With the new Waste to Energy Plant, the city of Roskilde in Denmark now has a second towering landmark, besides the UNESCO World Heritage listed cathedral. The plant incinerates waste from nine surrounding municipalities and from many places abroad, to produce electricity and heat power for the whole region of Roskilde.
The design presents an iconic expression for the otherwise functional architecture of the local waste management company KARA/NOVEREN’s next generation Waste to Energy plant. The façade consists of two layers: the inner layer is the skin which provides the actual climatic barrier, allowing the second, outer skin to be treated more freely, consisting of raw umber-coloured aluminium plates with an irregular pattern of laser cut circular holes. The aluminium plates are treated to give them the desired colour and patina during the day time. At night, the programmable lighting, installed between the two facades, gives the building an additional metaphor.
For the illumination of the façade it was important that only the light and not the light sources themselves are visible from the outside. This has been realized by reflecting the light on the inner façade, which allowed the light to glow through the perforated skin. All luminaries can be programmed individually and adjusted in colour. Nevertheless the lighting is not intended to brighten the sky or dominate the surroundings, but rather serves to underline the buildings’ industrial character and above all to give it poetic meaning and experience at night.
The design is based on simple construction details combined with cutting edge manufacturing technology, clever processing and repetition for the production of the aluminium façade panels. Due to its large scale, the Waste to Energy plant is destined to become an outstanding structure in the wide and open landscape of the Roskilde area and represents a hypermodern and sustainable energy plant, where waste will be turned into power.
The new Waste to Energy plant in Roskilde is created specifically to add value to an otherwise purely industrial complex. Enriching the skyline of this small Danish city, once the Danish Capital, the silhouette of the plant also provides a comment to its historic surroundings. The lower part of the building resembles the angular roofs of surrounding factories, but the impressive 97-meter spire and its materialization is the modern counterpart of the city’s prime historical monument, the Roskilde Cathedral.
Photo credits: Tim Van de Velde