Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter win competition to design sculpture trail along abandoned French railway

Norwegian architecture firm Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter have won an international competition to design a public trail, amphitheatre and viewing platform along an abandoned railway line in Alsace, France.

Described as “a lace undulating in the landscape,” the Chemin des Carrières (or ‘Quarries’ Track’ in English) is designed to remember the history of the landscape and the people who once mined and quarried there.

The Rosheim-St Nabor railway, which served the quarries, had to wind through the surrounding hills to reach them. Reiulf Ramstad’s trail will follow this sinuous 11km (6.8 mile) line, with some vestiges of the track retained.

Four points along the journey divide the attraction into four chapters, each with a different theme, landscaping sequence, point of interest and “unusual elements to punctuate the way and awaken the senses.”

The first stretch, ‘Boersch’, will tell the story of water. The adjacent river will be widened and a large open space amphitheatre created to provide access the riverbank. A pair of wooden shelters will create two large doors on the track, welcoming visitors through.

‘Leonardsau’ will tell the story of the land. After a long green tunnel, two large steel blades will “amplify the opening effect experienced at the end of a forest corridor, when you capture a perspective of the open landscape.”

‘Ottrott’ will tell the story of travel. A former train station, the stop will “materialise” the history of the railway and rail heritage such as bridges, cranes and pumps.

The final chapter, ‘Saint-Nabor’, will represent luck. After being closed for years for a re-naturalisation process to bring greenery back to the abandoned industrial site, it will be newly opened to the public. A cantilevering corten steel observation point, shaped like a four-leaf clover, will overlook the surrounding valley, “making the visitor will feel lucky to enjoy the view of such a beautiful territory.”

“The journey we have created for the Quarries’ Track is addressed to both local users and tourists as a means to discover forgotten landscapes or to gain a new perspective on everyday landscapes” said the architects in a statement.

“Like the old track, which offered a dual function of industrial and passenger transport, the new route has a double vocation: its function as a path rubs shoulders with the imagery of travel.”

The project is scheduled for completion in late 2018. Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter’s previous built projects include the fairytale-inspired Romsdal Folk Museum in Molde, Norway and the Norwegian Mountaineering Center, which is designed to resemble a snow-topped peak.

Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter  Chemin des Carrières  Alsace  France  architecture  design  landscape 
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Norwegian architecture firm Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter have won an international competition to design a public trail, amphitheatre and viewing platform along an abandoned railway line in Alsace, France. Described as “a lace undulating in the landscape,” the Chemin des Carrières (or ‘Quarries’ Track’ in English) is designed to remember the history of the landscape and the people who once mined and quarried there. The Rosheim-St Nabor railway, which served the
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Parts of the old railway line will be retained along the trail / RRA
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