Recently, this fire station in the northern part of Italy went viral. Despite having been built a decade ago, it started gaining more and more attention after one person on Reddit compared it to a villain hideout. We must admit, though, it does look sort of villainy. But it wasn’t built inside a cave just for the sake of Bond movie aesthetics. As the farmable land in the Alps is scarce and the restrictions on non-traditional architecture are rigid, the architects have come up with an ingenious solution.

More info: Bergmeisterwolf Architekten

People on social media are saying that this fire station in Northern Italy looks like “a villain hideout”

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

In fact, this aesthetically-pleasing fire station in a small Italian town was built to save the land. In this alpine area, the land is especially scarce, so the local community decided that it would be best for the station to be built in a mountain, or a 300-foot cliff of sheer rock, to be more precise.

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

It was built back in 2010

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

To carry out the project, the people of the small town of Margreid hired Bergmeisterwolf, a Northern Italian architecture firm with offices in Italy and Austria.

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

The project’s design was carried out by a firm called Bergmeisterwolf

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

The architects began by blasting three caverns into the cliff and connected them with crisscrossing tunnels. Two of the former became the garages, while the third one acts as the administrative part of the fire station.

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

It is built in a 300-foot cliff of sheer rock

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

Not only does the design of the building look striking, but it is also very ergonomic as the mountain provides natural insulation for the building. The temperature in the groundmass averages around 55 degrees when the outside temperature is about 14F. Only one of the three caverns had to be insulated manually.

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

The ingenious and novel design of the building has earned its architects four architecture awards

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

Inside the building, the architects built a curving concrete wall connecting the three caves, to protect the firefighters from falling rocks. The black color of the concrete was chosen to evoke the impression of burnt wood and was achieved by mixing beech coal dust into the aggregate.

Image credits: Jürgen Eheim, Ullrich Egger, and Günter Richard Wett

Here’s how people joked about the appearance of the building on social media

What do you think of the building? Does it look like a supervillain’s headquarters to you? Tell us in the comments below!