from the Seiser Alm were running away abroad because there were no jobs. Max Aichner, who was 20 years old at the time, however, did not want to leave; he loved these mountains too much. For a while, he was a porter for the Vajolet hut, then, with the money he earned from working the winter, he bought a 200 m² piece of land from the municipality and began to build his own hut. He did it himself, a little at a time. He used stones he found nearby as bricks, while the cement and lumber he brought up from the valley on his shoulders. He would leave from home by walking up and doing 1400 m of elevation gain each time. After six years, in 1963, the hut was ready.

This is the incipit of a long article, written and photographed for Stories to Live By (IDM), on the fascinating history of the Alpe di Tires mountain hut, built in the heart of the Schilliar Catinaccio group: from its inception in 1957 to its latest renovation by two architects, Paul Senoner and Lukas Tammerle, who won the Tourism section of the 2015 South Tyrol Architecture Prize for this project.