Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Galzigbahn in St. Anton

Developed by Doppelmayr and CWA Constructions the Funitel system operating in St. Anton offers outstanding lateral stability for operation at wind speeds of 100 km/h or above. The use of two parallel haul ropes 3.2 m apart makes it possible to achieve extremely long spans. A special pneumatic cabin suspension ensures that the 24 passengers enjoy the ride in maximum comfort. Line speeds of up to 7.5 m/s generate transport capacities of 3,200 - 4,000 persons per hour. The spectacular cableway innovation is based on a Ferris wheel which makes it possible for the guest to enter one of the 28 gondolas at ground level. Every gondola is brought down to floor height by a Ferris wheel, the guests then enter and are brought back up onto the cable by the Ferris wheel. Besides this special entry comfort the new Galzigbahn carrying capacity is increased by three times, waiting times in the valley are definitely a thing of the past. The Funitel accesses the Galzig slopes and connects to Schindler Spitze (2,660 m.) and Valluga (2,811 m.) peaks.
Just like the technology, the glass building from the architect Georg Driendl is in itself fascinating, thanks to the transparency of the new Galzig valley station the impressive Ferris wheel with its advanced technology is just as good to see from the outside as from inside. The Galzigbahn was awarded with the "International Chicago Architecture Award 2007".
Glass, steel, concrete - sober feedstock, yet sensual in its combination. The form of the new basis station directly evolves out of the transport function it has to achieve. The desire for readability and transparency defines the material choice. Glass reveals technical inner life and previews the trip up to the mountain. Concrete grounds the construction, anchors it into the slope, creates a counterweight and is a carrier of a space truss (organized in triangulated bracing and as filigree as possible) which carries off the weight of the roof; the visible construction of the space truss (with its riggings and the chosen profiles) directly evolves from the prevailing wind- and weather conditions, always standing in attention to defy wind, rain and snow-masses” (Driendl Architects).