By Jeffrey Roberts
Connecting tranquillity with machinery in Innsbruck's Nordpark Cable Railway.
From the Golden Roof commissioned by Maximilian I, to the staggered façades of Maria-Theresien Strasse; from the vast opulent concert halls within Ambras Castle to the wedding cake-like Gothic/Rococo Helblinghaus, Innsbruck, Austria has served as an architectural canvas for centuries.
But, Innsbruck's most renowned structures - the projects that most completely capture the alpine experience and define the city - belong not to one of Austria's snow-hardened alpine minds but to an architect born in Iraq and based in London.
Zaha Hadid first contributed to the Tyrolean landscape with her design of the award-winning Bergisel Ski Jump. Her most recent installation again perfectly quantifies Austrian winter sports, à la Bergisel, but also offers everyone, not just highly-trained Olympic athletes, access to those prized slopes via a new cable railway.
Read more about the second Austrian installation from the Middle East's most renowned architect in the January 2008 issue of Middle East Architect.