At the very top of the Schnals Valley Glacier ridge, 3251m above sea level, where the impressive Italian Alps look over the reservoir, noa* presents the experience of a lifetime…
The observation deck, named ‘Ötzi Peak 3251m’ after Ötzi the Iceman, sits at a unique geographic location, just a short distance from the Austrian border. A viewing platform that brings one face-to-face with the grandeur of nature, allowing visitors, hikers, and skiers to take in the breath-taking landscape of snow-covered mountains and delve into their fascinating history.
A light structure made of Corten steel; the viewing deck lends a modern touch as it blends with the rugged, stony landscape. Incorporating the pre-existing summit cross, its design takes on an organic form, mirroring the natural topography as it cantilevers off the edge of the ridge, seeking support only where necessary – a seemingly detached, floating construction.
The 80 sq. m. base structures itself over a plateau grid, placed atop slender crossbeams. Vertical lamellas of Corten steel act as a parapet, tracing gentle curves as they wrap around the base. Their sequence and angular orientation create a magical effect, revealing views through their open and close formations.
The viewing angle of the funnel takes the visitor on an intellectual journey towards the Iceman.
Guiding the movement of the viewer, the vertical slats offer an invitation to discover new perspectives repeatedly. A geometric funnel projects out of the sinuous platform, directing eyes towards a timeless spot – Ötzi’s location. The viewing angle of the funnel takes the visitor on an intellectual journey towards the Iceman. Here, while the Corten steel turns dark brown, then grey, and finally black, the funnel end comprises entirely of glass, recalling the feeling of walking on air.
The immersive, sensory experience culminates in a moment where time stands still and the beauty at the fore stays etched in memory.
Project name: Ötzi Peak 3251m
Client: Schnalstaler Gletscherbahn AG
Typology: Viewing platform
Architecture: noa* network of architecture
Surface area: 80 sq. m.
Location Schnals Valley Glacier, South Tyrol (Italy)
Photography credits: Alex Filz