On the completion of the NRLA / NEAT

With the ceremonial opening of the Ceneri Base Tunnel on 3 September 2020, the last section of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) / Neue Eisenbahn-Alpentransversale (NEAT) was opened to traffic. This event not only marks the end of almost thirty years of planning and construction, it also closes the last chapter of infrastructure buildings for whose design Flora Ruchat-Roncati has been responsible for throughout her life.

Due to her great experience gained with the design of the Transjurane highway, she was appointed to the core team of the design group headed by SBB chief architect Uli Huber in 1993, one year after the adopted referendum. Together with engineer Christian Menn, architects and planners Pierre Feddersen and Rainer Klostermann and (shortly after also) Pascal Sigrist, she worked on the design guidelines for all visual structural and landscape interventions in the NRLA until her death in 2012. The face of the AlpTransit, a truly centennial project, was significantly shaped by the consistent implementation of these guidelines.

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Image credits: 
Perspective view of the tunnel mouth at Biasca, AlpTransit Gotthard (opened 2016). Irma Noseda, „Uli Huber, Flora Ruchat-Roncati, Christian Menn und Rainer Klostermann im Gespräch mit Irma Noseda. Eingriff in die Landschaft. Alptransit Gotthard. Von der konzeptionellen Einheitlichkeit bis zum Spezialfall“, in: Werk, Bauen + Wohnen, 1/2 (Januar 2000), S. 20.
Portal of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, 2020. © AlpTransit Gotthard AG.
Ceneri 2020 logo, www.alptransit.ch.
Flora Ruchat-Roncati with Pascal Sigrist, visiting the NRLA construction site at Erstfeld, 3 July 2008. Dieter Geissbühler, „Flora Ruchat-Roncati (1937–2012)“, in: Scholion: Bulletin. Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin (Hg.), 8/2014, S.171–174, 172. Foto Philipp Schmidli.