SS 2018 Post-Mortem – The End of the Road
Elena Lurati.

Rastätte Walensee was born in 1968 as a service station for the newly built motorway A3 connecting Zürich to Sargans and died in 1986 after a modification to the circulation occurred. The Sargans – Zürich axis was displaced into the Kerenzerberg Road tunnel, whilst traffic in the opposite direction still runs along the shores of the Walensee. Deprived of its reason to be, R.W. now stands as a completely isolated object out of context, a dead landmark of modernity.

The modernist ideal of a Belvedere on the infrastructure is nowadays outdated. As a future scenario, motorways will insistently be displaced underground, as the case of the Kerenzerberg tunnel leaving behind kilometers of abandoned asphalt stripes relating weirdly to the natural landscape.

Similarly, the modernist dream of cars speeding through the highway is dead. Contemporary society is now heading to a “reverse evolution” towards an ideology of degrowth and green living. Riding a bike is henceforth a stronger status symbol than driving expensive cars.

The project reacts to this new paradigm, turning the obsolete road into a new kind of camping area only accessible by boat or foot. As a strong statement towards modernist aesthetics, the building’s iconic extention on the road has been suppressed. What remains visible on the façade are the amputated concrete beams, witnesses of the long past age of horizontality. Like a provocation, the shower tower is erected on the asphalt in the middle of the road, establishing itself in the mountainous landscape as the landmark of a new era.

Project by: Elena Lurati

Studio Alex Lehnerer, ETH