LAVA’s winning competition entry for an energy park and energy storage building in Heidelberg, Germany for the Stadtwerke Heidelberg, will commence construction in 2017. The existing cylindrical-shaped storage centre is transformed into a dynamic sculpture, a city icon, a knowledge hub on sustainable energy and fully accessible to the public with city views.
Tobias Wallisser, LAVA director, said: “Our starting point for the concept was: ‘How can the parameters of energy transition, decentralisation, networking, flexibility and adaptability be made visible in the design? How can an adaptive, dynamic system be produced without extreme technical control?’” LAVA’s solution was a multi-layered facade structure, inspired by the geometries of nature – 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. An inner shell coloured in different shades of blue wraps the building. Tilted elliptical rings positioned around the cylinder continue in the outer façade with “energy loops” circling the structure and rising dramatically to the top.
A cable network between the steel rings forms the outer façade layer. Around 20,000 diamond-shaped plates of thin stainless steel are hooked with a simple elastic connection in the meshes of this steel network allowing them to twist up to 90 degrees in the wind. At night the inner shell is illuminated in the colours blue, green and white with LED lamps 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. The access bridge, the facade and the transfer of knowledge elements are all designed as different sized oval-shaped steel elements with varying orientations. Visitors will be able to receive information throughout the three-dimensional energy park, from the challenges of energy transition in the city of Heidelberg, to technical details of the utility company Stadtwerke, to renewable energy sources on site.
The thermal storage complex will be one of the tallest buildings in Heidelberg at 56m high. It will be a key component of the application of renewable energy as it compensates the gap between heat production and consumption in the city. Wallisser added: “Our new ‘knowledge repository’ replaces a gas tank, which in the 1950s was a symbol of energy policy. It will be a strong symbol of the transition towards renewables.” Source by LAVA.
- Location: Heidelberg, Germany
- Architects: LAVA
- Architect In Charge: Tobias Wallisser, Alexander Rieck, Chris Bosse
- Project Team: Julian Fahrenkamp, Christian Tschersich, Angelika Herman, Jan Kozerski, Elvira Perfetto
- Landscape Designers: A24 Landschaft – Landschaftsarchitektur Gmbh (Stefan Robel, Jan Grimmek, Oliver Ferger)
- Media: White Void Gmbh (Christopher Bauer, Anna Pilarska, Lukas Mroczkowski)
- Energy: Priedemann Fassadenberatung Gmbh (Lars Anders, Stephanie Heese)
- Façade: Transsolar Energietechnik Gmbh )Prof. Matthias Rudolph)
- Client: Stadtwerke Heidelberg, In Cooperation with IBA, Heidelberg
- Size: 26m Diameter; 56m High; Storage Volume 19.600m3
- Storage Power: 40 Mw
- Site of Energy Park: 10.000m2
- Year: 2017
- Images: Courtesy of LAVA
Article by Marco Rinaldi