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Chemin des Carrières | Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Photo credit: Florent Michel @11h45

The Quarries Track, Portes Bonheur - le Chemin des Carrières is a undulating lace in the landscape, a travelling invitation as the ambition behind the reconquest of the Rosheim-St Nabor railway in Alsace, France.

The railway which is omnious and occassionally disguised still mark the reading of the site. The aspiration to set up a track to serve the quarries had to acclimate to the undulating landscapes of the sub-vosges hills and the absolute form of the tracing reveals the history of the men and the landscape. The quest to explore forgotten landscapes or to have a strange view on everyday landscapes is forwarded to both local users and vistors. Like the old track that provided a dual function (passenger transport and industrial), the route has a dual vocation where the utilitarian must rub shoulders with the imaginary of travel.

A tale goes around the 11km path, which the stops divide into five different chapters of distinct sequences of landscapes offering varied universes and highlighting remarkable sites. Unusual elements underline the way, iming at reviving the visitor’s senses, and water is encountered regularly.


The first chapter, Rosheim tells the tale of the past. Recognised by the interlaced circles in corten steel, the pavilion has a twisted and intricate character with the concave and convex interiors creating a drama, which the visitors are free to roam and explore. The train tracks are safeguarded in that area, seatings are built, the openings are created such that the scuplture opens and closes to the selected views of the surrounding landscape allowing for viewing, seating - reflexion and contemplation.


The second chapter, Boersch tells the tale of water. The river , which historically alllowed connection to the world also explaining the meaning of a true cleanliness of a place. It is an energetic element in the landscape, running to the ocean. The riverbed is enlarged and a large open space amphitheatre is built to access water.


The third chapter, Leonardsau tells the tale of the land. The idea of discovery is developed by incorporating a gate that opens a perspective towards Mont St-Odile, this is achieved as two large corten steel plates amplify the opening effect at the end of the forest corridor to the open landscape, after a long green tunnel.


The fourth chapter, Ottrott tells the tale of travel. Being a former train station this stop transpires the history  of the railway and also highlights the presence of the heritage( bridge, balance, crane, pump..) In the framework or structure of housing buildings, the reservoir, symbolising water, and concrete crossings connect housing to historical elements and landscapes.


The fifth chapter, Saint-Nabor tells the tale of luck. The reconquest of the vegetation on a old industrial site is symbolized by an ongoing “renaturalisation” process of the quarries, closed for years. On one of the highest platform designed by the machine, will the traveler come upon the most splendid work: a headland in corten steel giving an expanded view on the valley of Rosheim and the plain of Alsace. From this viewpoint inspired by a four-leaf clover, the visitor will feel lucky to experience the view of such a delightful region.


  • Type: Landscape

  • Location: Rosheim, France

  • Program: Reconversion of a train track with cultural pavilions and installations

  • Client: Communauté de Communes des Portes de Rosheim

  • Size: 11km / 4M€

  • Commission type: Invited competition (2016)

  • Status: Completed (2019)

  • Design Team: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter in collaboration with Parenthèse Paysage

  • Photo Credits: Florent Michel 11h45

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