This arching concrete bridge is the second of three structures designed by Austrian studio Marte.Marte Architects for a winding mountain road between two Alpine towns (+ slideshow).
The Schaufelschlucht Bridge sits high above the river that runs down through the Schanerloch gorge – one of several valleys that crosses the route between the Austrian city of Dornbirn and the hamlet of Ebnit to the south.
The cast-concrete structure was designed by Marte.Marte Architects as an arch that curves gently to one side to lead from an open road to a tunnel carved right through the mountain.
It spans a length of 16.5 metres and has an overall width of five metres.
"The twisting and tapering of the bridge on the valley side gives a clear idea of the structural capabilities of the arch shape, while its counterpart on the Ebnit side withstands the dynamic force of the water, which has carved a deep gorge in the rock face over the course of thousands of years," explained the architects.
Completed in 2012, the Schaufelschlucht Bridge follows the Schanerloch Bridge – built in 2005 across another gorge in the mountain landscape.
"The Schaufelschlucht Bridge has been integrated into the tremendous natural surroundings just as naturally and impressively as the Schanerloch Bridge before it," said Marte.Marte Architects.
"The bridge's concrete parapets escort motorists and give them a sense of safety as they cross the roaring, rain-swollen waters, and the solidity and equilibrium of the homogeneous structure make it seem invincible and built for eternity," added the team.
The third bridge is yet to complete, but will also be built from concrete and will be the straightest of the three structures.
Photography is by Marc Lins.