Rennweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Photo courtesy of Innsbruck Tourism
HungerburgbahnCompleted in 2007, the Hungerburgbahn funicular carries only 130 people per train, on a nine-minute long ride. However, the striking curvilinear shapes and seemingly gravity-defying engineering has drawn over 4.5 million passengers over the past ten years. Designed by Zaha Hadid, each of the four train stations has a lightweight canopy, evoking melting ice and snow formations. These shapely, curved roofs are actually comprised of hundreds of double curved glass panels hung on metal frames. Incorporating 3D design and fabrication, these roofs were the world's largest double curved glass structures when the stations were erected. Attached to concrete plinths, each station was designed by Hadid to respond to its particular context, including altitude, topography, and passenger flows.
Connecting downtown Innsbruck to the Norkette Mountain and Austria's largest nature park, the Hungerburgbahn marked its ten-year anniversary in 2017, a celebration made even more significant as it fell a year after the architect's death in 2016. To celebrate the Hungerburgbahn's tenth anniversary, the City of Innsbruck is hosting events through April 6, 2018, which includes architectural tours in both English and German. The funicular begins at the center of the city at the Congress underground station.
Learn more about the Alps of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, and both the region's cultural highlights and natural beauty, at AFAR Journeys.