Pedestrian Link Plessur-Halde, Chur

Because in the past both higher education and teacher training were church matters, the secondary school and the teaching seminar have always been located next to the bishop’s seat in Chur – one up on the mountainside, the other down in the valley. The fusion of the two colleges required a connecting route that was protected against the weather and had disabled access. The route is admittedly long and steep, but it is also eventful – a close sequence of views of the cathedral, the old town and over the Plessur and Rhein Valleys. For this reason the fluctuation between the school buildings can be taken as a welcome «time out» in the fresh air, a chance to cast a glance into the distance and readjust one’s thoughts.

In order to mediate a feeling of «being in the landscape» the route adheres to the topography as far as possible. For this reason, during the ascent to the Plessur plateau the pedestrian remains «on the mountainside» for as long as conditions allow, then moves upwards «on top of the mountain» along the road embankment and enters «into the mountain» just prior to the road underpass. Finally a roofed set of stairs leads those ascending out of the cliffs outside. 

As episodic, even coincidental the progression of the route may appear, the underlying considerations guiding the economical embedding of the route in the terrain, the incidence of light and the inward and outward views are nevertheless exact.

Competition: 2009, 1st prize
Planning and realization: 2009–12
Address: Verbindung Münzweg – Alte Schanfiggerstrasse, Chur
Client: Canton Graubünden
Programme: pedestrian link with inclined elevator
Contributors: Claudia Mühlebach
Construction management: Zoanni Architekten Baumanagement, Chur
Structural engineering: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich
Costs: SFr. 5.4m (Swiss BKP 2)
Images: Walter Mair
Awards: Hase in Bronze (Hochparterre – die Besten 2012); Prix Acier 2014 (Stahlbau Zentrum Schweiz)