In 2021, the old Rotmoosbahn lift on Hochzeiger mountain was duly retired after 32 years of service. The successor to the cosy four-seater chairlift is a state-of-the-art eight-seater model, aptly named the “2.5”, where 2.5 stands for an altitude of 2,500 metres and thus the highest accessible point of the Hochzeiger ski area. With magnificent views of the surrounding mountains of the Pitztal valley, this awe-inspiring location clearly called for a building with an appropriate design.
Distinct and angular, yet restrained and humble – these are the characteristics of the custom-designed wooden hall of the top station of the Hochzeiger 2.5 chairlift. The planning and construction of the entire cable car system took no less than three years – not least due to the coronavirus, but even more so as a result of the close examination of the choice of materials and the focus on regionalism, which was a deliberate decision. Ultimately, this perseverance paid off: the building incorporates a total of around 200 m³ of wood, including 130 m³ of glulam and cross-laminated timber supplied by THEURL. In the interest of sustainability, this project emphasised the use of wood as a renewable and local raw material.
The wooden structure also stands out for the high quality of the timber products supplied by THEURL. Nearly 76 m³ of visual-quality CLTPLUS were used for 64 structural components, with a thickness of either 80 or 100 mm. In addition, the building includes approximately 56 m³ of visual-quality glulam, which went into 201 different components. One of the biggest challenges was to engineer the multitude of connections for the individual glulam components down to the last millimetre so that they could be joined together smoothly on site to create the load-bearing structure.
The Hochzeiger 2.5 chairlift also excels from a functional point of view, as the entrance was designed to be protected from both wind and snow. To give skiers a fitting welcome upon their arrival at the summit, the top station has been equipped with large panoramic windows comprising 100 m² of glass, which afford spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including the Rofelewand. This sophisticated wood-and-glass structure is protected by a specially designed timber roof clad with 470 m² of Eternit shingles, whose rich black colour provides a pleasant contrast to the surrounding snow-covered landscape – at least until they are themselves hidden by a white blanket and await the awakening of spring.