Valley and Mountain station, Klein Matterhorn, Zermatt

The world’s highest three-cable gondola leads to the Klein Matterhorn near Zermatt and will connect Italy with Switzerland in 2021. 

A wooden construction was chosen for the bottom and top stations. This was partly for design and ecological reasons and partly because the station buildings have to provide a fire resistance of 30 minutes (R30). Furthermore, wood is light and the GSA® technology of the neue Holzbau AG allows short construction times due to the prefabrication.

The wooden supports are deliberately designed solid in order to architecturally stage the heavy loads of wind and snow. Snow and avalanche loads of locally up to 6.0 tons per square meter and wind loads of 320 kg/m2 (more than three times the loads of the flat land) act on the building. The wooden construction is formed by rigid frames, each leaning against the other. The span was reduced with struts towards the rock face. Since components with a maximum length of 12 m could be transported, the beams and columns had to be constructed with flexurally stiff assembly joints.

The report for reading (german) | Source: Lignum Holzbulletin 136/2020 Sustainable Building Solar Architecture