Zaha's new alpine railway leads the way..
Zaha’s newly opened Alpine funicular railways at Austria’s top ski resport in Innsbruck has been enthusiastically received by the world’s media. Connecting the town centre to a nearby mountain resort. The innovative carriages, have an exo-skeleton with five gimballed passenger pods hanging within to accommodate inclines of 42 degrees. The Nordpark Cable Railway comprising of four new stations and a cable-stayed suspension bridge over the river Inn was opened in a ceremony at Loewenhaus Station, Rennweg, Innsbruck on 01 December 2007. Starting at the station of Congress in the centre of the city, the railway travels to Loewenhaus station before crossing the river, ascending the Nordkette Mountain north of Innsbruck to Alpenzoo station. The final station is at Hungerburg village, 288 metres above Innsbruck, where passengers can join the cable-car to the summit of the Seegrube Mountain. Zaha Hadid Architects won the competition to replace Nordpark Cable Railway in 2005 together with the contractor Strabag. The railway is the second project completed by Zaha Hadid in the city; the Bergisel Ski Jump by Hadid was completed in 2002 and awarded the Gold Medal for Design by the International Olympic Committee in 2005. Zaha Hadid explains that the design for each station adapts to the specific site conditions at various
altitudes, whilst maintaining the coherent overall architectural language of fluidity. This approach was critical to the design for the railway, and demonstrates the seamless morphology of Hadid’s most recent architecture. The architects used state-of-the-art design and manufacturing technologies developed for the automotive industry to create the streamlined aesthetics of each station.
The Nordpark Cable Railway continues Hadid’s quest for an architecture of seamless fluidity, representing Zaha Hadid Architects’ very latest contribution to the current global architectural discourse in digital design and construction.