visual display redesigns traditional hut into modern dining destination in italian mountains

visual display redesigns traditional hut into modern dining destination in italian mountains

at the foot of the tofane of cortina d’ampezzo in italy, in the heart of the ski area that will host the 2021 world championships and the olympic games in 2026, visual display renovated a small wooden house with a long history behind it. first established as a hut to host the timekeepers during the 1956 winter olympics, it later became a traditional hut that served as a setting for movies in the 1980’s and 2000’s. a restaurant in 2019, its new management by michel oberhammer asked visual display to renovate and re-launch ‘baita pié tofana’, from the brand identity to the interior design.


all images © alessandro paderni / EYE studio



the client wanted to transform the image of the restaurant that lies immersed in the green of the ampezzo mountains. oberhammer took to curating all the details, from the interiors to the conception of the menus and the fine wine list. thus jumped visual display on the project, and the designers absorbed the vernacular culture of the place, in search of inspirations and authentic emotions which then became materials, colors, shapes, textures, light, and signs.




the designers aimed to enhance the historic aspects and recognizable characteristics of the hut while at the same time shining light on the sophistication and authenticity of the new management. the first milestone of the project was the decision to confirm the old sign-plate affixed to the front of the cabin from the beginning and make it the central point of the re-branding. 




the sign becomes the trademark of the lodge to which the payoff ‘authentic food and fine bottles’ has been added to describe the essence of the new offer. the new restaurant boasts a refined and all-italian menu created by chef roberto ottone and a wine list created by michel in person with more than 500 international labels.




the project, overseen by visual display, involved the total renovation of the dining rooms that, with help of skillful local artisans, led to the consolidation of the original structure. the interior walls and ceiling were completely replaced by a new paneling in sandblasted and stained fin boards. the elegant combinations of fabrics chosen for the benches in dove-gray and petrol-green tones, the light linen curtains and the amber-colored copper lamps create a welcoming and elegant atmosphere, adding a touch of glamor to the traditional location.




the traditional fireplace in the ‘larin’ room has been replaced by a new, more advanced fireplace that allows customers to eat around the firepit. the nearby room, with custom-made raw wood tables, is characterized by a large back-lit wooden and copper wine rack to underline the baita’s oenological vocation.




the hut’s exterior has also undergone a total make up. the facades have been cleaned from the patina of dark paint to leave the larch au-naturel and allow it to age. at the same time, the burnished brass lamps, a new furnishing project and the selection of outdoor fabrics transform the terrace into a real open-air room with the addition of two private areas available to guests.




the result is a classy, elegant and welcoming venue, which despite being entirely different from the former one maintains the magical and warm atmosphere that has always distinguished this location. a place to get together, feel good and enjoy a 360-degree experience immersed in the splendid scenery of the ampezzo dolomites, a unesco world heritage site. a piece of history of cortina d’ampezzo revisited with a contemporary spirit, for lovers of the mountains, cuisine, good wine and beauty in all its forms.




project info:


project name: baita pié tofana

location: rumerlo, 32043 cortina d’ampezzo, italy – phone +39 0436 4258

creative direction: visual display

chairs: sipa sedie, unopiù

lighting: flos, toscot, astro lighting

lanterns: ethimo

fabrics: rubelli, dedar, mark alexander



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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