Refuge Gervasutti is the first alpine refuge of the latest generation. It provides the optimal combination of comfort, safety and respect for the environment. Gervasutti was installed in mid October 2011 by freight helicopter in Courmayeur (IT) on the Freboudze Glacier, in front of the spectacular East Face of the Grandes Jorasses of the Mont Blanc Range. The hut is now ready for use by mountaineers and climbers.
The Gervasutti Refuge was commissioned by CAI Torino, the Italian Alpine Club. Under the guidance of SUCAI the subsection of CAI Torino and the Ski Mountaineering School, the project was realized thanks to the works team coordinated by the LEAPfactory project managers Luca Gentilcore and Stefano Testa.
The refuge represents the pinnacle of achievement of LEAPfactory, an Italian Company that designs, creates and produces modular structures which have minimal impact on the environment.
Completion of the Gervasutti Refuge is a great achievement in that the materials used are of a high standard and use sophisticated technology capable of handling the problems of extreme temperatures and the difficulties of installation given the altitude and the position in the midst of a glacier.
Each module is entirely prefabricated, from the outer protective shell to the interior fittings. All the modules were transported by helicopter thanks to their light weight and assembled on site in just a few hours.
The modules’ particular design means that they can be planned and constructed based on the specific requirements and can be customized depending on the location where they are to be positioned in order to make them in keeping with the surrounding environment.
The modular structure is an ideal way to solve the specific requirements of any particular location and it allows for future expansion and the replacement of damaged parts over the life of the module.
The living area is lit in the daytime by a big panoramic window facing towards the valley and it contains a kitchen, a table, and seating. The sleeping area is equipped with bunk beds and gear storage.
The comfortable wooden interior finish recalls a traditional mountain hut and is intended to make a stay in the LEAP module a pleasing and relaxing experience.
Gervasutti hut’s integrated monitoring station provides instant information on the interior comfort and the outdoor weather conditions and processes data which can be distributed via the web. The total electrical requirements are provided by the photovoltaic panels integrated in the outer shell.
Exterior colors of the hut are easily recognizable at a distance: an important reference point for mountaineers. The outer textural design is inspired by the shaved straight stitch of mountain pullovers to evoke warmth and comfort.
Owner: Italian Alpine Club CAI Turin
Promoted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the SUCAI Ski Mountaineering School
Cost 250,000 euros (Total budget)
Design phase Sept. 2009 – Dec 2010
Construction phase May 2011 – Oct 20100
30 square metres of usable space
6 contact points with the ground
2500 kg total weight
12 bed spaces
2.5 Kwh of solar energy produced
2 days to install unit