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Monte Rosa-Hütte near Zermatt
The two highest summits in the Swiss Alps, the Dufourspitze (4634 m) and the Matterhorn (4478 m) tower over the ski resort of Zermatt. The desert of ice and rock between them is one of the borderline regions for life on our planet – and at the same time one of the regions hardest hit by the effects of climate change. And it was here of all places that the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) and the ETH in Zurich decided in 2003 that a building was needed that would produce 90% of its own energy and offer its visitors the luxury of running water all the year round. The project was initiated on the occasion of the ETH’s 150th anniversary of its foundation, and the building was designed as part of a four-term “Studio Monte Rosa-Hütte” by architecture students working with experts from various colleges and research institutions, and finally realized by a general planning team under the direction of Bearth + Deplazes Architekten of Chur.