Autobahnschleife (Motorway loop) A27 Vittorio Veneto
Questions to M + M from Christoph Keller

Keller: During the expansion of the Italian motorway Autobahn A27, which passes through the Veneto, you maintain that it would worthwhile to construct an additional roadway alongside kilometer 15+664,34, which would take the form of a 360°-loop,and would be linked up with the existing roadway. The planned loop, designed to diverge from and then rejoin the traffic stream, would describe a complete circle of 360° or 400 gon, with an outer radius of 175 meters. The basis for the ongoing planning is a design of October 24, 1996, which envisions a routed bridge construction featuring well-balanced proportions between the spans, the overall height, and the depth of the valley, as well as between supporting and subsidiary structural elements, one that can be both economically built and maintained.

Doesn’t such an endeavor require a great deal of funds?

M + M: Yes.

Keller: Already during the planning phase, the project elicited responses from many quarters. Retired German Federal Interior Minister Gerhard Baum emerged as a vehement supporter of the loop, while on a variety of occasions, fractions of Italian associations for environment protection expressed misgivings concerning the practicability of the undertaking. The mayor of the responsible local authority of Vittorio Veneto invited you to numerous audiences, and has contemplated the installation of a viewing terrace on a mountain facing the 'Curva d'amore,' where future marriage-minded couples could have themselves photographed against the backdrop of cars negotiating the loop. Moreover, the Association of Italian Rest Stop Operators is considering adding an additional service area in the immediate vicinity of the loop.

Do you have the feeling that people on their way to the sunny south will really want to cruise around in a circle?

M + M: Yes.

Keller: Several months ago, a public invitation for construction bids was announced. A team of stress analysts from the Munich’s Technical University has provided the needed calculations, which must be graded in a thoroughly complicated manner so that the planned construction on the A27, like a terrace resting on columns, will trace a transverse path through the spacious valley. In the previous year, the Binser engineering firm of Munich determined the basic parameters and construction schedule for the building execution, which are now being calculated by eight European structural and underground engineers. Moreover, a variety of potential sponsors have signaled their interest in co-financing the project via comprehensive subsidies, among them the European Union (EU), das Tourism Office of the Veneto (OTV), the Association of Italian Automobile Drivers (FMI), the Italian government, a large American mineral oil enterprise that wants to get involved as an anonymous contributor, and various European cultural institutions which cannot be named here. For an artistic project, the planning phases appear disproportionately elaborate, and seem unachievable without the necessary contacts and connections.

Have you invested a great deal of work in this undertaking?

M + M: Yes, of course.

Keller: For many viewers, the visual simulations of the projected traffic loop (among them CAD animations and photo-collages) conjure a highly precise sense of the physical effect upon drivers: the approaching sign, the directional signaling, the veering onto the exit, where the car inserts itself cautiously into the 360°curve, apparently modeled precisely on the tight curve on the Porsche testing grounds in Weissach. Passengers are pressed gently into their seats as the vehicle accelerates when exiting the loop and inserting itself deftly into the continuous traffic stream composed of ignoramuses and oblivious travelers. Needless to say, this takes time: to be precise, ca. 26 seconds, in comparison with a vehicle which remains on the standard route traveling at a constant velocity of 110 kilometers per hour.

Do you enjoy driving?

M + M: Yes.

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