THE NEWLY BUILT mountain station at the peak of Caltun in Romania has to tolerate serious stresses; it stands at 2,100 metres, where winds can reach 45 metres per second. It is also designed to take snow loads of two tonnes per square metre. The material is CLT (Cross Laminated Timber), which is clad externally with sheet aluminium. There were many reasons for the material choice: as well as keeping the cost down, CLT is low in weight in relation to its load-bearing capacity – good news for the construction team that had to lug all the material up to the site themselves. The heaviest elements, however, had to be flown in by helicopter. The fact that a surface of pure wood feels great and smells good was also a factor, stresses Marius Miclaus of architectural practice Archeus, who was responsible for the project.
Around 20 mountain climbers can squeeze together in the 35 square metre space. The standard is the simplest possible, with bunks over two levels, where you can roll out your own sleeping bag. A solar panel on the roof provides power for the lighting. The only daylight enters via the “chimney”.«