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BIG's “Unconventional” Uppsala Power Plant Designed to Host Summer Festivals

BIG's “Unconventional” Uppsala Power Plant Designed to Host Summer Festivals
Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG

The city of Uppsala invited BIG to design a biomass cogeneration plant that would offset its peak energy loads throughout the fall, winter and spring as part of an international competition (ultimately won by Liljewall Arkitekter). Home to Scandinavia’s oldest university and landmark Uppsala cathedral, the plant proposal’s biggest challenge was to respect the city’s historic skyline.

Considering the project’s proposed seasonal use, BIG envisioned a dual-use power plant that transcends the public perception; in the summer months, the “crystalline” proposal was designed to transform into a venue for festivals during the peak of tourism. 

Courtesy of BIGCourtesy of BIGCourtesy of BIGCourtesy of BIG+ 22

“BIG's design proposal fuses two conventional industrial archetypes into an unconventional hybrid: the plant and the greenhouse. Both have been developed to provide a rational and efficient form of enclosure to massive industrial facilities: for manufacturing and agriculture respectively,” stated the practice in a press release.

Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG

“By harnessing the economies of scale associated with greenhouse structures it is possible to provide a 100% transparent enclosure to provide the future massive silhouette on Uppsala’s skyline with an unprecedented lightness while allowing the citizens to enjoy educational glimpses of what happens within. Rather than the conventional, alienating hermetic envelope of traditional power plants the crystalline volume serves as an invitation for exploration and education. The next generation of creative energy.”

Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG
  • Architects

  • Location

    Bredgränd 5, 753 20 Uppsala, Sweden
  • Partners in Charge

    Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen
  • Project Architect

    Marie Lançon
  • Project Manager

    Jakob Sand
  • Design Team

    Aaron Hales, Danai Charasti, Julia Boromissza, Michael Andersen, Teodor Javanaud Emden, Timothy Burwell
  • Client

    Vattenfall
  • Collaborators

    SLA, Ramboll, DK+SE, AKT II, Luchinger Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Spacecape
  • Area

    7250.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of BIG
  • Location

    Bredgränd 5, 753 20 Uppsala, Sweden
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of BIG
  • Area

    7250.0 m2

Project gallery

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Project location

Address:Bredgränd 5, 753 20 Uppsala, Sweden

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "BIG's “Unconventional” Uppsala Power Plant Designed to Host Summer Festivals" 26 Feb 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/603259/big-s-unconventional-uppsala-power-plant-to-host-summer-festivals> ISSN 0719-8884
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