Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Dundee Renewable Energy Plant in Dundee, UK by Gordon Murray Architects
April 7th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The design for the Dundee Biomass Renewable Energy Plant aims to create a marker on the Dundee skyline and Firth of Tay beyond, symbolic of a sustainable future, making use of solid, void, light and transparency to define the mass of the plant in an appropriate manner.
Drawing on the unique qualities of the site on the water’s edge, and evoking the imagery of Dundee’s maritime past, the design uses the metaphor of the long ship, a 21st century Discovery, as a means of bringing order and identity to the disparate elements of the Biomass Renewable Energy Plant.
The main structure is separated from the quayside by the creation of a translucent ground level, which visually reduces the apparent height of the storage areas by increasing the horizontal emphasis. This gives the sense the station is hovering above the quayside, about to begin a journey. The form of the Renewable Energy Plant is profiled in section to create a shadowed overhang, giving a strong visual separation even during daylight hours.
The skin surrounding the Renewable Energy Plant is envisaged as a series of panels of varying sizes held off a structural frame. These panels would be comprised of materials commonly found in the industrial landscape of the port – profiled metal sheet in a subtle variety of tones and finishes. Gaps interspersed between the panels could allow the skin to avoid being read as a single, monolithic object, while also allowing the opportunity for views and glimpses through to the waterfront from the city to the north.
There is widespread recognition of the need to develop Renewable Energy technologies at both national and international level in order to address the impact of climate change and ensure a stable domestic energy supply. The EU Renewable Energy Directive and the UK Climate Change Act commit us to achieving an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and reductions on CO2 emissions of at least 26% by 2020 from 1990 baseline levels.
Good design can play an important role in providing a bridge between these aspects. It can enhance visual appearance, improve site layout, and be a powerful means of communication between all parties engaged in the consenting process.
It is hoped the Renewable Energy Plants will be operational by 2015.
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