Keywords: art and nature / an oasis in the city / getting connected with the city and the Salzach river

Protected by the Mönchsberg as a natural fortification, the city of Salzburg once developed in the narrow, lens-shaped territory between the river and the mountain. The conglomerate stone of the Mönchsberg was the most important material for the building the city. In the nineteenth century, the mountain became a place of leisure, a landscape garden in the heart of the city. Today the ecosystem Mönchsberg is challenged by intense use, erosion, and further environmental issues, consequences of climate change. It is by no means stable, as one might think. In the projects for this location, these problems were the starting point for measures that on the one hand would stabilize the ecological system and at the same time turn these interventions to an aesthetic experience. The students were invited to take up the essence of the Mönchsberg, which represents a historical unity between nature and art.

The class of João Nunes and João Gomes da Silva has set the focus on the relationship of Mönchsberg to the city, its isolated character, and its expressiveness as a rock in the heart of the city. It thus becomes an autonomous entity that stands out distinctly from its surroundings and becomes its unique feature. The domesticated mountain differs in its geomorphology, which has been studied in depth, from other rock formations. Issues of accessibility and stability were defined as the key parameters for the students designing their projects.

Photos: Günter Richard Wett