MonViso Institute

The MonViso Institute (MVI) is located at 1450m asl in the village of Ostana, tucked on the Southern side of the upper Po Valley in Piedmont, just a few kilometers from the sources of the great Po river and facing the highest peak of the Mediterranean Alps; Monte Viso (3842m asl).

The campus itself consists of six abandoned stone houses that are currently being transformed into an interacting array of buildings and landscape features, together forming the MVI mountain campus.  Each building will be re-built by using different building materials (such as wood, clay and hemp, local stone, …), with autarky in its energy- and water systems, making it possible for future visitors to learn and experience various sustainable building techniques and systemic design solutions at one campus. The theory sessions will take place in the Polifunctional Center ‘Lou Pourton’, a mountain co-working space with seminar rooms and a creativity-stimulating view on the Monte Viso mountain range.

The evolving MVI is embedded in the community of Ostana, a place that has experienced a substantial crisis when the local population shrank from about 1300 to only 5 inhabitants at the end of the 20th century. Since the mid `80s, Ostana decided to build on the quality of architecture and landscape, and on knowledge and traditions as levers to reactivate the town. Today, a new vibrant community of 40+ permanent residents consisting of entrepreneurs, artists, architects, biological farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, cheese-makers, textile engineers, scientists, friends and families have been reviving this unique place and the neighborhood is steadily growing. This has transformed Ostana into a pilot region that prototypes a new model of modern sustainable Alpine living and brought the town to the forefront of international chronicle.

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