Monday, September 26, 2011

Top of Tyrol, Mountain Peak Platform / By LAAC Architekten

Mount Isidor – Stubai glacier in Tyrol, Austria
LAAC Architekten
Post By:Kitticoon Poopong
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
During recent years a number of observation platforms have been created attempting by different means to confront the visitor with the beauties of nature.

Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
This panorama platform was commissioned by the management of one of the five glacier ski arenas in Austria. Like most of its competitors the management is intent upon retaining a high level attractiveness of its ski region. One hour’s drive from Innsbruck, the Stubai Glacier offers a large variety of mountain climbs and hikes.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The aim of the newly erected platform is therefore mainly the revival of seasonal and summer tourism. During the winter season the platform can be accessed the weather conditions permitting. Like the structural engineer we were directly commissioned for the project. The client placed complete trust in our team and left the team with unlimited scope for implementing an innovative design.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The mountain station Schaufeljoch at 3180 metres above sea level is reached via the mountain station. The path to the mountain peak platform starts from the funicular. One climbs up a number of steps to the ridge leading to the Great Isidor. After another 70 meters walk through natural landscape one arrives at the platform.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The Great Isidor is centrally positioned in the Stubai Glacier and divides the Stubai Glacier into a western and an eastern half. Only by creating access has a panorama view become feasible enabling the onlooker to grasp the dimensions of the landscape. The unique position of the platform opens up an unobstructed view onto the permanent glacier as well as the 109 three thousand metre peaks of the Tyrolean Alps. The breath-taking 360 degree panorama stretches from the Zillertal and Stubai Alps to the Dolomites and Chalk Alps. The platform invites the visitor to take a rest and to enjoy the peace and beauty of the mountains.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
As clients we wanted to create a spiritual place in which even stressed mountaineers can find peace and recuperate while letting their thoughts wander and enjoying the seemingly endless expanses of the mountain world” 
says Reinhard Klier, Head of the Stubai Gletscher Bahn. The observation of the glacier during the summer months with a critical eye to climate change and the resulting melting of the glacier is a though-provoking interesting experience.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
As unusual as the panorama from the platform might seem, so crucial is the question concerning the solution to the invasion of nature or natural space. The platform is intended to represent a reaction to, and also form part of this natural environment.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
So the design goal was more the design of a situation in space rather than a building. By setting in scene and exaggerating the existing topography the landscape generates shaped architecture, in other words, artificial landscape. It expresses both a dynamic and static aspect and forms part of its transformation: an obstruction interacting with the landscape, each reflecting and influencing the other.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The panorama platform on Mount Isidor is a drawing in snow, architecture as a walk along and transformation of a ridge. Path and platform are found in the brittle rock; for six months the lamellas will disappear under the snow; only the swords extending beyond the northern cliff will remain visible all year round. As in a sketched drawing, wind and sun expose the lamellas like feint traces on the snow surface. Through the external influence of the glacier the structure of the steel design is transformed, providing a vantage point for shapes of ice and snow.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
Due to its high iron content the rock has a red hue. It is clearly textured and serrated, which gives it a unique character. The choice of materials emphasises a contrast to the zinc covered steel structures of the surrounding ski region. The platform is a steel construction made from weather resistant steel. The construction principle of the girder grate is an unstructured grid.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The twisted, excrescent swords of Corten sheet steel are box section beams with a triangular cross-section. The standing girders to the rear of the foundations are supported by reinforcement strips. Between the 50 cm tall supports there is the floor of grating. The arched railing is monolithic.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The handrail and bench are made of larch wood and the filling consists of a stainless steel net. The load is transferred to the foundations and to the upslope rock anchors. The platform lies in the high alpine permafrost area. This requires the foundations to be braced by 15m long rock anchors in the load area and a steel-reinforced concrete foundations on which the structure rests.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
The sandblasted steel swords of weather-resistant steel extend 9m beyond the rock edge. All in all 19 tonnes of corten steel, 60 m2 of grate and 50 m wood banister larch with stainless steel net were worked. The structure was erected exclusively by helicopter.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
Therefore the adaptation of the elements of the structure to fit the load limits of the helicopter and the perfectioning of the mounting surfaces and accuracy of fit were essential aspects of design improvement.
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
Photo © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
details structure--drawing © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten

Video: The construction of the summit platform TOP OF TYROL at 3,210 m on the Stubai glacier.

Project Data
Project name: Top of Tyrol
Location: Mount Isidor – Stubai glacier in Tyrol, Austria
Program: Mountain Peak Platform
Project duration: 04.2007 - 06.2009
Construction: 07.2008 - 06.2009
Materials: Weather resistant steel, Larch handrail, Stainless steel net, grate
  • Alpine Interior Award 2011 by AIT
The people
Client: Wintersport Tirol AG & Co, Stubaier Bergbahnen KG
Architects: LAAC Architekten
Design Team: Arch.DI Kathrin Aste, Arch.DI Frank Ludin, Thomas Feuerstein
Construction Engineer: aste construction
Soil Mechanics Engineer: Ingenieurbüro Wietek
Photographs: © Courtesy of LAAC Architekten
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