Little Italian Chalet Looks Like a UFO, but a Benevolent One

Know any aliens looking for a new ski house?

August 1, 2018 9:00 am

“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”

That’s Linus waxing on Charlie Brown’s seen-better-days Christmas tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas … with an observation that extends well past the month of December.

Anyone hiking in Brunico, Italy (way up on the border with Austria) as recently as a couple years ago, might have come across similarly sad, oddly shaped wooden house, seemingly left to fight off the onslaught of wildnerness around it. The home was a creation of Innsbruck-based architect Josef Lackner for a family by the name of Gasteiger, and in the early 1970s, was an architectural triumph — a five-side prism balancing on six concrete pillars, resembling a winged-UFO.

But what the years took away from Lackner’s inspired dwelling, leaving it as forlorn as Charlie Brown’s tree,  local architect Stefan Hitthaler has recently added back, and then some. Hitthaler maintained the original home’s aesthetically pleasing interior — beds spaced evenly against walls, fireplace bisecting the room right down the middle — but added a slew of modern conveniences, including thermal insulation, heated floors, more windows, LED lights, and a fresh shower and toilet. He also built a larch wood balcony, giving the holiday home some much-needed extra space.

ufo (6 images)

The result is a gentle mix of simple and zany, of creature comforts and architectural legacy. And bringing it all home? The entrance. It’s a steel access ladder that opens down like a chute … meant to play on that whole UFOs-sucking-up-earthlings thing. Talk about dishing out a little love.

Find more information on Hitthaler’s firm here.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.