Bachledka Ski blends into the Slovakian mountainside thanks to thoughtful design from Compass Architekti

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The Bachledka Summit Facilities sit high in the picturesque Slovakian mountains. The facilities provide seasonal activities, from skiing to hiking and biking trails, and even offer The Treetop Walk, a sightseeing route that shows off the incredible landscape. To facilitate all of these activities, the Bachledka Summit Facilities designed by Compass Architekti blends right into the mountain for a beautiful, accessible mountaintop retreat.

The natural surroundings are a focal point of Bachledka Ski’s design and motivate most of the architectural choices because Bachledka Ski’s offerings revolve around being in and around nature. “The goal was to create a building with minimal impact to the surrounding environment and long-lasting structure,” says Compass Architekti’s Roman Janata. “The major success is that we managed to hide a significant volume of facilities in the natural environment.”

See Also: Kilkea is a Home Inspired by Nature

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The building is embedded into the southern slope of the mountain and blends into the mountainside with a green, sloped roof at the level of the hill plateau to achieve this effect. No trees were uprooted during the construction process, and today the building peeks out of its snowy surroundings and reflects the sky to feel like part of the mountain itself.

An exterior staircase with a traversing ramp connects the levels and spaces while continuing to minimize the footprint of the building: mainly, providing barrier-free access from the upper plateau to the restaurant’s lower level and to the Treetop Walk entrance. Because the so-called “rampstairs” are shortened, the roof-plateau slopes down to it and the interior ceiling breaks and slopes to reflect this merging of terrain and pedestrian walkways. The rampstairs’ design repeats to minimize the number of prefabricated concrete parts used in the solution.

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Inside the building, the aim to create a lasting structure capable of enduring alpine conditions greatly influenced the structural design. Concrete is the main structural material, ensuring the facility’s longevity, while the flexible skeleton of the building includes large spaces that may be adapted to a new purpose to allow for long-term use of the structure. On the facade, spanning windows provide stunning views and light for those who use the space as it is today: diners in the restaurant and occupants in the facility’s three apartments.

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The building’s interior maintains the emphasis on the outdoor surroundings. “It was important to choose the right materials with an emphasis on locality, fusion with the surrounding nature, and durability with respect to skiers,” Janata says. “The main materials in the interior are spruce boards for wall claddings and screens, exposed concrete for the load bearing structures, and durable carpet for ski boots.” In addition to the locally sourced spruce boards that make up the complex formwork of the ceiling, walls, and toilet partition walls, birch trunks and nets form an indoor play space underneath the ramps that imitates the forests outside.

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The facility’s three apartments can serve as additional space for events or as exclusive alpine accommodation. The apartments are nearly identical, each with a living room, kitchenette, bathroom, two double bedrooms, and a walk-in closet with an additional mezzanine bed accessible by ladder. Connecting the apartments and offering access to the rest of the facility, a multipurpose room can become an environmental classroom or conference room in addition to a general space for relaxation.

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The facility can see as many as 6,000 daily visitors who may stay in the alpine suites or simply enjoy a day trip complete with a visit to the cafe and/or restaurant, and maybe even a jaunt down to the souvenir shop on the way out. Between hiking, biking, sightseeing, and skiing, guests find ample outdoor and indoor seating to enjoy the summit and relax in the natural splendor.


Project:Bachledka Ski
Location: Ždiar, Slovakia
Completion: December 2019
Size: 2275 square meters
Lead Architect: Compass Architekti
Restaurant Interior Construction: Inar
Statics: Polivka, Hörmann & Partnersero Studio
Learn more about Compass Architekti and read more gb&d commercial architecture stories.