Best of MAS LA 2012-2013 – Student Projects:

Shifting Focus – Shifting Horizon | A project by Ana Krstulovic

Based on the analysis of the valley between Altdorf and Erstfeld three main problems are emphasized; shadows, flooding potential and barriers in the transverse direction across the highway and the train tracks. Relative to the permanent flooding problem on the site, statistic data is analyzed with respect to the highest risk point (amount of the water and speed of the river) where the River Reuss meets an artificial channel in Altdorf. A new solution is created to ease the river flow along the whole valley and also towards the lake in the delta area (e.g. branches of the river). Taking into account the existing functions of the site – highway, fields, housing and industry – the attempt is to create a new river path while keeping the existing functions in the valley. Three points along the River Reuss are redesigned in a way to let the river flow in another direction due to the changed ground inclination of the new river bed. The River Reuss is relaxed by (1) redirecting the artificial channel in Altdorf towards the lake; (2) forming the new riverbed with different ground inclinations in contact with the flat fields area; and (3) making a new network of channels depending on the existing struc­tures, houses, and infrastructure in the built area. Wetlands along the new river bed in contact with existing fields are defined in a dialog with nature. The new “Transformation Area” rich with biodiversity has qualities for further development. A new quality of space is created and the pedestrian paths between Altdorf and Erstfeld redefined. Possibilities of a future refinement of the valley are also highlighted in its further development over longer periods of time.

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