Power plants that burn garbage for energy are not places where you expect to find beauty. Usually utilitarian in design, they’re often relegated to the middle of some industrial wasteland. But Denmark, a leader in incinerating waste for energy, has taken the opposite tack, commissioning big, beautiful power plants designed by hotshot architects.
Back in 2008, Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat, who’s designed museums and embassies, won an international competition to design the waste incineration power plant in Roskilde, Denmark. And now, a whole slew of new images show what the completed power plant looks like.
The shape of the power plant, in which a spire wraps around a chimney, is meant to echo the steeple of the nearby cathedral. But the most striking feature is its perforated aluminium facade, dotted with lights that will make the building glow like it’s on fire. “Several times an hour a spark of light will gradually grow into a burning flame that lights up the entire building. When the metaphorical fire ceases, the building falls back into a state of burning embers,” the architect said in Dezeen. The lights might also glow blue or psychedelic.
It’s no great innovation to put lights on a building facade, but putting them on a waste incineration plant sends the message that this is a building meant to be seen and photographed. How many power plants can you say that about?
Another prime example of destination infrastructure is the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant outside of Copenhagen. The huge, slope-shaped building will double as a mountain for skiing and hiking. When you can’t hide your garbage any longer, you have to live alongside it, and some innovative architecture doesn’t hurt. [Dezeen]
Pictures: Tim van de Velde