Interpretation and Visitors Center / VAUMM Architects

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

VAUMM architects shared with us their proposal for the Interpretation and Visitors Center of the Technology Development Plant for Co2 Geological Storage. The Energy City Foundation plans to build an Interpretation Center to publicize the project of Geological Storage of CO2, a new project which is one of the main mechanisms in the fight against global climate change. It is intended that after visiting the Center, people have learned how Co2 affects the planet, the solutions that arise, the reasons for storing CO2 and overall operation of the Co2 Storage Plant at Hontomín, and also has experienced the feeling of having been inside the earth and having watched direct injection of CO2. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

The ideas competition, as support to Technology Development Plant for CO2 Geological Storage, begins from the choice of position for the Center in the adjoining hillside from which you will have visibility over the plant. The building is located in the central position of the plot, 5 meters over the Technology Development Facility (PDT) level, to enjoy a complete view for a better understanding.

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

Faced with the extension in the landscape of the PDT, the Interpretation Center minimizes its physical presence becoming partially buried in a volume that appears as a shaded horizontal line in the landscape of the hillside. The roof gardens help to reduce the presence of the Center while holding the main presence of the plant PDT. Part of the roof is in turn walkable and accessible from the side ends of the building allowing visitors to walk through the network of trails. Therefore, the building comes from the skills of the level line to the height chosen so that it becomes, in the process of geological storage of CO2, in one of the stratum. This way, the green roof tends to recover the “footprint” of the building, offsetting the deterioration of the land occupied, returning to the landscape on the cover.

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

In front of the Visitors Center, using blown up roof of the building, it´s generated a covered but open space that serves as a prelude to educational presentations about the museographic contents below. This is a recreational area that also serves as a meeting and contemplation point of the plant, which may give greater capacity to an inside cafeteria expanded as an outdoor terrace.

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

The distribution of a single storey building minimizes the necessary earthworks and alters as little as possible the field, while facilitating the accessibility and functionality of the building. Also, lets you arrange direct access to the building and intuitive while in turn facilitates the guidance and evacuation in case of emergency. The building has been fitted with a linear store to service all rooms, in clear distinction between servers and served spaces, with the formalization of a band ancillary service, which makes the inner works easier.

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

The south facade, most exposed to direct solar radiation, has a system of slats of recycled wood, i.e. wood used in construction, that will be recovered to provide sun protection to the glass facades, also creating an interesting texture from a compositional point of view, while allowing this material to understand the elevation in continuity with the natural landscape surrounding the building.

Courtesy of VAUMM Architects

In museological content, this explains how the CO2 is captured in the industrial plants, how is transported to the storage area; how it is injected at depths below 800 meters, into a highly porous and permeable rock, called “reservoir” rock, which is capped by another, impermeable, “seal” rock that prevents its leakage towards the surface.

Architects: VAUMM architects
Location: Hontomín, Burgos,
Project: Ideas Competition for an Interpretation and Visitors Centre of Technology Development Plant for Co2 Geological Storage
Collaborators: YTURRALDE Y SAGÜES Engineers
Promotor: Energy City Foundation, legal public state foundation of: Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spanish Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine
Date: June 2011
Budget: 1.134.000 €



Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Interpretation and Visitors Center / VAUMM Architects" 17 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
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