Client: ASFINAG Autobahnen und Schnellstraßen AG, Wien
Loacation: Abschnitt Vösendorf-Schwechat
Competition: 1996, 1st Prize
Start of planning: 1996
Start of construction: 10/2001
Completion: 04/2006
Length of Road: 16,2 km
Tunnel: 3 Noise Tunnel, 2 Short Tunnel
Bridges: 6 Green Bridges, 9 Road and 5 Transport Bridges, 1 Railway Bridge
Cost: 430 Mio Euro

Characteristic of the S1 is a low lying stretch of carriageway accompanied by re-contoured slopes that frequently disappear into short or long tunnels or landscape bridges and also crossed by numerous viaducts. The driver experiences a relatively unsettling sequence of light and dark sections following each other in rapid succession. Two of the three architect’s interventions concern this area. Regular concrete elements surfaces, segmented into triangles have an intermediary role between the embankments and the tunnel entrances by leading the gradient in a uninterrupted flow from the inclined to the vertical. Funnel-shaped narrowing and expansion results, permitting the road to – as it were – breathe easily. An easy transition from light to dark is provided in the entrance sections to the tunnels through the use of skylight windows overhead letting the daylight shine through. The transition experienced in the awareness when travelling at high speeds is progressive in both of these cases, externally through geometrical progression and internally as a result of declining translucency of the window glass, while the actual size of the skylights must stay the same for reasons of costs. As a third measure, illuminated parapet walls react to the flow of the traffic with changes of colour, these follow the flow unobtrusively as “kinetic fields”. All three interventions have a direct connection with the perception of the driver by manifesting the peculiarities of the clearway. Measures well-suited to providing the S1 with an unmistakable identity.

Photos: Paul Ott, Graz