Schanerloch Bridge by
Marte.Marte Architects

| 11 comments
 

This gentle twist of concrete bridges an Alpine river on a scenic road between two towns in western Austria.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects

Designed by Austrian studio Marte.Marte Architects, the bridge crosses the Schanerloch gorge on the road that leads from the city of Dornbirn towards the hamlet of Ebnit to the south.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects

Referencing the arched stone bridges traditionally constructed in the region, the architects created a solid concrete volume with a gently arching profile and a twist in its middle that responds to the angle of the road.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects

"The result is a concrete sculpture that might look unspectacular in plan and from the driver's point of view," says the studio, "but from the shore of the river winding through the gorge it unveils its compelling fascination: it playfully mimes the frozen dynamic of the mountain road and captures the dramatic place in reinforced concrete."

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects

The Schanerloch Bridge was completed in 2005, but has been seen by few others than the drivers passing through.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects

A number of bridge designs have been unveiled recently. OMA proposes a bridge for hosting events in Bordeaux, while Thomas Heatherwick has designed a garden to span the River Thames in London.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects

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Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects
Site plan

Photography is by Marc Lins.

Here's a project description from Marina Hämmerle:


Schanerloch Bridge, Ebnit Dornbirn

The bridge through the Schanerloch gorge is part of the impressive road from the city of Dornbirn to the hamlet of Ebnit which picturesquely situated by the well of the river Dornbirner Ache at the foot of scenic mountains. The spectacular route to this ancient settlement area is characterised by a series of natural rock tunnels and stone bridges.

Originating from the well-known typology of the stone arch bridge, modern technology takes the geometry of the arch to its very limits. The reduction of the arch rise to a statically necessary minimum is combined with a twist along one axis. The latter is also responding to the bending road as a curve immediately follows the bridge in both driving directions.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects
Site section

The result is a concrete sculpture that might look unspectacular in plan and from the driver's point of view, but from the shore of the river winding through the gorge it unveils its compelling fascination: it playfully mimes the frozen dynamic of the mountain road and captures the dramatic place in reinforced concrete.

Perfect in form, a masterpiece of design and statical calculation precisely fixed in the spectacular scenery.

Schanerloch Bridge by Marte Marte Architects
Bridge section

Client: City of Dornbirn
Location: Ebniter Straße, 6850 Dornbirn
Architecture: Marte.Marte Architekten ZT GmbH, Weiler
(Arch.DI Bernhard Marte, Arch.DI Stefan Marte)
Overall length: approx. 23m
Overall width: 5,50m bis 6,50m
Driving clearance (width): minimum 4,75m
Reinforced concrete arch: minimum thickness 35cm
Conrete volume: approx. 180m3
Footing: directly into the adjacent rock wall

  • amsam

    WHY is so much design not as thoughtful, understated and gorgeous as this? It's just not showing off. So rare.

  • Chris

    I envy anyone who's ever had the chance to just walk/swim/canoe etc. along this river and chance upon this creation. Must be one of those rare moments where you just stop and feel like humanity actually can do good.

  • kim

    Gorgeous. Pure exercise in Rhino geometry! The concrete will aged beautifully in the mountain.

  • emem

    Beautiful and elegant.

  • zizi

    Looks thicker than it could have been. Could have had less visual impact, be more subtle. Working with the way the parapet connects to the structure – a simple line of shadow would have done the job. OK project anyway.

    • Greenish

      I think the thickness of it works well, perhaps because it's set amongst such dramatic and large-scale rock formations. If it was slimmer, it would look too dainty to last, in my opinion!

  • Greenish

    So rare to see architecture/design happening in such lovely harmony with its surroundings. Beautiful.

  • ChrisFBravo

    Wow! What a seemless joint between concrete and mountain. Here in Mexico it is law to have a gap it this kind of thing, it’s amazing how in Austria doesn’t even worry about the movement of the ground. If I’m wrong, it will be broken next week. LOL.

  • http://twitter.com/callumjwhite @callumjwhite

    I love the juxtaposition between jagged rock and flowing concrete. That’s some good design.

  • http://peterthibeault.com Peter Thibeault

    Paolo Soleri, 1967-69, and he did it better.

    • http://peterthibeault.com Peter Thibeault

      Without a computer!