vigilius mountain resort - a mountain hotel based on the ‘eco not ego’ principle


Project description:

Designing a mountain hotel in South Tyrol on the car-free Vigiljoch requires caution and respect. Architect Matteo Thun solved this major task according to Ulrich Ladurner's vision with the clear principle of ‘eco not ego’: the vigilius mountain resort was to become a refuge in which nature - and not man as ‘creator’ - realises itself. Wood and large expanses of glass are the building elements of this first Klimahaus A hotel in Italy, in which the outside and the inside merge successfully. A pleasant symbiosis of modern design and cosiness.

The building rests on the ground of the mountain ridge like a large tree trunk. This effect is further emphasised by the strongly horizontal wooden slat structure of the façade. While the basement is traditionally built, the open structure (the two upper storeys) is a timber construction. Only triple-glazed thermal insulation windows were used for the glazing throughout the resort. The flat roof is insulated to a high standard and has an additional layer of humus for the greenery.

The high thermal quality of the building envelope and construction ensures a very low heating requirement despite the exposed location. Overheating in summer is prevented by suitable solar shading (wooden louvre structure), storage masses and free ventilation options. An airtight design prevents draughts.

The predominant materials are wood (larch wood), glass, stone (Silberquarzit) and clay. The wood is untreated on the outside and natural on the inside. So much wood could easily create a rustic impression, but the design language throughout the resort is clear and unobtrusive.

A low-energy concept specially tailored to the location, construction and materials is unrivalled in the hotel industry and is also forward-looking for the architecture of the 21st century, where energy consumption is an increasingly serious aspect in the planning of buildings.

The fuel used to generate heat is not oil or gas, but biomass. The wood chips required for this come from mountain farmers in the immediate vicinity, guaranteeing them a secure sideline.



  • 2005 Climate House A
  • 2005 WWF Association ‘Panda d'Oro’
  • 2006 Award Legambiente/Regione Lombardia
  • 2010 ISO 14001 and ‘KlimaHotel’ certificate
  • 2016 Lignius Award
  • 2021-2023 Earth Check Gold Award


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