Ross Lovegrove's Alpine Capsule

Ross lovegrove's latest alpine capsule
(Image credit: Ross Lovegrove)

After a bout of radio silence, Ross Lovegrove (opens in new tab) makes a welcome return to the world of conceptual design with his latest project, the Alpine Capsule.

The capsule – designed for one-night stays – is audacious not so much for its visual reference to Anish Kapoor, but for its, literally, breathtaking location 2,100m above sea level in Piz la Ila in Italy’s Alta Badia region.

Encased in acrylic and a special mirror finish, the 8m-diameter dome will – thanks to solar technology and wind turbines – be entirely weather controlled and energy independent, offering overnight guests a cosy wraparound view of the Dolomites.

Construction on the capsule is due to commence in 2010, though other details (such as cost, completion date or even the mode of transportation to the top) remain sketchy. But for those of us who are already inspired to take in an alpine view or two, here are our favourite spots in which to whet the appetite while waiting for Mr Lovegrove’s silvery folly.

Aurland Lookout, Norway

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Aurland Lookout, Norway (opens in new tab)

Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen’s extraordinary 30m long lookout platform is set 600m above Aurland Fjord. Only a glass barrier stands between visitors and the void at the end of the lookout. (opens in new tab)

SkiHaus, various location across the Swiss Alps

(Image credit: press)

SkiHaus, various location across the Swiss Alps (opens in new tab)

Richard Horden’s lightweight aluminium alpine hut predates Lovegrove’s bubble by two decades. Dropped into place by helicoptor. the mobile, fully insulated SkiHaus is powered by sun and wind, making it a favourite of mountain climbers and skiers. (opens in new tab)

Niesen restaurant, Switzerland

(Image credit: press)

Niesen restaurant, Switzerland (opens in new tab)

Architects Aebi & Vincent’s renovations for the Niesen take full advantage of the restaurant’s Swiss Alps setting. Weather permitting, the verandahs and generously proportioned timber deck offer giddy mountain views to go with your fondue and Raclette. (opens in new tab)

Tyrol, Austria

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Top of Tyrol, Austria (opens in new tab)

Innsbruck firm Astearchitecture carefully balanced a perforated platform literally over the edge of the Mount Isidor glacier. The experience is a fluid sculpture that is both beautiful and yet terrifyingly exhilarating to experience. (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).