The Turin-based firm LEAPfactory has completed the new HQ for its ski and snowboard school in the Courmayeur ski region in the Italian Alps. The brief for the building was certainly demanding: it had to be easy to install and be made of recyclable materials, while still fulfilling the client's architectural expectations. All this was achieved in style.
Thanks to the LEAPs3 design system and the high degree of prefabrication, it took just one working week to install the ski school. In implementing the elegant timber structure, the planners used BauBuche for the first time, and they were duly impressed by this new material. They stated that in addition to the aesthetic quality of the colours and surface finishes, the other key factor in their choice of BauBuche was its high strength, which permits far more slender cross-sections than are possible with conventional laminated timber.
This saving in material was a major advantage when it came to transporting it to an altitude of 1700 m. While the glass facade had to be flown in by helicopter, the other components were brought to the Plan Checrouit by a four-wheel-drive truck.
Reflecting the LEAP philosophy perfectly, the complete structure stands on a minimalist foundation – a gravel-filled timber frame. This means that all the components of the project can be dismantled at any time and rebuilt at a different location – an important advance for alpine skiing. This sport adds to the choice of leisure activities and creates jobs. Unfortunately, it also frequently has a serious impact on the environment.
LEAPfactory's new Courmayeur ski and snowboard school is trying out a new approach which may help to redress the balance: comprising durable and efficient materials, this building uses no concrete or "rigid" parts. Everything is removable and recyclable.
LEAP's experience in projects at extreme heights played an important part in implementing this extremely innovative design system.