In December 1999 Zaha Hadid Architects won the international competition for a new ski jump on the Bergisel Mountain in Innsbruck. The new structure opened in 2002. Situated on the Bergisel Mountain overlooking down town Innsbruck, the ski jump is a major landmark. It is part of a larger refurbishment project for the Olympic Arena and replaces the old ski jump, which no longer met with international standards.
The building is a hybrid of highly specialized sports facilities and public spaces, including a café and a viewing terrace. These different programs are combined into a single new shape, which extends the topography of the slope into the sky. At a length of about 90m and a height of almost 50 m the building is a combination of a tower and a bridge. Structurally it is divided into the vertical concrete tower and a spatial steel structure, which integrates the ramp and the café. Two elevators bring visitors to the café, 40 m over the peak of the Bergisel Mountain. From here they can enjoy the surrounding alpine landscape as well as watch the athletes below fly above the Innsbruck skyline.
Photo credits: Helene Binet