Conference: Culture and technique: the restoration of Walter Versell´s bridge in Tavanasa
23th April 2018, Archizoom Project Room - EPFL, Lausane, Switzerland
DATE: 23/4/2018
A lecture by the engineer Jürg Conzett will take place at Archizoom Project Room, EPFL, on April 23 at 18:30.
The presented lecture is part of the conference cycle projet, histoire, construction III: nouveaux regards sur le patrimoine récent, jointly organized by the Techniques and Safeguarding of Modern Architecture, ENAC-TSAM and Docomomo Switzerland, in partnership with the Gesellschaft für Ingenieurbaukunst.

“The conservation of an engineering monument is not only a technical problem, a question of know-how. It is the highlighting of a remarkable work that is at stake. It is quite possible that a bridge, a tunnel, a factory do not immediately arouse the enthusiasm of the public, which makes it necessary to patiently reveal its qualities and particularities, those that we see, and those that we do not see. 

Such was the case of the bridge over the Rhine before Tavanasa, built in 1928 by the civil engineer Walter Versell (1891-1989) of Chur. Located in a place steeped in history - remember the destruction of the famous bridge Robert Maillart by a flood, the year before - the bridge of Versell, laureate of a contest, presents a particular conception which anticipates in certain aspects the bridges- bows of Christian Menn which will be realized thirty years later. In terms of structural details too, this bridge has singularities: Versell corrects the shape of the arc with respect to the funicular polygon for eminently aesthetic reasons. After the construction of a new bridge, wider and duplicating the existing, the township intended to demolish Versell´s work. 
Finally, this witness of a Moderate modernity could be preserved by a private foundation. The conference will discuss the history of the bridge and the political and technical efforts undertaken for its safeguarding and even for its rescue.” In EPFL website

More details: EPFL websitePDF below [French]