best architects 12
Weiler | Austria
The entrance to the Montafon valley is a topographical bottleneck. The railway, federal highway and a new cycle path offer access to the southernmost valley of Vorarlberg, which is surrounded by high Alpine mountain ranges. Running parallel with the valley, the raging, flood-prone river Ill crosses the river Alfenz from the east and channels water into its current. A few metres before the confluence, the new concrete bridge structure spans the tributary and grants pedestrians and cyclists safe passage. A supporting structure underneath was not possible because of the lay of the land and required flood control measures. The solution to this problem was a covered bridge with load-bearing capacity on the lateral sides. Modelled on bionic principles, a passable bridge house was built with irregularly placed, diagonal tension and pressure rods with strengthened load dissipation at both ends. There is more wall area on the side facing the busy road, while on the Ill river side, the triangles of the framework offer views of countryside. The structural wall frame responds to environmental influences and supporting loads with different sized openings. The character and overall aestheticism are the result of structural logic and the efficient use of materials. Thus, the connection to the Bludenz-Schruns cycle path has literally been “massively” improved, since the bridge is a hard-to-miss landmark in the network of car-free trails.