Hungerburgbahn Stations, Innsbruck, Austria

Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Date Built
A plaque on the wall of the Hungerburg Station explains that, "The Nordkette funicular railway project includes 4 station designs as well as a guy-wire suspension bridge over the River Inn.  After a three year planning and construction period, the Nordkette cable railways were inaugurated on 1 December 2007 with an opening ceremony at the Löwenhaus station at Rennweg along the River Inn promenade."

"The journey begins at the Underground Congress station in the city centre."

From this station, the railway vehicle travels underground until it surfaces at its first stop, the Löwenhaus station. 

"It then swings over the River Inn in an S-shape, before plunging into the mountain on the opposite side. ....

.... From here, the journey continues to climb up and beyond the extremely steep hillside at the Alpine Zoo station before ending at the high-lying Hungerburg Plateau."

A plaque on the wall of the Hungerburg station commemorates the man who built the original railway.

The website for Zaha Hadid's practice explains their thinking behind the design of the station buildings.  "The brief called for the design of four stations along cable railway tracks leading to Innsbruck’s northern chain of mountains. Each station had its own unique context, topography, altitude and circulation and adaptation to these specific site conditions was critical to the design approach – while maintaining a coherent overall architectural language. ...

... We studied natural phenomena such as glacial moraines and ice movements to develop a fluid language of natural ice formations, like a frozen stream on the mountainside.

By applying a high degree of flexibility within this architectural language, we were able to adjust the shell structures to the stations’ variable parameters, whilst upholding their position within the same formal family.

These lightweight, organic roof structures ‘floating’ on top of concrete plinths provide the global benchmark for the use of double-curvature glass in construction. Exploring the concept of lightness, large cantilevers and small touch-down areas underpin the shells’ floating appearance.

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