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Sound barriers | Chiasso | 2002

A steel forest

Protezioni foniche | Chiasso | 2002


Dipartimento del territorio 

Architectural firm

Architetto Mario Botta, Lugano (Collaborators Studio Botta: Danilo Soldini, Daniele Eisenhut)

Engineering firm

Grignoli Muttoni Partner SA, Lugano


Consorzio protezioni foniche Chiasso - Officine Ghidoni SA - Ferriere Cattaneo SA - Officine Franzi SA - Tubosider SpA

Protezioni foniche | Chiasso | 2002


The A2 highway existence in Chiasso area generates a huge environmental load due to the big number of vehicles passing through and particularly to the amount of trucks that often stop off for customs forms emission.

In order to increase the value of the area, as early as in the 90s, the Regional Department and Chiasso municipality decided to build sound barriers that represent an added value even from the architectural and urban point of view.

Technical features

Supporting structure: through reinforced concrete skirting board

Mast structure: tubular sections linked by melted joint

Covering: semi-finished laminated glass, steel sectioned lattice 

Side walls: laminated glasses and metal sound-absorbent elements

Redeveloped stretch length: 1.800 m

Steel structure weight 2.450 tons

Glass surface 32.000 sq m

Sound-absorbent surface 24.000 sq m

Lead time 26 months

Technical description

The masted structures, geometrically aligned and made up of variable diameter steel section components that have melt steel branches and joints, have a 10.5 m longitudinal module.

The joints between the modules allow to adjust and flexibly adapt to the railing course. The glass wall of the mast’s crown is made up of VSG stratified glass. The side walls are made of VSG stratified glass plates and of sound-absorbent metal elements.

On the highway stretch running through Via Como, three modules can be distinguished. On the river side a unit of little masts, that have been directly assembled on the wing wall, rises. Between the North-South lane and Via Como there is a unit of huge masts supporting the whole covering. And another unit of little masts dividing the pavement from the street marks Via Como. 

The detailed design and the significant modularity allowed to produce the components in a short time. Every element had been prepackaged in the workshop so as to make the most of the transport possibilities of the consortium firms, that were well located in proportion to the building site location.

The produced elements test, whether from the point of view of the materials or from the one of geometry, filled an essential role to attain a practically perfect geometry.

Then, in situ, EMPA executed some tests using Adrienne method, that consists in placing on one side a sound source and on the other side a receiver, that, in a range of frequencies, allows to determine the achieved insulation level.

Protezioni foniche | Chiasso | 2002

Protezioni foniche | Chiasso | 2002

Protezioni foniche | Chiasso | 2002

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