Stefan Marte of Marte.Marte Architects created the structure between the remains of two Roman villas at the location of an ancient traffic intersection in Brederis. Few traces of the original buildings remain, so the new installation provides the only landmark above ground level.
"The tower-like sculpture is designed to make the excavation site visible for miles around," Marte told Dezeen.
Primarily constructed from Corten steel, the ten-metre tower has a glazed lower section that exposes a hollow centre, allowing visitors to look down to the underground remains.
"The tower acts like a magnifying glass, offering an insight into history," said the architect, whose previous projects include a holiday home with roughly hewn concrete walls and a twisted concrete bridge.
A platform extends from one side of the structure to create a standing area, while an adjacent wall displays replicas of Roman objects. Both were also constructed from pre-weathered steel that has been riveted together.
"Corten steel was chosen for its naturalness and purity, making it the ideal material for an expressive landmark in the vast, open landscape," added Marte.
"The texture of the stainless steel rivets is reminiscent of the intricacy of Roman chain armour."
Stones unearthed during the archeological dig were used to build low walls above the ancient foundations of the two villas, revealing the original locations of walls.
Photography is by Marc Lins.
Here's a short project description from Marte.Marte Architects:
Roman Villa, Feldkirch 2008
The excavations at the roman villa in Brederis offer important insights on Roman settlement history in the Feldkirch area.
A walk-in sculpture was planted between the remnants of the foundations of two different house types. The disc-like tower and the space creating wall fragments along a trapezoid-shaped plateau stage the location in front of the collection of findings.
The use of Corten steel throughout permeates the site with an historic aura and underscores the sculpted effect of the free form that helps make the excavation site a landmark.
Client: City of Rankweil
Location: 6830 Rankweil-Brederis
Architecture: Marte.Marte Architekten ZT GmbH, Weiler
Arch.DI Bernhard Marte
Arch.DI Stefan Marte
Exhibition area: 42m2
Sign up for a daily roundup
of all our stories