Nordpark Cable Railway
In December 2007, a new series of train stations opened along the Nordpark Cable Railway in Innsbruck, Austria. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the stations at Alpenzoo, Loewenhaus, Hungerburg and Congress serve ski stations in the mountains above the city, and the ice-like structures showcase Hadid's trademark fluid forms.
The railway (including the four stations and an 820-foot-long, cable-stayed bridge) transports winter sport enthusiasts and other visitors from the medieval center of Innsbruck to the village of Hungerburg, 950 feet above the city.
It's part of a multi-million dollar plan to replace the antiquated lifts that connect the city with the summits of the Nordkette Mountain range.
Says Hadid, 'Each station has its own unique context, topography, altitude, and circulation. We studied natural phenomena such as glacial moraines and ice movements – as we wanted each station to use the fluid language of natural ice formations, like a frozen stream on the mountainside. These stations are the global benchmark for the use of doublecurvature glass in construction.'
As dramatic as it is, it seems Hadid's work on the railway is not universally adored. Check out the comments on Dezeen, if you want a summary of the various opinions.
Like her work or hate it, someone in Innsbruck is clearly enamored. This is the second project she has completed in the city, the previous being the Bergisel Ski Jump, completed in 2002. RM