Monolith on the Mountain
Bivak Pavla Kemperla, a black beacon for mountaineers in the rugged landscape of the Slovenian Alps, was designed by Slovenian architect and alpinist Miha Kajzelj of the firm MODULAR arhitekti in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Situated at 2104 meters (6903 feet) above sea level in the Kamnik Alps north of Ljubljana, the bivouac under Grintovec was built in 2009 to replace an old shelter that stood there since 1973. The three-level structure is built on a concrete base. The long, vertical windows maximize the magnificent mountain views.
Its outer skin, made of aluminum isolating panels, is designed to prevent loss of the heat produced by the people inside. The inner skin is made of perforated wooden panels designed to wick body moisture out; so the interior always feels dry and warm. As a result of the vertical three-level concept, the upper sleeping level is warm, as the heat from below rises up.
The tiny, simple volume—2 × 3 × 4.5 meters (6.6 x 9.8 x 14.8 feet)—sleeps eight people.
Bivak Pavla Kemperla is dedicated to Pavle Kemperle, a Slovenian alpinist.
Photographer Jaka Bulc (@jakabulc) discovered the bivouac for us with his lens
He writes about his experience:
The first part of the marked trail to this bivouac is usually very crowded, since it leads to a popular mountain hut on the Kokra Saddle and then onwards to Grintovec, one of Slovenia's most frequently visited mountains.
The trail to the bivouac gradually veers off and goes through an interesting passage to a scenic path that winds its way across the steep rocky slopes of Grintovec. We reached the bivouac late in the afternoon and bumped into two other hikers, who were just getting ready to summit a couple of nearby peaks.
The monolithic building gives the impression of being sheltered by the natural amphitheatre of rock walls, although the bivouac sits on a knoll that gently rises over the surrounding landscape. △