Värtan Bioenergy CHP-plant, Sweden

red brick facade front view Värtan Bioenergy CHP-plant
Värtan Bioenergy CHP-plant, Sweden © Robin Hayes

Architects Urban Design & Gottlieb Paludan, Sweden
Location Stockholm, Sweden
Construction period 2013 - 2016
Nomination category
Building outside the box
Purpose Infrastructure and  energy
Usable floor area 25.000 m²
Brick type Ceramic façade panels

The Värtan Bioenergy CHP plant is unique in its environmental ambitions and architectural form. Located near the port of Stockholm, it is the largest urban biofuelled CHP plant in the world and it is surrounded by roads, houses, offices and other industries.  Its purpose is to reduce the growing city’s ecological footprint whilst supplying it with reliable power and heating. Being located in the urban environment, the plant had to integrate into it. The visible part has been clad in a curved façade of vertical, custom-made ceramic elements which reference the bricks of the historical industrial buildings nearby. The curved shape of the façade unites the various installations of the plant in a single gesture, while reducing its acoustic and visual impact. At the same time, the surface provides a transparency that subtly reveals the activities inside the building. The thinking behind that is – according to the architects - that “safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy production is nothing to hide”. 

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