Yes I have this thing about bridges and finding the Alfenz bridge took a little more effort to locate, for it is a cycle and pedestrian bridge only, even though it is located right next to a busy main road. The bridge is designed by Marte.Marte Architekten, a local Vorarlberg firm based in Feldkirch.
So it has only taken me 6 years to finally see it; built in 2010, and from this article I found on Design Boom written in 2013, you can see that the images in this article show the bridge still without vegetation growth around it. The bridge in a sense, in a purist form, just established into the environment.
I therefore present my images, several years down the line with the bridge now integrated into the environment.
My interest in the bridge is both in its design aesthetics and in its design function. As the information on Marte.Marte Architekten’s website indicates, the design had to take into account the Ill and Alfenz rivers tributary, where it is prone to flooding and where the force of the rivers of course will be very high.
Concrete based but yet the structure does not look heavy at all. Combine this with tension and pressure rods, a mesh across the open windows of the bridge for practical reasons, I find the design effect of this bridge still light and for want of a better word, delicate. Perhaps you may call it stark, but it is to me still a beautiful and yet practical design. The openings give you access to the views around the river tributary, the surrounding mountains, with just enough ‘solid wall’ to provide a barrier against the busy through road next to the bridge.
With all the vegetation and barriers around the bridge, I have to admit I was limited to the angle of my images, and as an engineer and artist, I really appreciate the form and function of the design.
When you are looking for this bridge while driving, it literary presents itself as you come off the Autobahn and enter the Montafon valley. And how you may ask did I find out about this bridge? From a cyclist of course! The bridge has improved the access for cyclists (and pedestrians) into the Montafon valley.
As you can see from the images below (click on the image to open the Lightbox of images), even the cable lines of the electric pylons contribute to the Alfenz bridge or should it be the other way round?
Looking at the Marte.Marte Architekten website, I think I may well visit a few more of their designs around the Vorarlberg region!