The need for contact with nature and escape from everyday life are pushing in the direction of ideal isolation, perhaps in a small and welcoming mountain house. We asked NOA architects how to make the dream real

The #cabins and #tinyhouse topics on Instagram are among the most clicked in the world. Scroll through the images of the small cabins immersed in nature for those who are looking for concrete inspiration for renting or furnishing a house in the mountains, and for those who just need an imaginary break outside the walls of offices or city apartments.

Far from the daily pressure, surrounded by uncontaminated nature, in a forest or overlooking a fjord and comforted by warm and simple furnishings. Is it possible to make this need real? We asked the architects of NOA given their decades of experience inarchitecture mountain.

What do you suggest to those who want to create environments inspired by mountain huts?

Barbara Runggatscher, NOA partner and head of the interior design department, answers us: “We think first of all about the characteristics of the environments from which to draw inspiration: there it is an essential architectural component common to huts and cabins, i.e. the contained size of the spaces.

To obtain that sense of intimacy it is very important that the rooms are small; The rooms created in the attic as well as the duplex/maisonette spaces are potentially excellent.

From a furnishing point of view, we believe the reading niches created, for example, in place of the window sills, or near the fireplace, work very well, while the large ones are not suitable for this purpose. open-space with modular maxi-sofas. The cocooning effect is guaranteed when you are physically surrounded by a (small) seat.

Another precaution is to integrate as much greenery as possible inside the apartment: enriching the spaces with plants and vases brings both physical and psychological benefits to the environment. Finally, a note on light: it must be very well dosed, soft, warm. The mountain huts were lit only with candles, the light was little. It is a condition that already places the mind in a state of rest and relaxation.”

Are there materials, finishes and colors more suitable than others?

Barbara Runggatscher: “As far as materials are concerned, natural ones are preferable, primarily wood and stone. In our Alpine hospitality projects we make abundant use of wood in the interiors, also using it for boiserie and moldings that recall historic seats and ceilings in a contemporary key.

Even the use of patterns, always redesigned in a contemporary key, helps to establish a link with tradition and at the same time give dynamism to the interiors (an example could be the Gfell hospitality project in Fiè allo Sciliar (BZ).

Stone, in addition to being an extremely varied material in terms of colors and finishes, can also be used for various uses, not just cladding. For example, for the Olympic Hotel project, in Val di Fassa, the sinks in the new rooms are made of stone, as are the fountains inside the rooms dedicated to 'water element.

As regards the colours, we recommend preferring dusty and desaturated colours: the possibility of creating single-colour spaces is an interesting proposal to give a touch of contemporary hospitality to the spaces.”

And furnishings or accessories or fabric that are particularly functional to this desire?

Barbara Runggatscher: "The fabrics must be heavy, tactile. When we think of mountain huts and cabins, the association goes to the Alpine world, at temperatures that are at least cool. The carpets of the mountain huts are Once they were cleaned by pressing them on the fresh snow.

Today things are no longer like this but the strong, warm and materiality of wool is the right fabric for warm and welcoming interiors. Another furnishing object to include in the home could be the vintage piece, an antique object, even better if coming from the family archive, which brings added value and a delicate nostalgia to the rooms.

It can be an old chair, a lamp, but also crockery or cutlery... Finally, there is an architectural element that par excellence spreads heat in the room: the fireplace. If possible, having it at home means ensuring a unique atmosphere as well as adding a further sensorial level to the space: the smell.

The scent of wood in the room gives a unique predisposition to relaxation, and, based on each person's individual memory, awakens memories of distant holidays."

An example of your private projects to take inspiration from?

Barbara Runggatscher: "It's a project for which we are currently in the concept design phase, but which seems particularly in tune with this idea of seeking contact with nature: it's the Colorado Villa project.

All the rooms of the villa are designed to relate to the outside, the windows are large, the rooms are divided into smaller spaces through differences in the levels of the ground, the rock of the natural boulders enters as an element of furniture in the room, wood is omnipresent".

And one of hospitality where you can take refuge when you actually manage to go to the mountains?

Barbara Runggatscher: "The new suites of the Olympic Hotel, in Val di Fassa. It is a project inspired by the Ladin culture of Fassa and nature, where the new rooms adopt the name of the natural element that shapes the interior design: Te Bosch, dedicated to the forest, and Te Aga, dedicated to water.

The silhouette of the roof, inspired by the profile of the mountains, the A-Frame of the Natural Spa Chalet, which perfectly frames the Sass da le Doudesc peak, the outdoor day-bed, are all elements that they are part of an interior project aimed at reconnecting the guest with nature.