The Italian Dolomites in the Alps are dotted with mountain buildings, a typical feature of the region. These buildings are rich in history. European Atlas project aims to preserve the Alpine heritage in collaboration with municipalities and architects.
One example of this rich history is a house built in 1819, one of the first civil constructions with electricity. Elmar Gruber and his family decided to restore it while preserving its identity and making it energy efficient. “We wanted to preserve – as much as possible – the character of this house,” Gruber explains. “On the windows, for example, we did an energy-efficient restoration, without compromising on the character they had before and the result is very successful. “We had some doubts about some things, but then we were amazed at what we could do.”
European Atlas has created a database on the historical buildings that can be restored and provides a guide to technical solutions and good practices, which are valuable for architects. Franziska Hass is the coordinator of Atlas and told us: “We collect these examples to show that it’s possible to renovate old buildings and have a modern comfort, but still to keep the old history of the house, the old “charm” of the house but also the identity for the village, for the municipality, also for the region.” Atlas is one of about 60 projects with the backing of Alpine Space, one of the older programmes supported by the EU Cohesion Policy. Its aim is to promote co-operation between seven Alpine countries and improve the quality of life in the Alps.