BEST OF MAS LA 2012-13 | “Reuss Valley”

BEST OF MAS LA 2012-13 | “Reuss Valley”
July 17, 2013 Fujan Fahmi

In the MAS LA year 2012/2013 the students were given a design task in Erstfeld – Altdorf: “Water meets Infrastructure”

The task of each MAS LA student was to generate a large-scale vision for the future Reuss valley. This challenge demanded the transformation of the various infrastructures, integrating future flooding, living and ecological patterns. The development of the Reuss valley at Erstfeld, Uri is a complex mix of infra­structural systems, including the local, regional, and european transport networks. The Reuss river.

The recent opening of the northern entrance to the Alp Transit tunnel project is the latest transformation to the valley system, creating large shifts in the future use of the valley. Within the MAS LA design studio, students work alone and in groups to react to the complex issues facing Erstfeld and its surroundings with a holistic approach to the future vision for the valley.

Simultaneous Landscapes | A Project by Effrosyni Laskari & Marina Tsintzeli

In the context of an urbanized future of the valley, we are designing the possibilities of a new landscape that will link together the fragmented valley. A dynamic new parkland is created in the existing cultural landscape, one that responds to the future transformations of the area. The area is confronted by the onset of floods caused by topographical water dynamics. For this reason a flood protection infrastructure system is integrated in this reinvented cultural landscape. The intervention focuses on two areas, the upper stream in the eastern side of the valley between Erstfeld and Altdorf, next to the motorway, and the delta area where the Reuss River meets the Lake of Lucerne. Essentially, the upper stream creates a new flood diversion channel to discharge the additional amount of water. Through the new reshaped topography, flood limits are redefined and floodplains controlled.

In the delta area, more space is given to the previously channeled river by creating new river branches. In this area a continuous transitory system between land and water is to be placed and the floodplain freely formed. Reshaped, a sculptural ground is created to receive the evolving field of parkland corresponding to the social aspect of the project, thus providing a topographical water management strategy.

Moving and continually changing landscape. The seasons, the light, the temperature and the uses transform this place with the passing of the seasons. The transformation of color and forms make this landscape diverse and alive.

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 redirecting the artificial channel in Altdorf towards the lake; forming the new riverbed with different ground inclinations in contact with the flat fields area; and 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.