Alpine Shelter ‘Bivak na Prehodavcih’ located in Triglav National Park

Alpine Shelter ‘Bivak na Prehodavcih’ located in Triglav National Park

Architects: Premica Architects
Location: Triglav National Park, Bohinjsko jezero, Slovenia
Year: 2013
Area: 420 ft²/ 39 m²
Photo courtesy: Anze Cokl

“World War 1 left countries devastated. After the signing of Treaty of Rapallo (1920) on a territory of the latter Yugoslavia, Italy started to build a huge alpine fortification system, which was an enormous engineering feat, consisting of supply roads and paths that led to high-alpine fortresses, outposts and other military infrastructure.


Nearly a century later, Premica Architects from Celje, Slovenia, turned the former shelter – bunker into an alpine shelter for mountaineers. The entire alpine bivouac stands on concrete foundations, on the remains of a former shelter. Supply roads and paths remain almost intact in places and serve as marked hiking paths nowadays. There are hundreds of (parts of) them remaining, offering relatively easy and safe access with even inclination to the high alpine world of this part of the Alps.


The entire bivouac was manufactured and preassembled in a workshop in the valley. The disassemblebled cross-laminated panels were then transported to the location by helicopter. To make transport possible, they were divided into 20 packages of similar weight.


The bivouac stands on concrete foundations, more specifically on the remains of a former bunker from WW1. Shelter features no running water or electricity apart small solar panel for a single wall-light inside. Toilet is a tiny separate building 50 m away.


Presenting the fundamental contrast between people’s needs and their relationship with nature, bivouacs address the surrounding terrain with understanding, which is of key significance in interventions into sensitive wild environments. On the one hand, the Prehodavci bivouac continues the tradition of light prefabricated alpine shelters, and on the other, it further develops it by exploring the boundaries of comfort.


Despite technological simplicity and robustness, the structure brings a touch of modernity and coziness into this alpine wilderness. Bivouacs address the fundamental gap between people’s needs and their attitude to nature through the understanding of the surrounding terrain, which is of key significance in interventions into sensitive wild environments.”

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