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Bivouac Fanton
Photograph: Iwan Baan

This hidden hiking hut looks like something straight out of ‘Dune’

Some 2,600 metres up, Bivouac Fanton offers shelter to brave explorers of Italy’s Dolomites

Written by
Ed Cunningham
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Looking at pictures of the Bivouac Fanton, you might assume it’s something out of Dune. It’s sleek and simple but obviously very, very modern. The physics seem improbable – to say the least – and the above-the-clouds backdrop is staggeringly cinematic. The whole thing has a distinct air of otherworldly sci-fi. 

But the Bivouac Fanton isn’t from Dune. Some 2,670 meters up in the Italian Dolomites, it’s a shelter designed to protect hikers traipsing through the area’s famously inaccessible terrain.

Bivouac Fanton
Photograph: Iwan Baan

Studio Demogo, the Italian architecture firm responsible for the Bivouac Fanton, describes the cabin’s vibe with impeccable phrasing: ‘Unstable equilibrium.’ And I mean, just look at it. The thing looks like it could go sliding off down the mountainside at any moment. But obviously it won’t. The idea is that it’ll provide vertigo-inducing views down the mountainside but also feel homely and – crucially – safe. Here’s what it’s like inside.

Bivouac Fanton
Photograph: Iwan Baan

The interior is wooden and warm – in stark contrast with the rugged exterior and alien extremes outside. Designed as the perfect base for hiking expeditions across the harsh Dolomites, the bivouac has space for 12 bunks, each with its own storage space.

So if you saw the blustery desert planet of Arrakis in Dune and found yourself longing for a similarly unrelenting landscape, head to the Dolomites. The Bivouac Fanton is open to hikers now.

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