Skyway, the new Monte Bianco cable car facility in northeast Italy, required the building of three new stations at 1,300, 2,400 and 3,500 metres respectively. A contemporary architecture project, the station structures are in glass and steel while the modern interiors were designed by Roberto Rosset and Danilo Montovert and installed in partnership with furniture manufacturer Paolo Castelli, which supplied standard and made-to-measure furniture and fittings for the restaurants, bars, exhibition rooms, kitchens, offices and staff quarters.
The Skyway Coffee Shop at the valley station of Pontal d’Entrèves comprises a central passage way designed for heavy traffic flows and a more secluded resting area equipped with public seating. Timber is the predominant material. Bar counter and wall surfaces are clad in rustic-finish wooden slats for contemporary design that references age-old local woodworking traditions.
The intermediary station, Pavillon, accommodates visitors in the 2-room restaurant and snack bar of its Bellevue Bar. The snack bar has a pleasingly curved counter. The oak slat lining of the back walls sets up a dynamic play of light and shadow. Darker furniture and finishes characterise the “du Peuterey” dining room. Galvanized iron sheet lines both the bar counter and outer curved wall. Set into the wall, a series of mirrored glass showcases display local craft products. The irregular trapeze-shaped geometries of the timber wall panels in the Dames Anglaises restaurant recall the nearby mountain peaks. A series of picture frames cut into the wall hold old photographs of artist-architect Carlo Mollino, who hailed from this part of Italy.
In the highest station, Punta Helbronner, the Sala Cristalli - in keeping with its name - hosts a collection of Monte Bianco crystal rock displayed in a varied series of black metal freestanding or wall-recessed showcases with extra-clear glass. The dominant colour scheme of the Bistrot des Glaciers is white like the snowy mountain peaks outside. A glass and Corian bar counter is centrally place, while tables and chairs near the large glazed walls give customers spectacular views.