Bio4 Power Plant Competition Scheme

Three finalists for the Bio4 Power Plant competition scheme, 3XN, Gottlieb Paludan and KHR firms, (the winner still to be announced after the end of April 2015) impressed the panel with their different proposals for the site, which lies adjacent to HOFOR’s Amaderforbraending. The schemes are meant to accommodate administrative offices, laboratories, a workshop and welfare facilities, and respond to Denmark’s stance on sustainability.

Courtesy of HOFOR

Courtesy of HOFOR

3XN’s proposal, Amager Forest is a series of buildings which dip into the sky and landscape in a reptilian manner, that also reflect both the sky and landscape. This proposal is adamant on human participation in order to sustain the environment, along with “synergy between efficiency and nature’s power”, with the woodland symbolising the story of sustainable energy production (tree into fuel into energy).

This scheme is quite solid, in terms of geometry and aesthetic and doesn’t look too accessible, mimicking the power plant next to it. The landscaping is refreshing, and 3XN’s aim to create a positive cityscape within Denmark is an admirable effort.

Courtesy of HOFOR

Courtesy of HOFOR

KHR’s entry (The Work in The City) incorporates a 70m tall waterfall from the power plant, which faces a vast landscape, designed by Kristine Jensen Architects. This seems to be all that the firm has proposed, leaving the facilities to be addressed. The waterfall seems to ass to the landscape, and adds a form of sustainable energy to be utilised by the plant.

Courtesy of HOFOR

Courtesy of HOFOR

Gottlieb Paludan’s Plant Power aims to reflect the shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, by cladding their entry with tree trunks. They included an observation deck on their structure which overlooks the landscaping designed by Miller + Gronborg Architects. The first question that pops into my mind is: “are those tree trunks real?”

The direct interpretation of the sustainable energy narrative doesn’t do the actual narrative or the design any justice because of how wasteful the cladding seems. The observation deck is also a little bit idealistic, as it may be cold and noisy round a power plant, and additional safety gear may be needed in order to access it.

by Thelma Ndebele

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