LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) has won the competition to redesign an energy park and energy storage building in Heidelberg, Germany, for the Stadtwerke Heidelberg. Currently a cylindrically shaped storage center, the space will be transformed into a dynamic sculpture, city icon, and knowledge hub for sustainable energy, fully accessible to the public with city views.
In order to display the concepts of energy transition, decentralization, networking, flexibility and adaptability, the project will feature a multi-layered façade structure inspired by geometries in nature like leaves, spider webs, and reptile skins. “The result is a dynamic, ever-changing surface of light and shadow, animated by wind, turning the building into a beacon of a dynamic new energy regime.”
Around 20,000 diamond-shaped plates made of thin stainless steel will be hooked to an elastic connection in the meshes of a steel outer network, allowing them to twist up to 90 degrees in the wind.
This number of plates matches the number of households supplied with energy by the network, explained Tobias Wallisser, LAVA director. [This is] a visual signifier of the impact new technology can make.
At night, the static inner shell will be illuminated with blue, green, and white LED lighting mounted below the stairs.
Visitors will experience this exciting place as a three-dimensional structure. Across a bridge, they will reach an elliptical entrance level. Two elevators take them on a journey, giving panoramic views as they are transported to a roof terrace with large staggered terraces and event spaces and a bistro. The emergency stairs are two vertical promenades of knowledge.
In the Energy Park, visitors can learn about the challenges of energy transition in the city of Heidelberg, technical details of the utility company, Stadtwerke, renewable sources of energy on site, and more.
At 56 meters high, the thermal storage complex—which will serve as a key component to the application of renewable energy as it compensates for the gap between heat production and consumption in the city—will become one of the tallest buildings in Heidelberg.
The project will be an example of LAVA’s “re-skinning” research, showcasing its philosophy of “more with less.”
Furthermore, LAVA has recently been named as the 2016 Laureate of the European Prize for Architecture, which honors architects that have “committed to forward the principles of European humanism.”
The project is set to begin construction in 2017, and will be on display—along with 13 other shortlisted entries from the competition—in the IBA (International Building Exhibition) in Hedelberg from October 20 to 22.
Learn more about the project here.
News via: LAVA.