Gotthard Transect by the Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies


Box set with double casssette + booklets with photos and texts

The Gotthard is associated with a variety of stories and myths. The passage over the range developed from a mule track in the 13th century to an important road in the 19th century. The first railway line over the Gotthard opened in 1882 – it included the longest railway tunnel in the world at the time. The bridges and galleries soon became known landmarks of Switzerland. Now, as then, the Gotthard is a central link between major political, economic and cultural centers. Now as before, the interplay between imposing alpine summits and the most modern transport infrastructures nourishes the Swiss identity with strong symbolism.

The album Gotthard Transect is the result of a seminar at the Chair of Landscape Architecture of Christophe Girot at ETH Zurich. Applying the transect method, students recorded and collected acoustic and visual samples along a predefined line through the landscape. The footage is divided into four sections, each corresponding to a stage in the crossing over the range. They are reflecting the physical proximity of the students to the alpine landscape. The word Transect, derived from Latin trans (through) and secare (cut), also relates to the Gotthard Base Tunnel that opened in 2016, and is currently the longest railway tunnel in the world.

The subtitle "Sight and Sound Observations above the new Base Tunnel" refers to the journey following the tunnel as closely as possible on the alpine terrain. While the landscape disappears for the travelers when they enter the darkness of the tunnel, evidence of the tunnel along the walking path remains mostly hidden. The only exception is a ventilation shaft, which for once brings sounds from the depths to the surface.

(Isabelle Fehlmann)

released May 6, 2022

Concept & Editorial: Ludwig Berger, Dennis Häusler, Johannes Rebsamen, Matthias Vollmer

Recordings and photos by Cecile Baumann, Geraldine Burger, Dimitri Häfliger, Laura Hunziker, Benjamin Müller, Giulia Remonda, Max Spett

Texts: Christophe Girot and Isabelle Fehlmann

Additional recordings, composition and mastering: Ludwig Berger

Image editing and selection: Dennis Häusler, Johannes Rebsamen, Matthias Vollmer,

Teaching team: Ludwig Berger, Dennis Häusler, Johannes Rebsamen, Matthias Vollmer

Special Thanks: Gereon Siévi