LEAPrus 3912 — Mount Elbrus, Russia
Close to the Georgian border, in a remote part of southern Russia, runs the formidable span of the Caucasus Mountains. In the centre of the range, topping nearly 6,000m is Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak. The fifth member of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains in each of the continents), it is notorious for its extreme climatic conditions. Yet, perched atop the southern side of this peak, is a new eco-hotel. Determined on minimal environmental impact, the North Caucasus Mountain Club (NCMC) enlisted Italian architects LEAPfactory, who specialise in high-altitude design solutions, for this project. The result includes a purification system that uses melted snow to supply the bathroom areas with water. Fashioned from resin and fibreglass, the three cylinder-shaped units house communal bedrooms, a restaurant, lounge areas, a reception point and staff accommodation, while the remaining building houses the toilets, showers and biological depurifiers.