HADID CURVILINE ARCHITECTURE PASSES THE TEST OF TIME
The Hungerburg funicular in Austria celebrates 10 years of operation, four stations designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) that stand the test of time.
The Hungerburg funicular is part of the Nordpark Cable Railway in Innsbruck (Nordkettenbahnen) and starts at the Congress metro station in the city center. Trains stop at the Lowenhaus station before crossing the bridge over the River Inn, then up to the Alpenzoo station and then to Hungerburg, where passengers can continue their journey on the Seegrube and Hafelekar cable cars to its summit at 2,300 m. The Nordkette mountain is located inside the Karwendel, the largest natural park in Austria, offering visitors of the Hafelekar fantastic 360 ° views of the city, as well as the most extensive nature conservation area of the Tyrol. “Hadid’s architecture is made for movement. It’s rocket material. She shatters the ancient and static rules of space-walls, ceilings, front and back, right angles, the only point of view of the Renaissance perspective-and reassembles them … The slender funicular emerges from the center of the chocolate box in Innsbruck, crosses the river and ascends the mountain on delicate stilts at a dizzying angle, up to 46 degrees, opening an amazing alpine panorama covered with snow, a view, now almost matched by the artificial landscape that Hadid has created to frame it. “The Times, December 2007.
Shortlisted for the 2008 Stirling Prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the design of each station adapts to its own context, topography, altitude and unique passenger traffic, with roofs echoing natural ice formations, such as glaciers or streams of frozen mountains. The light roof structure of each station “floats” on a concrete plinth, creating an artificial landscape that describes the movement of passengers inside. When completed in 2007, the stations were the largest structures in the world using double-curved glass in construction. Together with contractor Strabag, ZHA won the competition to build Hungerburgbahn in 2005. The use of new and innovative design and production methods that have become conventional, such as CNC milling, thermoforming and parametric computational design, allowed for precision in the translation of the fluid geometries of the design in the constructed structures.
Starting at the almost flat gradient of the underground congress station in the city and then ascending to the maximum of 46 ° from the Alpenzoo station, a new hydraulic inclination system was developed for rail cars. This system maintains a horizontal floor surface throughout the journey to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. Due to its steep slope, the railroad cable is also restricted from above to ensure that it follows the gradient of the train tracks, the first time this technology was used globally and since then it has been adopted by many other funicular railways throughout the world. world.
Hungerburgbahn is the second ZHA project in Innsbruck. The Bergisel Ski Jump was completed in 2002 and was awarded the Gold Medal for the design by the International Olympic Committee in 2005. Its public cafeteria and observation deck on top of the ski jump are easily accessible by lifts to allow everyone, not just the ski jumpers. – Enjoy the spectacular views of the valley Innsbruck will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Hungerburgbahn with events throughout the winter, including architectural visits every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in English and every Friday at 4:00 p.m. in German until April 6, 2018.