At nearly 11,000 feet, Italy’s Dolomites mountain range offers visitors some of the most jaw-dropping views in all of Italy. To help capture this natural beauty — and complement it with a few dishes of exquisite Italian cuisine — European design firm Peter Pichler Architects built a beautifully designed restaurant right into the Dolomites cliffside.
Dubbed the Oberholz Mountain Hut, the architects desired to capture the raw splendor of the range’s habitat, designing a building that closely resembles a fallen tree, and the finished product is stunning.
To create the image of a fallen tree, the design firm, led by architect Pavol Mikolajcak, drew up the building to feature three splitting wings which fairly sprout from the original building. These separate branches each feature a giant floor-to-ceiling window granting diners a front row seat to the Dolomites’ surrounding mountain ranges. Additionally, the team designed each of the branching rooms to resemble huts found in the area, outfitting them with a sloped roof.
“The cantilevering structure grows out of the hill like a fallen tree with three main branches creating a symbiosis with the landscape,” the description reads on the Oberholz project page. “Each of them is facing towards the three most important surrounding mountains. At the end of each branch, a large glass facade frames the surrounding mountains from the interior of the hut.”
Inside, the team adorned the structural elements and much of the interior in spruce, which gives the building a particularly bright feel no matter the time of day. Furthermore, Peter Pichler Architects went with larch in the restaurant’s facade and built the entirety of the furniture in oak. The wood choices and firm notes are all indigenous to the surrounding area, which creates a “homogenous sculpture with local materials.”
Now open, the Oberholz Mountain Hut consists of a main restaurant and lounge, a bar area near the building’s entrance, and a beautifully placed outdoor terrace that seems perfectly suited for summer dining. In the winter, its proximity to a nearby ski slope makes it an especially attractive destination.