This gentle twist of concrete bridges an Alpine river on a scenic road between two towns in western Austria.
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.
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.
"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."
The Schanerloch Bridge was completed in 2005, but has been seen by few others than the drivers passing through.
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.
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.
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.
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