Valley and Mountain station at Giggijoch in Sölden

The new Giggijoch gondola - including valley and mountain station - was constructed in only seven months. The 640 tonnes of steel were hot-dip galvanized by two companies within the ZINKPOWER Group.

The confined construction site in the valley determined the architecture of the gondola station, explaining why the entrance floor was raised to a height of 13 metres, against the backdrop of a sophisticated perforated patterned aluminium façade, creating a surprisingly realistic representation of the Ötztal Alps. The entrance floor and façade are supported by a hot-dip galvanized steel construction. The slim U-shaped concrete core of the building fully houses the cable car engineering and opens up towards the mountain with a 21-metre freely projecting roof structure.

The open, transparent construction of the mountain station on the Giggijoch at an altitude of 2,283 metres cannot fail to take you by surprise. A 47 x 44 m steel construction, spanned with film, floats above a concrete base, which virtually disappears into the landscape, acting both as load carrier and protection from the weather. Inside it houses several floors, including the traction equipment station, a type of garage for gondolas, with a traction power of 150 tonnes.

The entire load-bearing frame of the building is achieved with only 8 support points, a challenge for the experienced steelworkers project team, both in terms of statics and steel construction. Seven circular supports, arranged in a V-shape, support the entire structure. The concrete lifting tower acts as the eighth support point, and also doubles as wind bracing to absorb the horizontal wind forces.

Apart from the sloping terrain, the extremely short five-month long construction period and individual weights of up to 8.9 tonnes and component dimensions of up to 14.5 metres, were a major challenge for the steelworkers. However, there is no question about the corrosion protection by hot-dip galvanizing. On the one hand, the extremely long corrosion protection period argues in favour of the process, coupled with its resistance to mechanical impacts, possibly caused by skis, ski boots or sticks. The 5,000 components, consisting of 23,500 individual parts were galvanized by ZINKPOWER Brunn and Moson.



Photos: © Rudi Wyhlidal