Thisispaper Community
Join today.
Enter your email address to receive the latest news on emerging art, design, lifestyle and tech from Thisispaper, delivered straight to your inbox.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Instant access to new channels
The top stories curated daily
Weekly roundups of what's important
Weekly roundups of what's important
Original features and deep dives
Exclusive community features
District Heating Plant by MAK Architecture
Alexander Zaxarov
Oct 22, 2021

District Heating Plant designed by MAK Architecture and located in Orbe, Switzerland is inspired by the resulting duality between technical and contextual constraints, creating a building that balances technicality and sculpturality.

A building such as a district heating plant is often located in an industrial area. Here, the situation is quite different, as the project is located on the outskirts of the city of Orbe, in a residential area and close to a school and a manor house – the manor of Montchoisi.
In that sense the main challenge of the project was to create a technical building capable of fitting into a complex urban environment, in an almost direct coexistence – which lead the design process on an intense research regarding the volumetry, the silhouette and the size.

The volumetry of the district heating plant is inspired by the historical roof of the manor. The chimney of the heating plant is not treated as an additive element but as a sculptural element, unifying the volumetry and creating a large 4-sided roof. This expressive roof gives the plant a domestic character while giving it its own identity.

Covering the concrete walls that protect the neighborhood from the inherent noise of the plant, an openwork wooden façade made of spruce cladding generates transparency effects and remind the building’s function of using wood chips to heat the neighborhood. The chimney integrated into the cone-shaped roof covered with dark aluminum sheets rises to a height of 12 m and reinterprets the technical part of the building with its elaborate silhouette.

The large window in the façade communicates the life present inside. Some of the heating elements are visible from the outside, allowing the population to understand the purpose of the project. This educational aspect is accentuated by the coming and going of children on their way to school, as renewable energy and its visual insight become part of their daily life. From the inside, this gesture allows the users to keep a visual relationship with the outside and to enjoy a contribution of natural light, enhancing the technical purpose of the project.

On a structural side the challenge was to avoid pillars in the interior to ensure flexibility in the installation of the heating elements. In order to achieve the necessary spans, a wooden glulam system was used. By using naturally treated wood (untreated OSB panels for the interior cladding and glazed spruce on the façade) and exposed concrete for the base, the project focusses on the careful combination of natural materials and their raw qualities.

No items found.
No items found.
Alexander Zaxarov
Oct 22, 2021

District Heating Plant designed by MAK Architecture and located in Orbe, Switzerland is inspired by the resulting duality between technical and contextual constraints, creating a building that balances technicality and sculpturality.

A building such as a district heating plant is often located in an industrial area. Here, the situation is quite different, as the project is located on the outskirts of the city of Orbe, in a residential area and close to a school and a manor house – the manor of Montchoisi.
In that sense the main challenge of the project was to create a technical building capable of fitting into a complex urban environment, in an almost direct coexistence – which lead the design process on an intense research regarding the volumetry, the silhouette and the size.

The volumetry of the district heating plant is inspired by the historical roof of the manor. The chimney of the heating plant is not treated as an additive element but as a sculptural element, unifying the volumetry and creating a large 4-sided roof. This expressive roof gives the plant a domestic character while giving it its own identity.

Covering the concrete walls that protect the neighborhood from the inherent noise of the plant, an openwork wooden façade made of spruce cladding generates transparency effects and remind the building’s function of using wood chips to heat the neighborhood. The chimney integrated into the cone-shaped roof covered with dark aluminum sheets rises to a height of 12 m and reinterprets the technical part of the building with its elaborate silhouette.

The large window in the façade communicates the life present inside. Some of the heating elements are visible from the outside, allowing the population to understand the purpose of the project. This educational aspect is accentuated by the coming and going of children on their way to school, as renewable energy and its visual insight become part of their daily life. From the inside, this gesture allows the users to keep a visual relationship with the outside and to enjoy a contribution of natural light, enhancing the technical purpose of the project.

On a structural side the challenge was to avoid pillars in the interior to ensure flexibility in the installation of the heating elements. In order to achieve the necessary spans, a wooden glulam system was used. By using naturally treated wood (untreated OSB panels for the interior cladding and glazed spruce on the façade) and exposed concrete for the base, the project focusses on the careful combination of natural materials and their raw qualities.

Architecture
section is proudly under the patronage of:
John Pawson

Independent publications like Thisispaper rely on support by readers and companies to be sustainable.

Current patron of Architecture Section:

If you are ready to book a slot, please use the following link:
Become a Patron

Introducing OS
An intimate space which helps creative minds thrive.
Discover. Share. Embrace.
Visit New Thisispaper Shop
ThisispaperOSGuides
Discover the most inspiring places and stories through carefully-curated guides and editions you'll love.
Explore all GuidesExplore channels