Pila-Couis Cable Car

Pure geometric shapes reflect the relationship between design and nature

The proposal for the new Pila-Couis cable car competition in Valle D’Aosta, originates from the imagination that mountains stir in in us, synthetized in pure geometric shapes and offers matter for thought on the relationship between architectural design and nature.

The project’s outline follows the environment's orographic features, characterised by demarcation elements dividing the space into separate entities: above and below, ascent and descent, light and heavy, light and shadow.

Uphill, the mountain’s ridge acts as a pivot. Downstream, the signs of anthropization are the key to understanding it.

The new downhill station is an extension of the arrival station of the cableway connecting Cogne to Pila, and creates a parallelepiped with a materic basement that houses the ticket offices and all the localized functions. A large covered public staircase is the dynamic element that emphasizes the cable transportation system. The wooden structure's skeleton emerges and leans towards the forecourt, transforming it in the beating heart oft he valley’s project.

Uphill, the station's bulk sits exactly on the ridge between the two north-south slopes and is cut into two triangular elements with their  opposing spikes rising eastward and westward, recalling the jagged edge of the surrounding peaks. The station's disembarking area opens onto a large wind-sheltered covered panoramic hall. This ‘decompression’ space allows the flows to be sorted.

All the restaurant's service spaces are organized within a central core, with the kitchen opening onto the room, so that the façades are free of obstacles and offer uninterrupted views of the landscape along the entire perimeter.

To the south, a loggia carved into the space protects the façade from solar radiation and offers a secret view. a terrace accessible on foot from the lowest point of one of the triangles, that can be used as an outdoor area on beautiful winter days and in the summer season.

  • Info
    • Location
    • Client
    • Status
    • Year
    • Area
      1264 m²
    • Design team
      Filippo Pagliani, Michele Rossi Alessandro Rossi (Project Director) Davide Cazzaniga, Sofia Dalmasso, Irene Ricciardi, Enrico Sterle Marinella Ferrari (Graphics) Antonio Cavallo, Stefano Venegoni (Visualizations)

Downhill, the intervention in the village of Pila exploits and follows the line of the retaining wall of the terracing built to create flat areas on the mountain side.

Thanks to its triangular shape the station can offering a spectacular 360° panoramic view ranging from Matterhorn to Mont Blanc.

Conceived as a large flexible space, the restaurant functions as an optical instrument for focusing on the surrounding alpine landscape.

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