Hydroelectric Power Station Punibach / monovolume architecture + design

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Architects: monovolume architecture + design
Location: Planeiler Alm, South Tyrol,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of monovolume architecture + design

Client: Puni Energie GmbH (Ltd.)

The Punibach hydroelectric power station is conceived as a fracture in the landscape. Harmonically integrated in its surroundings, it suddently brakes it open and reveals the machines in its interiors, which serve to transform natural powers into useful energy.

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The concrete slab rammed into the ground separates the smooth hilly landscape and the raw building structure made out of natural, earth coloured materials. By night the appearance changes radically.

Courtesy of monovolume architecture + design

Whilst the landscape disappears in the darkness, the power station glows through the lamellar façade and presents itself as a landmark to the viewers over the road.

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Similarly to the preceding Winnebach project, also Punibach hydroelectric power station is located in a very delicate natural/alpine surrounding, and monovolume architecture+design was called by SEL AG (Südtiroler Elektrizitäts-Aktiengesellschaft) to manage the architectural integration between form, function and environment. Again, a defined statical and engineering project was provided by SEL AG, which was carefully adapted to meet the aesthetical and architectural needs in close coordination with the specialist engineers.

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This time the goal was to smoothly integrate the rather bulky volume into a gentle hilly landscape. Punibach hydroelectric power station was thus conceived as an almost linear fracture in the grassland — perfectly assimilated to the surroundings but without hiding its character. It suddently brakes the landscape open to reveal the machines in its interiors, which serve to transform natural powers into useful energy. Once again, as requested by the client, this was achieved with simple architectural arrangements. The predefined position of the pressure pipeline, the Y-pipe, hydroelectric turbines, returning conduit, as well as the pre-existing sand trap were not changed. The concrete slab rammed into the ground separates the smooth hilly landscape and the raw building structure made out of natural, earth coloured materials.

Courtesy of monovolume architecture + design

By night the appearance changes radically: Whilst the landscape disappears in the darkness, the power station glows through the lamellar façade, becoming a distinctive landmark visible from the main road not far away.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Hydroelectric Power Station Punibach / monovolume architecture + design" 28 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=276396>

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