The city of Roskilde in Denmark has constructed a second towering landmark, beside the UNESCO world heritage Cathedral, the Energy Tower, designed by the Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat. The facility, the Twin Towers in Roskilde, Denmark, was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik in September 2014.
The iconic waste incinerator and power plant is a hypermodern and sustainable energy plant with a spotty perforated façade that lights up at night as if there’s a fire burning within.
The plant incinerates waste from nine surrounding municipalities and from many places abroad to produce electricity and heat power for the whole region of Roskilde.
An international design competition was organized, and in 2008 the jury selected the design proposed by Erick van Egeraat unanimously.
The scale of the building – known as the Incineration Line – made it an instant landmark against the backdrop of the small city and the flat Danish landscape. The design expresses its function and the cutting-edge sustainable technology used inside to convert waste into energy.
The façade consists of two layers: the inner layer is the skin which provides the actual climatic barrier, allowing the second skin to be treated more freely – raw umber-colored aluminum plates with an irregular pattern of laser cut circular holes. The aluminum plates are treated to give them the desired color and patina at day time. At night, the programmable lighting, installed between the two facades, gives the building an additional metaphor.
“At night the backlight perforated facade transforms the incinerator into a gently glowing beacon – a symbol of the plant’s energy production. Every hour a spark of light will gradually grow into a burning flame that lights up the entire building. When the metaphorical fire ceases, the building falls back into a state of burning embers,’’ Erick van Egeraat stated about his design. For the illumination of the façade it was important that only the light and not the light sources themselves were visible.
Erick van Egeraat’s incinerator in Roskilde is created specifically to add value to anotherwise purely industrial complex.
Enriching the skyline of this small Danish city, once the Danish Capital, the silhouette of the incinerator also provides an historic comment.
The stepped and angled lower portion of the building evokes the rooftops of the factories that surround the structure in its industrial setting.
A 97-metre spire towers above the landscape and wraps around the plant’s chimney, creating a contemporary counterpoint to the steeples of the city’s historic cathedral.
“Although almost 1,000 years apart, the cathedral’s twin towers made of warmly colored stone and brick, and the new iconic glowing incinerator, have now together become the novel guardians of the city’s otherwise modest presence in the Skagerak landscape,” said Van Egeraat
The Twin Towers in Roskilde, Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg