Project Manager: Anders Park
Architecture Team: Annesofie Feidenhansl Milner, Daniel Baumann, Jacob Astor, Lærke Dyrholm Møldrup, Marie Ørsted Larsen, Melissa Sandoval, Mikkel Hune, Morten Hauch, Nikolaj Sandvad Ramskov, Omar Dabaan
Client: Hillerød Forsyning
Masterplan Architect: Gottlieb Paludan
Contractor: Jakobsen & Blindkilde
Text description provided by the architects. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. As climate change and global crowding intensify, this figure will only become more severe. The Solrødgård Climate and Environment Park, serving the city of Hillerød in northern Zealand, seeks to shine a brighter spotlight on the global challenge of sustainable resource use. Developed from a 50-hectare, 1 billion-DKK master plan, the park aims to open community dialogue on resource use and climate awareness by creating public appeal within a municipal infrastructure.
Henning Larsen contributed to the park with their exterior design and landscaping for the Solrødgård Water Treatment Plant, embedding the public facility within an accessible earthen framework. Here, a recycling center, wastewater treatment plant and administrative facility stand alongside walking trails, a bird-watching tower, and a roosting hotel for local bats. By weaving recreational space into public utilities, the park creates a unique space where visitors can gain a natural, firsthand exposure to the cycle of natural resources within the community. The design extends a critical conversation on resource scarcity, which disproportionately affects developing communities.
The Solrødgård Water Treatment Plant is nearly invisible in the surrounding landscape, its inner workings are hidden almost entirely under a landscaped turf roof. While a web of pedestrian paths wander across the roof, a landscaped corridor creates a channel through the center of the plant, lined with floor-to-ceiling glass facades. Visitors can peer through skylights on the roof and these central glass facades into the plant’s processing wing and filtration facilities, watching as the plant treats 15,000 cubic meters of wastewater each day. The design concept allows the community to connect with their own use of resources while minimizing the visual and olfactory presence often associated with water treatment plants.
“The rooftop paths give a view over the rest of the park, but the central pathway is really where visitors can get an idea of how their community’s water cycle works,” explains Marie Ørsted Larsen, Senior Landscape Architect at Henning Larsen. “It’s symbolic of us cutting into the landscape to look within, creating a contrast between the natural water cycle and the constructed process that supports our communities.”
A small creek trickles through this central channel, passing through a narrow garden that demonstrates how natural foliage cleans and filters groundwater. For visitors passing through, this installation is an organic contrast to the industrial presence of the water treatment plant, prompting reflection on the function and environmental footprint of the public utility. The Solrødgård Water Treatment Plant is capable of expanding its processing capacity to support future growth in and around Hillerød, and is capable of recycling phosphorus and producing biomass heat energy from the wastewater. Future communities will be able to explore a landscape that provides recreation, a connection to nature, and an everyday education in climate awareness.