Eco Energy Plant / Urban Design

© Courtesy of Urban Design

Architects: Urban Design
Location: Donetsk, Ukraine
Client: Eco Energy
Project Manager: Erik Jarlöv, Helena Glanz
Project Year: 2011
Images: Courtesy of Urban Design

exploded axo


The construction consists of an inner core of a prefab panel system wall taking care of climate and noise issues. Around this, an outer shell of light and sheet-, semi-transparent expanded mesh and glass is mounted. The expanded will have a variation of gradings witch gives the facade a shifting transparency from different angles.

The outer shell consists of a triangular steelframe structure (secondary load-bearing frame), attaching to a primary load-bearing structure of pillars and beams. On these frames a less sparce grid (third structure) supports the cover of aluminium and glass panels. The primary system is also connected to the inner core, to stabilize the outer facade. The space between the core and the outer shell can be used for silos, tubing, sound baffels and gratings serving as easy-access lay-down areas. The double facade system will make sure that all this everyday “mess” of the plant is covered by the smooth outer skin.

elevation 01

The solution gives all the advantages of an easy light-weight prefab system (inner core), while outside of this (outer shell) creating an attractive, contemporary architecture that signal the clean energy and transparency of the Eco Energy Plant. The beetle-like design easy “mutates” into a more elongated or a more compact form, to follow different alterations of the process layout. Since the space between the process core and the outer shell is “outdoor”, ventilation grids, filters etc can be added without changing the outlook. The core building and big scale process parts, are painted in green, making itself partly visible through the more transparent panels of the shell.

The Plant / Layout

plan 01
plan 02

We have kept the general layout of the competition brief, adding workshops and storage rooms on the ground floor and control room, lab and offices on top of these. Steam turbine and switch gear are mirrored to the south side of the building, to keep the workplaces at distance from the magnetic fields they generate. The elevated situation of the offices gives them a nice view of the surrounding landscape. From the adjacent control room the staff can easily monitor the tipping area and also handle the waste drive. A small auditorium placed near the offices and control room, will open the plant up for visiting school classes and groups from other cities that are interested in the “Eco Energy solution”.

Flow / Logistics

© Courtesy of Urban Design

The square, functional boxes of the power plant is covered with a light, shimmering “skin” of sheet aluminium, – mesh and glass. The smooth “skin” gives the plant a contemporary /look/attitude/ that goes well with its main task – to produce environmentally friendly energy for the city of Donetsk and its surrounding suburbs.

Identity / Character

The Eco Energy Plant will have a high recognition factor. The shimmering bug-like plant will look like no other. The light, triangularized aluminium- and glass façade communicates cleanliness and efficiency. The facade also offers great possibilities to use the aluminium panels and –mesh for graphic communication printed directly on the surface. The landscape around the plant is also an important recognition factor. Our aim is to link the heat and power production to nature, that is the mother of all goods. By using earth-works instead of traditional fences, the fertile soil is saved for later purposes, the extensive lay-down areas are shielded off from the surrounding green land. The by-passer will get the impression that the plant sits on a green field of grass, rather than on a wide asphalt desert.

Cite: P, Amber. "Eco Energy Plant / Urban Design" 02 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • daiku

    hahaha! ‘ECO’ good joke, haha! burning plastic, very funny!

  • Helena Glantz

    Today the main part of Ukraine’s household waste is deposited on landfills, thereby causing several environmental problems like production of methane gas and leakage of heavy metals into the ground water as well as dioxin into the air.
    The WTE plant takes advantage of the energy in the waste by using it as fuel in a combined heating- and power facility. Besides solving the waste problem in the city of Donetsk, with about 1,1 million inhabitants, it also produces enough energy to support five city districts with all their hot tap water and half of their heating supply.
    “Burning plastic” isn’t a joke – it denotes regaining the energy in the oil used to produce the plastic instead of leaving it to decompose on a garbage dump.
    “EcoEnergy” is the name of the company that will build and run the facility.

    • Omar

      I like your project as well as the idea and please i want further details if possible, I’m an undergraduate student and I’m starting to work on my graduation project, there’s a similar problem in my city, Cairo, with more than 13 Million inhabitants so imagine the annual amount of waste we have. I’m trying to develop a similar project but for Bio fuels.
      So if you can help me with any data I’d be grateful
      my e-mail address is
      If you don’t mind please send me an e-mail.
      thanks in advance.

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