The extreme climatic conditions of the North are a challenge for architects and require incisive designs that consider irregular loading from strong winds, heavy snowfalls, avalanche risk zones, and extreme cold. These phenomena are often sudden and unpredictable. Risk of severe weather increases the exposure of human habitation to the elements. Habitations in such environments, in particular, must achieve self-sufficiency in order to decrease dependency on external infrastructure networks that can be severed during periods of harsh weather. In addition, as supplying materials to inaccessible, remote terrains is difficult, prefabrication and economical construction seems very suitable in this respect. The existing dichotomy between vernacular traditions and the latest innovations in building technology provides room for designing comfortable environments for living in the most severe weather conditions and remote locations. When the elements are extreme, it is vital to design buildings and objects attuned to the surrounding natural environment. Architectural design must consider structural, environmental, and planning restrictions and also take advantage of new cross-disciplinary tools that can help to inform comprehensive solutions to complex design challenges. As there are often in temporary shortages of essential services for mountain dwellings, for example power shortages and transport routes cut off, the design of remote settlements focus on self-sufficiency and supplementary, backup energy systems. In this respect, many vernacular building traditions can serve as a reference.
Layout and design
OFIS arhitekti, Roberta Elena Gravina
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