The new ultra modern, eco-friendly Monte Rosa Hut - the self-proclaimed ‘mountain hut of the future' - has been built above Zermatt at 2883 metres. The hut will open after six years of planning and construction.

The innovative building with the nickname ‘Bergkristall' (mountain crystal) looks like a glass crystal and is over 90 percent energy self-sufficient. The €4.2 million building, replaces the old hut 80 metres to the south, and uses solar technology for most of its energy and heat requirements.

Its120 beds will begin offering accommodation to guests in March 2010. It will continue to serve the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) as a research project in the fields of energy and building services engineering.

The Monte Rosa Hut is perched above the Gorner Glacier in the shadow of the Matterhorn. It is a metallic, crystal-shaped building which will impress visitors from around the world with its innovative energy concepts at high altitudes. The project is exemplary in terms of sustainable energy generation and resource conservation.

Launched in 2003 as a project of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) to mark the 150th anniversary of Zurich's Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), the hut was officially inaugurated Sept. 25.

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