Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Waste-to-Energy Plant, Copenhagen, Denmark - Waste not, want not...

State of the art Waste-to-Energy Plant incorporates public rooftop ski slope

Beating strong contesters Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Dominique Perrault Architecture, 3xN, Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects to the punch, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been selected by a unanimous jury panel as the winner of an international competition to replace the 40 year old industrial Amagerforbraending plant in Copenhagen.

The Waste-to-Energy plant has been deemed an ‘exemplary model in the field of waste management and energy production’, spanning 95,000 sq m and boasting the latest technologies in waste treatment and environmental performance. BIG has encouraged an active relationship between the new plant and the public by exploiting vacant roof space as a 31,000 sq m ski slope.

Director of Amagerforbraending, Ulla Röttger, explains: “BIG’s proposal contributes to the city with something useful and beautiful. We see this creating a lot of opportunities and with this unique building we can brand the Danish knowledge and technology to show the world our abilities within the environment and energy issues.”

Visitors to the facility access the rooftop slopes via a lift along the plant’s smokestack which allows a glimpse into the internal activities of the plant. Traditionally viewed as a symbol of the industrial era, the smokestack has been transformed into an educational tool; every time one tonne of fossil CO2 is released, the smokestack discharges a 30m smoke ring into the air ‘as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption and a measuring stick that will allow the common Copenhagener to grasp the CO2 emission in a straightforward way’. When darkness falls, heat tracking lights continue to illuminate these smoke rings.

Externally the complex is wrapped in a 74,000 sq m vertical green facade formed by planter modules stacked like bricks. Partner at BIG, David Zahle, explains: “Designing a façade for a building is like wrapping a gift without having to consider its content. Instead of concentrating on the wrapping paper we have instead invested our energy on creating a gift for the citizens of Copenhagen and its visitors no matter if they are adults or children, professionals or beginners. I can’t wait to ski on a base of clean and green energy with a view over the city in 2016.

BIG is working with realities:united, AKT, and Topotek 1 & Man Made Land on the design for the new Waste-to-Energy Plant.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lecor, Kungalv, Sweden - A steely reserve

Local design firm KKA have composed a new headquarters for steel manufacturer Lecor in Kungalv, 10km north of Gothenburg, Sweden. With the client's advanced project portfolio in the steel industry, it was imperative for the architecture of their commercial property to reflect their skill in this field.

The designers explain: "We have worked with materials, colours and textures in various ways that can be associated with the steel industry and its traditions. The colours remain mostly in a soft pastel scale and white shades as we have followed the principle to 'drape' the whole room in one and the same colour." Clad in dark grey steel plates, the angular design comprises offices, dining areas, meeting rooms, a library and changing rooms.

Soft pastel shades of pink, yellow and green punctuate the monochrome cladding, with particular sections such as the 'matkuben' (dining cube) protruding from the core of the building in the form of glass cubes sealed in a steel frame. On the top floor of the building, a conference room and outdoor terrace are enclosed in a long bridge of the truss plant-steel construction, from which users are afforded a 270 degree view over the surrounding wooded landscape.

Within the generous entrance hall is located a large staircase, framed by high, painted steel walls decorated in a specific pattern resembling the white glow from welding. The entrance flooring is composed of black ceramic tiles in three differing sizes, extending outside in a welcoming gesture to visitors and employees alike.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

University of Florida Clinical Translational Research Building, Gainesville, United States

Perkins + Will designs facility to prolong the built environment and human life

The University of Florida Clinical Translational Research Building (CTRB) serves as the major catalyst for developing models and synergies in medical research, education, and healthcare across all colleges and departments at the University. The CTRB will extend clinical treatment from bench to bedside to curbside by outreach to the local community, creating a unique clinical research environment. The building creates a unified home for the NIH funded Institute on Aging (IOA) and the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) which are joined within a 120,000-sq-ft facility that is one of the first of its kind.

Inspired by the Biophilia Hypothesis the project emerges as a leaf drawn in the canvas of the site organising the project footprint into vein-like channels which filter and transmit stormwater to an on-site retention basin. The leaf’s central spine unites the IOA and CTSI by creating a collaborative courtyard. The two institutes each consist of a wing of clinical and support spaces at the ground level with research spaces above. The wings are joined by shared multi-purpose spaces, conference rooms, collaborative spaces and the main entry lobby.

The concept 'sustaining life itself provides healing' emerged from the desire to provide sustainable healing, working and educational environments. The concept; considering nature as both model and context provides the framework for the building design and sustainable strategies. The building utilises the environmental forces on the site to provide for its needs. Available solar radiation provides daylighting and energy through photovoltaic collectors. Rainwater and condensate will be collected for flushing toilets and irrigation. The building will achieve energy use reduction of up to 50% by its orientation, glazing design and through the use of underfloor displacement ventilation in the office and research areas. The project has a LEED® certification goal of Platinum and will be carbon-neutral.