Henning Larsen mixes public park and water treatment plant
Henning Larsen Architects made our 2018 best architecture of the year list with its Eysturkommuna Town Hall, which serves as both a bridge and community center. The firm has now revealed another project that pulls double duty. The Solrødgård Water Treatment Plant also functions as a public park that aims to inform visitors about water usage.
The Solrødgård Water Treatment Plant services the city of Hillerød in northern Zealand, Denmark, and includes a recycling center, wastewater treatment plant, and administrative facility. The project, which features a weathered steel and glass facade, is embedded into the landscape and topped by a large green roof with meandering pathways.
The green roof allows visitors to stroll along the paths and peer through the skylights to watch as the plant goes about its business. The idea is that the public becomes more invested in how their community uses water.
The water treatment plant is split into two parts by a central pathway, creating space for a small creek that shows water being cleaned naturally with foliage, as a contrast with the industrial process inside. The area also offers more views of the plant's inner workings.
"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," says 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."
The two parts are joined by a steel bridge and elsewhere in the park there are walking trails, a birdwatching tower, and a roosting spot for local bats.
This isn't the first time we've seen still-functioning city infrastructure opened to the public. Fellow Danish firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) is nearing completion on a power plant that doubles up as a ski slope called the Amager Resource Centre.
The majority of the Solrødgård Water Treatment Plant was completed back in 2017 but the green roof and other landscaping were only recently installed and will continue to grow. The project is part of the larger Solrødgård Climate and Environment Park which also involved Gottlieb Paludan, C.F. Møller, Jakobsen & Blindkilde, Orbicon, DHI and Hillerød Spildevand.
Source: Henning Larsen Architects