This stunning alpine modular lodge is the creation of Italian design firm LEAPfactory. Dubbed LEAP (living ecological alpine pod) the modules are built entirely off-site, ready to be transported by helicopter to the summit of choice. Breaking away from traditional alpine structures, the pod is fitted with high-tech features and "at the end of its life cycle [it] can be lifted away by helicopter without leaving any permanent trace of its presence in the natural environment" says LEAPfactory.
The LEAP has been designed to accompany trekking and mountaineering activities, leaving little impact on the surrounding environment compared to traditional mountain shelters. The pods have been built with durability in mind and are able to withstand "all kinds of mechanical and atmospheric stress." Comprised of a composite shell exterior, the shelters are said to provide excellent thermal insulation. The interiors have been designed for comfort, whilst also taking into consideration materials preferable to hygiene, safety and fire resistance.
Each pod is comprised of four units that connect together to create the final structure. The entrance unit is fitted with a thermally isolated inner door, storage/drying rack and rescue equipment compartment, the kitchen unit features a pantry and cooker (electric induction hob), the sleeping unit has flexible bunks according to the number of guests, and the living room unit features a panoramic view with the ability to open onto the surrounding landscape.
An integrated technological apparatus is fitted to provide energy to the pod, utilizing photovoltaic film cells incorporated in the outer shell. The apparatus can also measure local weather conditions and perform self-diagnosis, whilst additionally being connected to the local rescue headquarters. There is a sanitary module, equipped with a biological toilet that disposes of all sewage without polluting the environment.
In the case of extreme damage, the module can easily be airlifted off-site for repairs.
Whilst the luxury of having an exclusive alpine lodge flown to a private destination may remain on most of our wish-lists, LEAPfactory does claim that "the overall cost is highly competitive with the traditional solutions." How much that is remains a mystery - as final prices are yet to be released.