Summer 2019 – From Innsbruck’s city centre, the Hungerburg and Nordkette funiculars bring visitors at 1,905 meters above sea level where the Path of Perspectives – Perspektivenweg in German – unfurls in breathtaking alpine surroundings. Along the trail, international practice Snøhetta has designed subtle architectural interventions which blend seamlessly into this spectacular landscape while serving as a meeting point as well.
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“Using small design gestures, we highlight striking elements of the Alpine landscape, adding to the experience of the dramatic mountain scenery rather than creating one eye-catching structure,” explains Patrick Lüth, Architect and Managing Director of Snøhetta’s Innsbruck office.
The cantilevered viewing platform, which seems to grow out of the terrain, elegantly projects over the edge of the landscape. Standing on the platform, visitors can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Inn Valley below, while the metal grate underfoot gives a sense of floating above the terrain.
At the transition from the timberline to scrub mountain pine vegetation, a staircase structure marks this natural phenomenon. A counter allows hikers a chance to lean and admire their first impression of the striking Langer Sattel and Frau Hitt peaks.
The wooden platforms surrounding the gentle elevation of the so-called Big Stone on various levels make it a popular resting spot. At a slightly higher elevation, stepped wooden platforms form an amphitheater.
Each of the ten elements are shaped from Corten steel, a material choice that was inspired by the context and prior interventions. The Path of Perspectives-adapts the existing technical structures of Nordkette’s avalanche barriers, which are made of the same weathered steel.
Larch wood, typical for the local forests, forms its seating and reclining platforms. Quotes from Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein are inscribed on the new architectural features. The words invite visitors to take a moment and reflect, both inwardly and out over the landscape, giving a dual meaning to the path of perspectives.
All photos by Christian Flatscher unless indicated otherwise – courtesy of Snøhetta.