MoDus Architects of Bressanone has implemented a number of projects in its home town and surroundings, with its work including the new tourist information office in Bressanone and several smaller infrastructure projects as well as private residences and various structures for the Bressanone by-pass. One such has now been completed: a sculptural exposed concrete portal at the entrance to a short U-shaped tunnel in the by-pass road.
What the office seeks is to bring together infrastructure, landscape, architecture and urban design, particularly as it has been forgotten in recent years that infrastructure projects ought to display architectural qualities. The by-pass – a five-kilometre ring road that reduces traffic at the historical centre of Bressanone and leads to the north of the town of Varna – is an exception in this respect. MoDus Architects had the task of developing tunnel portals, retaining walls, acoustic barrier walls, transformer substations, mechanical structures, ventilation chimneys and various signage elements, all of them component parts of the tunnel system. The concrete used in the portals is made from aggregate and excavated material sourced from the 64-kilometre-long Brenner Base Tunnel. Being at the nexus of landscape, infrastructure and mobility, the portals in exposed concrete, the acoustic barrier walls in larchwood and the ventilation chimneys in weathering steel are central to the design. In addition the architects occupied themselves with the topic of noise emission and developed solutions involving a combination of simple and low-cost materials.