Architecture

Roskilde's glowing incinerator powers 65,000 households

Roskilde's glowing incinerator...
The Energy Tower is a new waste-to-power incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark
The Energy Tower is a new waste-to-power incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark
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The Energy Tower is a new waste-to-power incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark
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The Energy Tower is a new waste-to-power incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark
The Energy Tower has a perforated skin through which lighting glows at night
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The Energy Tower has a perforated skin through which lighting glows at night
The Energy Tower can produce electricity for around 65,000 homes
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The Energy Tower can produce electricity for around 65,000 homes
The Energy Tower can produce heat for around 40,000 homes
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The Energy Tower can produce heat for around 40,000 homes
The Energy Tower takes inspiration from the local Roskilde Cathedral, with a 97 m (318 ft) spire
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The Energy Tower takes inspiration from the local Roskilde Cathedral, with a 97 m (318 ft) spire
The Energy Tower references the angular roofs of surrounding factories
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The Energy Tower references the angular roofs of surrounding factories
The Energy Tower has a perforated outer skin
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The Energy Tower has a perforated outer skin
The Energy Tower has lighting between its inner and outer skins that is visible through the perforated outer skin
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The Energy Tower has lighting between its inner and outer skins that is visible through the perforated outer skin
The Energy Tower is said to use up to 95 percent of the energy in the waste it burns
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The Energy Tower is said to use up to 95 percent of the energy in the waste it burns
The Energy Tower was inaugurated at the beginning of September, although it became operational in 2013
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The Energy Tower was inaugurated at the beginning of September, although it became operational in 2013
View gallery - 10 images

Incinerators can't often be described as beautiful, but a newly inaugurated incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark, is just that. The main purpose of the Energy Tower is to generate electricity and heat. At night-time, though, glowing lights can be seen beneath its perforated façade.

The Energy Tower isn't the first energy generation plant with an unusual exterior in Denmark. Amagerforbrænding's plant just outside Copenhagen doubles as a ski slope and, like the Amagerforbrænding plant, the Energy Tower generates electricity by burning waste.

Waste from nine surrounding municipalities and from places abroad will be incinerated at the Roskilde plant. According to its developer KARA/NOVEREN, this will be be enough to produce electricity for around 65,000 homes and heat for around 40,000 homes.

The Energy Tower has a perforated skin through which lighting glows at night
The Energy Tower has a perforated skin through which lighting glows at night

The plant is said to use up to 95 percent of the energy in the waste it burns, compared to 70 percent at the plant it is replacing. In addition, it produces both heat and electricity, which the previous plant could not.

The design of the Energy Tower takes inspiration from the local Roskilde Cathedral, with a 97 m (318 ft) spire. The lower part of the building, meanwhile, references the angular roofs of surrounding factories. It is the building's lighting effect that is the most noteworthy part of the design.

The Energy Tower can produce heat for around 40,000 homes
The Energy Tower can produce heat for around 40,000 homes

The face of the building comprises two layers. The inner layer provides the climatic barrier for the incinerator, whilst the outer skin of aluminum plating provides an industrial-looking aesthetic. The outer layer is also perforated and lighting is mounted between the two layers to produce an effect that looks as though the building is glowing when it is dark.

"At night the backlight perforated façade transforms the incinerator into a gently glowing beacon – a symbol of the plant’s energy production," explains designer Erick van Egeraat. "Several times an 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."

The Energy Tower was inaugurated at the beginning of September, although it became operational in 2013.

Sources: Erick van Egeraat, KARA/NOVEREN

View gallery - 10 images
6 comments
6 comments
Slowburn
How much does this cosmetic treatment cost the consumers? Why is this seen as being better than camouflaging it or otherwise hiding it from view?
Torben
What these pictures doesn't show is that coming from Copenhagen (The opposite direction of the picture angle) this giant structure actually obscures the mentioned cathedral which is otherwise a quite significant part of the Roskilde skyline. Having driven by the construction work at irregular intervals I have wondered why they have built this giant structure instead of just a simple chimney; the one that protrudes is actually smaller than the former one that can be seen in the pictures. And don't mention the 'rusty steel' surface. May be pretty-ish at night. Just monstruous at day. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.
Dave Lawrence
Some people are never happy. Either come up with constructive criticism or [don't bother].
hellno187
I'm much less concerned with the cosmetics then the concept, and this is a great idea. Burning waste to power homes instead of coal, natural gas etc. is a win/win situation.
galaxydrifter
Great design and great plan to use waste without loading up land fills. Here is a Country thinking about its future.
And my question is we cant do this here (USA) because,,,,,,? Allow me to fill in the blanks. It would be talked about for 15 years, it would be professionally analyzed for another 5 years at a cost of millions. another 5 years for environmental impact studies / $ more millions. another 3 years fighting green peace and other groups in court $ in the 15 years of BS delays the cost has gone up 10 to 20 fold. now they fight it because it cost too much. Oh there might be talk of a newer technology competing for this contract.
In the mean time other Countries have quietly and intelligently solved their solid waste problems while we slip further into third world status. Go USA go.
Frederick Muketi
Denmark on the right track again, Keep it up and go for the best always.