A16 Highway - sections 3/7/8
A16 Highway, Porrentruy and Choindez , canton of Jura (Switzerland) Working on an infrastructure of such size raises first and foremost the problem of how to relate to the landscape. A first solution would have consisted in concealing the built volumes to minimize their visual impact in sceneries considered as frozen for ever. Another choice was made: claiming the highway as an asset of contemporary culture, a valuable addition to the site per se. A highway is a historical construction, a mark of our times which can add further depth to the landscape. The idea is not to blend into the landscape but to stand against it while fitting into it. A common vocabulary, using a typology adapted to the layout and the site (from the bridge balustrade to the ventilation plant) defines the various structures. Their effortless lines, surfaces, volumes, and shapes easily follow the motorist along. The Banné and Perche tunnels entrances acquire moreover a new significance: the Porrentruy’s new gates, completely comparable to the Faubourg de France’s middle-aged gates. Therefore, they not only create a conscious and valued relationship with the sites they mark but are also seen as related to History. A16 is not a no man’s land, anonymous, separated with its hinterland but a real invitation to its discovery through the works that cross it. Thus all the works drawn and realised which compose the Porrentruy and Delémont by-pass become reference marks in the crossed territories. In a tensed, complex and accurate geometry, each work or part of it, acquires a formative role and works like a landscape emphasis.

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