As a self proclaimed, Housing Aficionado, i’m always on the prowl for pristine, scalable and simple housing solutions that could be applicable to the Nigerian context and create relatively more affordable housing options. One of the many I’ve come across in my time is the 6 x 11 Alpine Hut by OFIS Architecture, which as the name implies is 6 x 11 metres in size.
The 3 Bedroom ‘Hut’ as it is called, sits in a small Apline Village of Stara Fuzina, part of the Triglav National Park.in Slovenia which has very strict rules concerning architectural design and construction. With a somewhat uniform aesthetic within the area, the challenge was in keeping with the basic construction permits for a traditional Slovenian Alpine Hut, but changing the elements of design to suit the client family. This involved positioning openings to maximise views and increasing the sustainability of the home to create a contemporary version of the permitted Design within the same dimensions and using the same materials.
Traditional Slovenian Huts
With such a small volume, the interior space planning needed to be intelligent and practical. Not a problem for OFIS. The ground floor takes an open plan approach with seating for the living area along the perimeter walls, which features a large but sleek corner window, providing more the enough heat during the winter. Also along the perimeter wall is the kitchen and guest loo. A space saving staircase right beside the front door, allows for vertical transition without interfering with the activities on the ground. The focal point of the entire floor would be the dining table that sits comfortably in a seemingly spacious living area. Going up, we find 3 good sized bedrooms, that could easily be cross ventilated, but owing the temperate climate of the region, one window per room is enough. A very spacious bath with sauna also features on the slightly cantilevered first floor, making for a very effective and cute home.
On the outside, we find a traditional stone and wood facade, slightly updated. Boulder like stone adorns the walls on the ground with slim wood cladding enveloping the rest of the facade. Extra thermal insulation sits between this cladding on the inside and out, with ‘black foil’ placed behind it to absorb heat and pass it on through the walls. The cantilever from the upper floor, and deep roof overhang provides shade and protection from the summer sun, while rainwater is collected of the steep 42 degree roof slope and transported via vertical pipes embedded in wooden beams.
Though the Hut cost 150 000 EURO to construct (finishes, fittings and furnishings et al), which is almost N 32 000 000, I believe with a bit of ingenuity and innovation such a simple and practical design could easily be adapted and constructed here for far less to create something of appreciable quality with relatively little expense.