There are more reasons to climb a mountain than to hike or ski — these days architects are scaling great heights to offer a quiet respite among the clouds. The New East is no exception: with spectacular mountain ranges from the Carpathians and the Caucasus to the Urals and Altai or the Tian Shan and the Pamirs in Central Asia, it’s also home to some of the most innovative examples of alpine architecture, including Europe’s highest hotel. LEAPrus 3912 sits atop Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus mountain range. Designed by Italian alpine pod specialists The Leap Factory, it contains enough space to sleep 46 people, as well as a kitchen, a restaurant, a living area and separate accommodation for the staff — all with the benefits of heated floors and a biological de-purifier. For a luxury experience, Georgia’s new boutique Quadrum Ski and Yoga resort, constructed entirely out of shipping containers, will satisfy winter sports enthusiasts and architecture buffs alike.
Mountaineers who are after a little bit more privacy can opt for the three-floored Bivak pod Grintovcem, designed by Miha Kajzelj, in Slovenia’s Kamnik Alps. The New East’s smallest alpine retreat, measuring only 9.7 square metres, is located on the Slovenian-Italian border, and had to be helicoptered into its precarious mountain-top position.
Text: Liza Premiyak
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