3S Eisgratbahn Gondola Lift at Stubai Glacier by ao-architekten

Three station buildings for one ropeway means three starkly different topographies at a great vertical and horizontal physical distance (none of the other buildings can be seen from any of the three buildings). Accordingly, three different typologies are being developed from the respective location and corresponding function. Riding the ropeway makes their combination to a whole tangible, as do the cabins attached to the cables to a certain extent.

Valley Station

Though it is the lowest of the three stations, this one reflects high-alpine influences most strongly: On the stream side, there is a solid, black-colored concrete wall as (mandated) protection against the wild stream which flows by, and in particular as protection for the valley station located behind it against the threat of avalanches from the opposite slope. Other structural components, such as ticket offices, administration, sporting goods store, delivery area etc. are also made of solid concrete.
The station’s rounded form is derived from ropeway technology and is crystallized by its materialization with vertical, low-iron profiled glass windows, some matt, some clear.

Midway Station

Adjoining at the side of another existing ropeway, it is largely characterized by the incline of the ropeway line. The ground floor zone is a solid construction due to the wild stream and avalanche situation, and house the engineering and ancillary rooms. The upper story area is a steel structure with profiled glass facades like the valley station, but with a far more stringent formal layout. The inner connection of the ropeway entrances and exits and flows of people was rearranged with a shared access to both ropeways. The solidity of the ground floor zone is broken by the covered pass-through alpine ski trail. The entire customer level in the upper story is flooded with light from matt and clear profiled glass windows, offering both protection and views.

Top Station

Here, passengers finally arrive in the ski area in the heart of the Eisgrat station building and functional complex. The ropeway is integrated into the existing building with the extant visitor zones for food service and the sporting goods store, the ski area functional rooms like engineering rooms and garages for piste maintenance equipment, and the connection to another distributing gondola lift. The present, highly heterogeneous building structure is defused by the central location of the high-volume new building. Its facades with the aluminum panels invoke the surfaces of the existing buildings. Meticulously located, generous glazed surfaces illuminate the station level, guide customers to a large distributing ramp and provide orientation.

Architects ao-architekten
Location Mutterberg 2, 6167 Neustift im Stubaital, Austria
Area 2950.0 m2
Project Year 2016
Photography by Günter Richard Wett

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