For many, the Alps belong to the imagination, the stuff of storybook legend — a magical land defined by natural beauty and quaint living. At the center of this fantasy is the region’s folk architecture, its bucolic cottages, rugged mountain huts and timeless alpine villages. There is truth to these visions. Yet this romance does not tell the whole story. There is more to life, and architecture, in the Alps. Those who live in the Alps are not stuck in time. Moreover, the mountain range, which sprawls into several nations, is home to many distinct cultures, and, as a result, many heterogeneous architectural styles. The following projects balance many interests, by moving architecture forward and providing their clients with modern conveniences, all while making structures practical to their environment and respectful of local traditions. The architects behind these projects not only succeed in meeting this complex criteria, but they manage to enhance the fantasy surrounding life in the Alps. The buildings on this list range from holiday homes to full-time residences to temporary lodging for mountaineers. Yet they are all united in their modern vision as well as the way they are carefully integrated with their surrounding environment. The projects ...
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