On the Summit of the Dolomites
| ICONIC DESIGN | Emanuele Melani
Walter Bonatti once said that “the higher you climb, the farther you see; the farther you see, the longer you dream.” The relationship between man and the mountain has always been characterized by fear, respect, and a fascination with magnificent, incredible scenery. For man, going to the mountains, facing the effort of hiking and climbing, admiring the valley landscapes and the grandeur of the peaks, breathing in crisp, thin air and fresh scents in the woods has meant not only seeking beauty and peace, but also finding oneself.
Experiencing the mountains, facing its impervious paths and commandeering its beauty, means embarking on a journey within us, discovering our limits but also our strengths; a journey towards a greater awareness of who we are, who we could be, and who we will become. The Museum of Mountain Photography LUMEN is well aware of this. It is an innovative museum located in the heart of the Dolomites, at 2,275 meters above sea level in the former Plans de Corones aerial tram station in Alto Adige (South Tyrol).
A perfect combination of nature and technology, LUMEN aims to rediscover a more authentic and genuine meaning of living in the mountains, through a revival of vintage mountain photographic culture and a detailed study of landscapes with new graphic concepts. Spread over more than 1,800 square meters, exhibitions are organized focusing on the knowledge of mountain life through photography, the museum project’s main theme. Director Thina Adams, together with collaborators and support from international partners including National Geographic, Red Bull Illume and Durst, has tried to create a journey into holistic knowledge of the mountains, thanks to exhibition halls and scenography where the visitor can literally be immersed in images by the best mountain photographers in the world. In addition to The Shutter – a large window in the form of a shutter that opens and closes on the magnificent landscape of the South Tyrolean Dolomites – LUMEN also hosts a permanent exhibition “Messner meets Messner by Durst,” dedicated to the great mountain pioneer and ambassador for the protection of the Alps Reinhold Messner.
The Adrenaline Room focuses on alpine sports featuring multimedia installations that give visitors a chance to admire photographs of great mountain sporting activities. In the Dia Horama, insight into the world of mountain photography continues with an exhibition of photo sequences from the most famous international photographers, while in the Mirror Room and Politics section the concept of the mountains as a cultural and power symbol is explored. A visit to the Wall of Fame can’t be missed, where there is an exhibition dedicated to the history of mountain photography and its beginnings, and to the first alpine photographers including the Bisson brothers, Joseph Tairraz, Bernhard Johannes, Jules Beck, and Vittorio Sella. In addition, the Room of Miracles offers a chance to admire real, rare artifacts from the world of mountain photography, and the Physics section gives visitors an opportunity to get to know the technical and chemical aspects of photographic art. But it isn’t just viewing and admiring landscapes and the figures that represent it that allow us to really know a territory in depth; smells and tastes are an integral part of a place’s culture, and to truly experience the essence of the mountains, the museum LUMEN has collaborated with the Mo-food company and decided to open an entire space dedicated to local mountain cuisine: AlpiNN – Food Space & Restaurants.
Under the direction of three Michelin-star chef Norbert Niederkofler, Resident Chef Marco Perez offers fresh and genuine dishes, with quality ingredients that come from local producers in the Dolomites. It goes beyond the idea of a simple eating area by innovating the concepts of standing, lounging, and dining. There, what Niederkofler defines as “Cook the Mountain” takes place – a discovery of mountain life and cultural traditions through tasting local products and local cuisine. Guests can enjoy genuine dishes overlooking the spectacular alpine landscape, embarking on a gastronomic journey to discover the meaning of living in harmony with nature and our surrounding environments.
The LUMEN Museum, together with the AlpiNN restaurant, offer a unique opportunity to fully experience the beauty and majesty of the Italian Alps, a unique natural and cultural heritage in the world.