For the first time in almost 40 years, visitors will be able to visit the jarringly steep side of Virgolo/Virgl mountain in Bolzano, Italy, thanks to international firm Snøhetta. Its proposal won an international competition, hosted by European property company SIGNA Group, which called for a new cable car transit system. With the improved funicular—the former cliff railway has been closed since 1976—visitors can overlook both the rugged landscape of Northern Italy and the nearby capital of the province of South Tyrol. And it only takes a minute and 11 seconds to go from the bottom of the station to the top.
The structure’s framework is comprised of two flattened spheres, one at the base of the site and the other at the top, where the cable car runs tangentially along the mountain. Visitors about to board will be surrounded by a landscape design that will link the natural topography to the built environment.
Once at the top, visitors will arrive at a multi-use complex featuring a café, infinity pool, and meeting rooms, surrounded by paths to explore and capitalize on the view, which is named the “Mountain Square.” The designers envisioned this space to be used for events, such as open-air markets and concerts.
This project is expected to be completed by 2018.