Project Information


  • Project Leader
    Dipl. Arch. (FH) Claudia Greussing
  • Cost Planning
    Bmst. Gerold Hämmerle
  • Building Site Manager
    Ernst Pfeifer
  • Builder-Owner
    Deutscher Alpenverein e.V. Sektion Neumarkt i.d.Opf., Neumarkt



    Project facts 592 m², GFA 677 m²,
    GBV 2.147 m³

    Text Otto Kapfinger / Hermann Kaufmann WOOD WORKS,
    Translation Bronwen Rolls

    Photo Hermann Kaufmann + Partner ZT GmbH

    Project Stakeholders
    • Structural Engineering
      merz kaufmann partner GmbH, Dornbirn
    • Heating Ventilation and Sanitary Planning
      Walter Ingenieure GmbH
    • Electronics Planning
      Walter Ingenieure GmbH

    Olpererhütte, Ginzling

    A mountain lodge located at 2400 meters constructed from 350 prefabricated timber parts, delivered by helicopter and erected in three days.

    For more than a hundred years a shelter had been standing at this exposed location high above the “Schlegeisspeicher” reservoir, opposite it the glaciers and the mountain tops of the Zillertal Alps. Since refurbishment of the old building was impossible, in 2005 the decision was made to build a new one. Our company principle of “innovation through reduction” is never more so reflected, than in this project.

    »The only indulgence is a gigantic panoramic window overlooking the valley. That is, after all why people come up here.«

    Best of Austria 2009

    Construction at great heights did, and still does, depend on the availability of transportation. The old hut was made of stones from the surrounding area. The transport of large quantities of construction material from the valley was not feasible in those days and the labour-intensive stone masonry was cheaper. Modern means of transportation, such as helicopters, have changed things. Prefabricated construction materials, together with the new possibilities provided by glue-laminated timber, allow for easy transport and furthermore they can be quickly assembled, which is an important aspect in high altitude construction. In addition, the physical qualities of timber allow for direct and optimal ecological construction. The glue-laminated timber panels have both load-bearing and insulation properties. Extra insulation, because the hut is only open in the summer, was not required. This pure timber structure without insulation materials, cladding etc. can, plainly speaking, just rot up there. Due to the harsh weather conditions, the shingled outer surfaces in a few years with weather and the timber will have entered into dialog with the surrounding world of stone.

    The hut has been deliberately been designed as a refuge and not as a hotel. It is a summer hut; the comfort is equal to the expectations for such a location. The entrance and bedrooms are unheated. The building utilities are limited to a minimum. A tiled stove and the waste heat of the photovoltaic and canola oil powered CHP used for water purification; both supply the building with heat.

    The motto of “innovation through reduction” is reflected in the typo-logical approach. A compact structure with a pitched roof, cantilevered over a retaining wall towards the reservoir, has replaced the old building. The concrete base, which has been clad with stone from the surrounding area, has been back filled with rubble from the demolition, the house itself consists of glue-laminated spruce timber. The outer walls of the ground floor act as support plates and are, in order to reduce the load on the cantilever, hinge jointed to the base. Mounted to these cantilevers is the large-format picture-window on the gable wall. Suspended from this is the floor plate of the restaurant. The bracing is provided by the floor plate and by the roof, which also acts as a foundation. A small, thermally insulated auxiliary building serves as winter shelter and accommodation for self-catering visitors.


    Project Details


    • Holzbaupreis Vorarlberg
      2009 (Auszeichnung)
    • best architects 09
      2008 (Auszeichnung)
    • Bauen im Hochgebirge
      ZN Z-146, Informationsdienst Holz, aktuell Dezember
    • Panorama
      ZN Z-154, DAV, Panorama, S. 96/97
    • Detail
      ZN Z-155, Detail, Serie 2008/6, Seite 615-619
    • Zukunft Hütte – der Ersatzbau der Olpererhütte
      ZN B-041, Alpenvereinsjahrbuch Berg 2007
    • Zuschnitt
      ZN Z-157, Zuschnitt, Nr. 30, 06/2008, S.22-23
    • Hochalpine Erholung
      ZN Z-160, Architektur, Nr. 07, 11/2008, S.52-57
    • Olperer Hütte
      ZN Z-163, Detail JAPAN, 08/2008, S.29-33
    • 125 Jahre Olpererhütte
      ZN Z-167, Festzeitschrift "125 Jahre Olpererhütte"
    • Olpererhütte, Zillertaler Alpen
      ZN B-044, best architects 09, S. 166-169
    • Olpererhütte – Sustainable Building
      ZN B-049, Gianluca Minguzzi, Architettura sostenibile, S. 21-26
    • Kompromisslos natürlich
      ZN Z-162, Kontur, Frühjahr 2009, S.32-33
    • Olpererhütte – sanfter Alpentourismus
      ZN Z-173, Ursula Baus, greenbuilding, 07-08/2009, S. 22
    • Olperer Hütte, Zillertaler Alpen
      ZN B-050, Marie-Hélène Contal, Jana Revedin, Sustainable Design, S. 70-75
    • Olpererhütte
      ZN B-056, Best of Austria, Architektur 2008_09, S. 71
    • Olperer Hütte – Niedrigenergie in großer Höhe
      ZN B-054, Ulrich Dangel, Nachhaltige Architektur in Vorarlberg, S. 48-55
    • Olpererhütte
      ZN Z-185, Kauppalehti Optio 19/2010, S. 96-97
    • Olpererhütte – Alpina Architektur und Tourismus
      ZN Z-189, Felizitas Romeiß-Stracke, Umrisse, Zeitschrift für Baukultur, 06/2010, S.10
    • Olperer Hütte
      ZN B-055, Form&Energie, Architektur in_aus Österreich, S.124
    • Olpererhütte
      ZN Z-218, Architettura alpina contemporanea, 2012, S.115
    • Olpererhütte
      ZN Z-209, Pro Holz (Holz zu Gast - Tourismus baut auf Holz),2012, S.18
    • Olpererhütte, Zillertaler Alpen
      ZN Z-271, best of Detail, Holz - Wood, 2014, S. 192-195
    • Olpererhütte
      ZN B-072, Architektur in Österreich im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert, S. 282