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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Dundee Renewable Energy Plant

  • Architects: Gordon Murray Architects
  • Project: Dundee Renewable Energy Plant
  • Location: Dundee, UK
  • Software used: AutoCAD, 3ds MAX

Dundee Diagram

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.
Adoption of the long ship as precedent creates a clear visual separation between the lower linear storage structures and the high level boiler equipment in order to reduce the sense of bulk and increase the drama of the skyline element. The lower level elements are comparable in scale to the existing port facilities. Subtly decreasing the width of the higher elements also help stop the Renewable Energy Plant as reading top heavy.

Dundee Diagram 1

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.

Dundee Diagram 2

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.

Dundee Diagram 3

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.
At the same time there is increased awareness and concern over the physical realities of the technologies and facilities necessary to achieve these targets. New proposals come under ever increasing scrutiny to ensure their impact on the environment and visual setting is fully considered, aiming to deliver a high standard of design for the benefit of local communities and to mitigate the effect of new plant on sensitive visual receptors.

Dundee Diagram 4

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.
Gordon Murray Architects were commissioned by Forth Energy, a joint venture between Forth Ports Plc and SSE (Scottish Southern Energy) to develop conceptual design proposals for a series of new Biomass Renewable Energy Plants at their ports of Dundee, Grangemouth, Rosyth and Leith in support of Section 36 Applications. The projects have an estimated combined construction value of over £1 billion.

Dundee Sketch

It is hoped the Renewable Energy Plants will be operational by 2015.

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Categories: 3dS Max, Autocad, Energy plant

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