Schanerloch and Schaufelschlucht bridge – Marte.Marte Architekten

architects_Marte.Marte Architekten: Arch.DI Bernhard Marte, Arch.DI Stefan Marte + Weiler
client_City of Dornbirn
location_Dornbirn, Austria
completion date_Schanerloch bridge: 2005, Schaufelschlucht bridge: 2012

from the architects_
Schanerloch Bridge
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 characterized 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.

Schaufelschlucht Bridge
With the second arch bridge on the spectacular alpine road to Ebnit, a sub-district of Dornbirn, the master plan for three infrastructure projects is one step closer to completion. The Schaufelschlucht Bridge has been integrated into the tremendous natural surroundings just as naturally and impressively as the Schanerloch Bridge before it. Both were built following the same principle: a visible display of internal and external forces, cast in concrete. 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. The dark, narrow tunnels, formed by the forces of nature, and the forbidding sheer rock walls along the road act as the backdrop for a dramatic spectacle no one passing by could hardly miss. 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. Sustainability in its truest, while timeless, form.

Courtesy of Marte.Marte Architekten