it  .  de  .  en
 
 
 
 
Themes:     Nature & Environment (34)    Opinions & Politics (21)  
Tags:    Architecture     Landscapes     Nature     Tourism
 
FB
Franco Brevini Wednesday, 19 December 2012

About that subject which Michl Costa calls "porno-Alpine’ style"

The recent building of a series of futuristic mountain refuges in the Alps, the first one being the one on Mont Blanc at Aiguille du Gôuter, has given rise to discussions about the architectural characteristics of these constructions which are especially dear to mountaineers. Huts or spaceships, reflective facades and eco-organic materials, or stone and wood, tradition or hi-tech?
 
 
22/05/2012 from “Corriere della Sera”
However, this debate, in which I also took part in the pages of this newspaper, is in danger of concentrating on just a few isolated cases of architectural futurism, while neglecting a trend on a quite different scale that is much greater and has a much wider impact, concerning the whole Alpine chain. I am talking about the tendency to transform mountain refuges into hotels. It can be seen in two ways: firstly, by reducing – and even eliminating – all the hard work of arriving there on foot, and secondly, by increasing the level of comfort in the huts, with the offer of services typical of hotel accommodation. Aided by physical geography, by traffic circulation through mountain passes and by the ski-lift network, the phenomenon has by now become widespread in the Dolomites. Refuges with wellness centres, hotel rooms, glossy brochures, fireplaces with electric fires, and dishes prepared by masterchefs comprise the product offered to people who have little to do with mountain life. And these people, in fact, reach these facilities - which can now define themselves, to all intents and purposes, as high altitude hotels - using all possible means of transport, except for their own two feet.
This trend actually takes on a different guise in the Alps: for example, the Orobian Alps seem to me to be mainly protected from this danger, both because of their impervious physical geography and because of the small numbers of people who go there. But this is not the problem. In the Orobian Alps, as on the whole Alpine chain, what matters is to clarify what one wants to achieve and where one wants to go. I do not mean to be a draconian scourge of creature comforts, nor do I believe that mountain life must mean suffering and asceticism. What we have to make up our minds about, however, is what a mountain refuge is: a foothold from which to start off to tackle the high peaks, or a hotel for an unusual holiday? This is not an idle question, because the answer will reveal the style, the atmosphere to be breathed in, and finally the use to which that building will be put. For example, is it better to invest in led displays and a music amplifying system on the terrace, or in locally-sourced products from the valley below?
Recently, while debating the problem in the newspaper Alto Adige, Michil Costa, the ecologist and restaurateur from Val Badia, rightly linked this to another very lively debate taking place in the Trentino-Alto Adige region: the one concerning the architecture of mountain hotels. Here, too, there is a dilemma between Disney-type constructions, all turrets and chalets, and the recommended sobriety of the huts and haylofts of traditional mountain buildings. What Michil Costa calls “Pornoalpine style” implies a view of the mountains as a branch of the town, where the habits, lifestyles and values that are all the rage down on the plain can be replicated in a way that is more or less preposterous. However, if we leave the lowlands to take a recreational break in the mountains, we do it because we are attracted by the beauty of the Alpine natural surroundings, which suffice in themselves: they do not need to be “improved”; they are ancient and everlasting. You just have to open your eyes and your lungs, and the rest comes naturally.
 
 
 
Share your thoughts with us
 
 
 
to the top
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Share your thoughts with us
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
to the top
 
 
 
 
Stories you might also be interested in...
 
 
Michil Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Cheeseburger & Cola
 
The ethical rationalism of Democrito has led me to reflect on how the thought ...
Read on
Alta Badia     Thoughts     Tourism
 
 
 
Michil Friday, 1 October 2010
A violation of nature is in act
 
The Provincial goverment of Bolzano has authorized a new access road.
Read on
Dolomites     Landscapes     Nature
 
 
 
Michil Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Hands off Aurino!
 
I have been following with particular interest in these recent days the new ...
Read on
 
1 Comments on this story
Nature     South Tyrol     Water
 
 
 
 

 
 
Col Alt 105 str. - I-39033 Corvara (BZ) Alta Badia - Italy T. +39 0471 83 10 00      Fax +39 0471 83 65 68
Privacy     Credits     Click to pay    VAT No. 01231580216     Zeppelin Group - Internet Marketing