14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
07 Jun - 23 Nov 2014
08 Jun 2014 until 20 Jul 2014
Gotthard Landscape - The Unexpected View

Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi
Campo San Agnese - Dorsoduro 810
IT - 30123 Venice

Opening: Saturday, 7 June 2014, 6.30pm, with Moritz Leuenberger
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm
Open on Whit Monday, 9 June 2014

Two schools of architecture in Switzerland, the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zürich and the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio AAM/USI present a research project: «Gotthard Landscape – The Unexpected View».

Project board
Prof. Christophe Girot
Chair of Landscape Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich
Prof. Christian Sumi
Accademia di architettura Mendrisio AAM, Universit. della Svizzera italiana USI
Prof. Urs Fanger
Institute for History and Theory of Architecture (gta) ETH Zurich
Landscape Visualization & Modeling Lab (LVML)
Institute of Landscape Architecture ETH Zurich Pascal Werner, Johannes Rebsamen, Matthias Vollmer

With the opening of the NEAT in 2016 the longest alpine tunnel in the world (57km) will be put into operation. Since early history, the St. Gotthard Range has always been understood as the heart of the Alps. But, with this new underground rail transect, the entire mountain range with its existing infrastructure, will be made for the most part obsolete – it will be replaced with a high velocity utopian spacementally filled with projections, projects and innovations. The landscape will thus be split into two realms, a visible world above and an imaginary one below.

The Scientifically Based Appropriation of the Landscape
Our project deals with the passage from a factual and territorial oriented tradition in the Alps, towards a virtual territorial principle based on a scientific appropriation of the landscape.

Landscape as Abstract Digital Sculpture
Our own landscape vision of the Alps is thus dematerializing and acquiring the visual character of an interactive digital sculpture. The established two dimensional modes of representation of alpine topography are replaced here by a 3D computer generated point cloud topology of immense precision. A completely new understanding of each locality dawns upon us. Through such interactivity it becomes also a working instrument capable of producing cross sections of any topographic reality for the purpose of landscape architectural visions and designs.

Innovative Aesthetic Fascination
The transparency and 'liquefaction' of territorial reality through point cloud digitalization invites us to a completely new way of seeing. Its virtual character the diaphanous 'technical' colouring of the topological surface provokes an uncommon aesthetic and magic fascination.

At the same time, an inventory of the Gotthard infrastructure will include (railway infrastructure, waterways and dams, public and private traffic roads, skilifts, etc…). These will be shown through abstract graphic structures, sections, overlays and triangulations projected directly on a 3D model of the Gotthard.

Swiss Cooperation Programm in Architecture SCPA:
Discover additional alpine 3D laser data at:

For further information please contact: Urs Fanger
Gotthard Landscape - The Unexpected View