Where a raindrop begins its long journey into the sea, new perspectives appear: at the new observation deck on the Schnals Valley Glacier, and your mind is refreshed with the wide- open views. There is something sublime about this special place, right at the top of the Schnals Valley Glacier ridge, where Italy’s impressive alpine landscape soars high above the reservoir below, and Austria is around the corner. In this unique geographic location, fate decides whether a drop of glacier water will make its way towards the Mediterranean or the Black Sea.
▼远观Schnals山谷与景观台，viewing the project and the Schnals Valley Glacier at distance © Alex Filz
ONWARDS TO THE PEAK
The Hotel Grawand lies at the very top of this unique alpine intersection, which at over 3,000 meters above sea level, is one of the few hotels in Europe located at such an altitude. The summit is a stone’s throw away at a distance of about 50 meters. The breathtaking landscape view of snow-covered mountain peaks makes time standstill. Hikers and skiers visit the peak to experience nature at its fullest: rugged, stony, with wind and weather – pure.
▼景观台位于山峰交汇处的最高点，海拔超过三千米，the project located on the top of the mountain at over 3,000 meters above sea level © Alex Filz
▼人们由一条钢制步道攀登至景观台，reaching the platform by a steel path © Alex Filz
In order to enable visitors planning a more extended stay, as well as day-seizing mountain nomads, to experience not only the breathtaking ride to the mountain station, but also to get to know the fascinating history of this alpine wonderland, noa* designed a unique architectural structure.
▼景观台概览，overall of the viewing platform © Alex Filz
A viewing platform was developed based on a light structure made of Corten steel, giving a modern touch that also blends in with the landscape. The design incorporates the pre- existing summit cross, and the platform only touches the ground where there is a static necessity – creating a detached, almost floating construction which lets you become one with the mountains and breathe in the freedom.
▼景观台仿佛漂浮于山巅，the platform seems to float on the mountain top © Alex Filz
The platform follows the natural topography with a plateau grid placed on top of slender crossbeams, which are enveloped in vertical lamellas of Corten steel. The parapet-high, vertical elements trace these gentle curves in their sequence.
▼细长的横梁被包裹在耐候钢的垂直层板中，横梁顶部放置了平台网格，a plateau grid placed on top of slender crossbeams, which are enveloped in vertical lamellas of Corten steel © Alex Filz
▼垂直的围护栏杆排列出柔和的曲线， parapet-high, vertical elements trace these gentle curves in their sequence © Alex Filz
This creates a magical effect: an opening and closing of views that follows the movement of the viewer – an invitation to discover new perspectives time and again. This unique dynamic creates a fully immersive, sensual experience in which time stands still for a moment and every other souvenir is eclipsed.
▼垂直的围护栏杆创造出神奇的视觉效果，the parapet-high, vertical elements create a magical effect © Alex Filz
▼结构细部，details of the structure © Alex Filz
景观台上设置了一个漏斗形的瞭望台，从这里处望去，人们可以看到一处永恒的历史痕迹 —— Ötzi冰人遗址。瞭望台的视角被精心设计过，可以望到距奥地利边境几米之遥的位置。在此，游客们放佛经历了一场寻找冰人的视觉之旅。同围护栏杆一样，漏斗形状的瞭望台也是由耐候钢制成。随着时间的推移，钢材表面逐渐染上深棕色，黑色与灰色，与周围环境融为一体。
Speaking of time, a geometric funnel was cut into the undulating viewing platform to direct viewers eyes towards something timeless – the place where Ötzi was found. Only a few meters from the Austrian border, the angle of the viewing funnel takes the visitor on a carefully crafted, intellectual journey to the Iceman. The viewing funnel was designed with Corten steel, and like the slats on the railing, the steel turns dark brown, grey and black as it yields to the elements and becomes one with its surroundings.
▼瞭望台概览，overall of the viewing funnel © Alex Filz
▼瞭望台的视角被精心设计过，The view of the funnel is carefully designed © Alex Filz
▼漏斗形状的瞭望台也是由耐候钢制成，the viewing funnel was designed with Corten steel © Alex Filz
The funnel end is completed with a glass railing which gives your thoughts flight in breathtaking suspense – it seems like you are walking on air.
▼瞭望台的末端设置了玻璃围栏，the funnel end is completed with a glass railing © Alex Filz
▼瞭望台的漏斗形结构形成雪山景观的框景，the viewing funnel forms a framed view of mountain © Alex Filz
▼透明的材质让人们产生放佛置身于空中的错觉，glass railing which gives your thoughts flight in breathtaking suspense © Alex Filz
▼总平面图，location plan © noa* network of architecture
▼平面图，plan © noa* network of architecture
▼立面图，elevation © noa* network of architecture
▼剖面图，section © noa* network of architecture
Project name: Ötzi Peak 3251m
Typology: Viewing platform
Location: Schnals Valley Glacier, South Tyrol (Italy)
Client: Schnalstaler Gletscherbahn AG
Architecture: noa* network of architecture
Completion: August 2020
Intervention: New construction
Surface area: 80 m2
Text (DE): Barbara Jahn-Rösel
Translations (EN): Marianne Lehnis
Photographs: Alex Filz