The two cableway stations are part of the new Mont Blanc cableway which, replacing the three old cable cars, involves the construction of two sections respectively for connection between the valley station of Pontal d'Entrèves (height 1350m), the midway station Pavillon du Mont Frèty (height 2400m) and the summit station of Helbronner Peak (height 3462m).
The executive project is designed with the necessity to find an optimal solution from the static point of view in full respect of architectural forms in order to ensure the functionality of the stations in every aspect.
The midway station “Pavillon” is characterized on the uphill side by a supporting frame made with four lightened composite beams with 1500 mm height and 18 ribs, 13 of which rest directly on reinforced concrete pavement. A truss structure provides the support to mount the two outer beams, returning the load to the pillars to which it is connected. On the downhill side, the embarkation and disembarkation from the Pavillon station is a three-pronged structure, which comprises the entrance of the cableway cabins.
Overall, the steel structures shape the trend of the cover, while the same outline accompanies the path of the ropes to the anchorages.
Besides covering the main ropeway structure, the Pavillon station also includes a restaurant with shopping areas and a cinema.
The station in Helbronner Peak is composed of several modules. The bodies on the uphill side host restaurants and panoramic bars.
On the downhill side a trident structure consisting of a load bearing truss with a cantilever of approximately 9m serves as embarkation and disembarkation area. All modules are connected by a glass covered structure in the center of the summit station.
The project offered several challenges for Holzner & Bertagnolli Engineering:
- Heavy snow loads.
- High wind speeds.
- No welding on construction site, only bolted connections. All parts are galvanized.
- Temperature differences in the mounting process and during operation.
- Transport with material ropeway, limiting size and weight of factory-assembled parts.
- Rough weather conditions forced the team to find ways to ensure the shortest possible assembly times in the field.
- Underground stability (rock and permafrost) and difficult surface shape.
- Complex architectural geometry / shape.
According to Holzner & Bertagnolli Engineering, the key factors of success were interoperability between Tekla, Allplan and Autocad using .IFC and fast information transfer using Tekla BIMsight.