Bridges spanning gorges are highly visible; tunnels cut their way through mountains. But like bridges, tunnels and their portals can be aesthetically appealing constructions. Since 1993, a group of architects commissioned by the SBB has been ensuring that the NRLA and its three base tunnels meet more than purely technical requirements. The two entrances to the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Erstfeld, for example, are offset and enter the slope at an angle. To set them apart from the traditional masonry of rail tunnel portals that sometimes imitate the architecture of castles, they are made of concrete in a minimalist design, and blend discreetly into the landscape.
« A viaduct bestrides the Magadino plain on expressive legs. »Palle Petersen, «Built for speed» (special issue of Hochparterre magazine), April 2016