In 1938, Charlotte Perriand designed an idiosyncratic inhabitable capsule called the Refuge Tonneau with the help of Pierre Jeanneret. Inspired by her own mountaineering hobby, Perriand devised the lightweight structure to withstand the robust winds common at high altitudes. The one-off design, built and exhibited by Cassina at Salone in 2012, resembles a space shuttle with its aluminum-paneled, 12-sided exterior, though its homey interior fits right into the Alps-cabin mode: Four single beds are attached to pine-clad walls with leather straps and can fold down for seating during the day; two double beds on the mezzanine level bring the shelter’s sleeping capacity to eight. The miniscule but efficient kitchen includes a steel washbasin (where snow can be melted for water) and crannies for storing a camping stove, backpacks, and ski equipment.
Kelsey Keith has written about design, art, and architecture for a variety of print and online publications.