Pradel / The Design of the Monumental Grounds Moved by the AlpTransit Construction Activities in the Swiss Landscapes

The Design of the Monumental Grounds Moved by the AlpTransit Construction Activities in the Swiss Landscapes

Author: Chiara Pradel, AUID, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Alessandro Rocca, Prof. Dr., AUID, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: Intermediate/final doctoral stage

Category: Paper

Affiliation: Politecnico di Milano

Abstract

The research focuses on the AlpTransit highspeed railway project connecting Italy and Germany through Switzerland. The construction activities of the Gotthard and the Ceneri tunnels that took place between 1999 and 2020 have produced more than 34 million tons of excavated materials. As a result, huge artificial mountains, refilled delta and altered topographies made of inert waste have powerfully reshaped a number of Swiss territories close to the infrastructural construction sites. A selection of photographs and drawings (temporal maps and topological drawings) provides an interpretative inventory of the major ground movements and inert disposals linked to the AlpTransit: the Reuss Delta, Sedrun, Cavienca, Biasca, Sigirino. The contribution aims to interrogate both their monumental character and their deep, material impact on landscapes, disengaging earthworks from exclusively technical approaches and questioning their meaning inside the landscape architecture thinking, language and design process.

Keywords: Moving ground, Earthworks, Infrastructural Monuments