Snøhetta has won a competition to restore access to Virgolo/Virgl, a steep mountain in Bolzano, Italy that has been largely inaccessible to the public for nearly 40 years. The international design competition was hosted by Real estate company SIGNA Group, which sought a new cable car system to replace the now-defunct funicular. Snøhetta’s winning entry is made up of two disc-shaped stations connected via a cable network that will whisk visitors to the top in a little over a minute.
The new cable car transit system begins with the base station located next to the River Eisack and nearby the historic center of Bolzano at the Piazza Walther. The elevated station is accessible via an elevator system that takes visitors into a glass-enclosed mixed-use building. A large circular cutout frames views of the landing station from the elevator entry point. A grassy hill anchors the base station surrounded by a landscape design that “will bring a piece of nature to the city.”
The top station will similarly have a circular cutout to frame views below and include mixed-use facilities located with a glass-enclosed donut-shaped plan. Described as an “urban interface with nature,” the landing station will boast stunning panoramic views and house a restaurant, cafe, infinity pool, and meeting rooms. A large open plaza called the “Mountain Square” extends out from the station towards the landscape and can be used as a multifunctional space for events, from open-air markets to concerts. Snøhetta’s designs are currently on display in the Bozen Bolzano department store showroom in the Palais Menz in Bolzano Mustergasse.
Images © Snøhetta