Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
Shelter in the Zsil Valley
High Mountain Shelter in the Wilderness
For the location of designing my masterwork, I selected the Zsil Valley National Park in the Southern Carpathians, Romania.
In my design, I created a "trekking centre" that is located at the centre of the hiking trails starting from here and at the departure and arrival points for rafting on the river Zsil. I suppose that the economic, social and architectural negligence that is typical of the countryside, as well as the accumulation of waste and rubbish in the river and along its banks, would involve the people visiting the area, including those who spend a long time there, in the development of the countryside, in cleaning up nature and in maintaining its cleanliness and unspoilt nature.
In my thesis, I analyse the theoretical background and practical methods of the culture associated with building high mountain shelters, from the aspect of the sustainable relationship developed between humans and nature. Experiencing bare necessities may be the introduction to a change in approach which is a vital element of leading a sustainable lifestyle. From my perspective, an alpine refuge – providing shelter and a possibility to rest, while being in the wilderness with minimal architectural interference – can establish a “pristine” coexistence between man and nature and form a “low maintenance mindset” that can be transported back to urban environments. My hypothesis is based on and proved by the case studies of high-altitude refuges that have been protagonists of articles published in the sphere of architecture – thanks to their innovative and exemplary solutions. My goal is to explore the possibility of using architecture to emphasize being in nature. I believe that the principles that are valid in mountainous habitats can also be applied to urban environments.