Water intake-Aqueduct Canal by Smith Vigeant Architects

In order to improve water quality, the city has built a new water intake along the Aqueduct Canal. The announcement of the construction of such a building on the green banks of the Aqueduct Canal, in the heart of a public park, immediately aroused great concern in the community among residents and users of the borough of Verdun. For the client and the designers, it was essential to take care of the visual impact of the building in this green setting through a discreet, delicate insertion, while assuming an expressive, significant architecture.

Water intake-Aqueduct Canal by Smith Vigilant Architects
Photograph © David Boyer

The concept was clearly inspired by the nature of water. The metaphor infuses both the materials and the composition. Like water that always runs in the same direction, but never along the same path, the building has an unchanging appearance. However, it varies according to the weather and the seasons. The glass offers a gradation of blue, sparkling, or shimmering pixels, depending on the time of day, as the surface of the water. At night, the building envelope offers a soft and reassuring light. In summer, it is adorned with a layer of vegetation, and in winter the color of the glass evokes a block of ice. The horizontal lines of the volumetry, inscribed in the strata formed by the base, the glass cube, and the parapet, evoke the perpetual horizontality of water.

Water intake-Aqueduct Canal by Smith Vigilant Architects
Photograph © David Boyer

From a utilitarian building dedicated to concealment, the architects have, through their formal choices, attempted a significant architecture in harmony with its environment, expressing values in the public space that are essential to the life of the surrounding community. Sleek, bright, and straightforward, the water and light building also offers a visual signature that animates the space and reminds us how much these precious resources command our attention.

Water intake-Aqueduct Canal by Smith Vigilant Architects
Photograph © David Boyer

The jury commented: “The jury salutes the shared commitment of the client and the design team to go beyond a simple order for public utility infrastructure, including major technical equipment required for the municipal aqueduct. The result is a building with an expressive architecture that stands out for its sensitive integration into the park that borders the canal, for its elegant proportions, and for its studied materiality, which change perceptions according to the time of day, the atmospheric conditions, and seasons. This intriguing architectural object makes a remarkable contribution to the landscape of this sector of the city and, more broadly, to the industrial architecture of Montreal."

Water intake-Aqueduct Canal | Project Details

  • Architects: Smith Vigilant Architects
  • Area:  N/A
  • Year:  2021
  • Photographs:  David Boyer
  • City:  Montreal
  • Country:  Canada
  • Credits:
    Name of client: City of Montreal, Water Service, Drinking Water Department
    Architect in charge: Daniel Smith, Smith Vigeant architectes Inc
    Design Team: Anik Malderis, Mariana Segui, Jennifer Dykes, Stéphan Vigeant
    Professionals and consultants who collaborated on the project: HATCH

    Larkin Street Substation Extension by tef Design

    The newly completed electrical switchgear building is the first Net Zero Energy (NZE) targeted electrical substation building in the United States. Tucked midblock on Eddy Street between Larkin and Hyde, the steel frame concrete structure is a modern addition to the existing historic 1962 substation building designed by PG&E to supply power to the northeastern part of the city. 

    Larkin Street Substation Extension by tef Design
    Photograph © Mikiko Kikuyama

    The constrained property and need to accommodate crane and equipment lift access prescribed the expansion’s perpendicular orientation to the existing substation. The utilitarian structure features street-facing façades that integrate three types of GFRP panels – sloped, perforated, and ribbed – to form a faceted surface that belies its otherwise modest materiality.  Each panel is individually crafted and unique, with ribs that cast linear shadow patterns in sunlight, creating an ever-changing surface throughout the day and year. 

    Larkin Street Substation Extension by tef Design
    Photograph © Mikiko Kikuyama

    Sloped panels embedded with lighting fixtures pulsate across the building at night, expressing the City’s dynamic electrical power grid. The west-facing green wall, planted in a geometric pattern that echoes the faceted concrete walls, provides biophilic relief to the urban block while asserting its contribution to green values. A fine-grained metal mesh provides a transition between the existing and new addition and is also used to bookend the façade.

    Larkin Street Substation Extension by tef Design
    Photograph © Mikiko Kikuyama

    On top, 60 kW solar panel arrays offset the building’s energy consumption.  Large vents at the base of the building exploit the City’s cool temperatures through natural ventilation that help eliminate the need for artificial cooling and reduce the building’s energy load by nearly 40 percent.  Inside, supplemental fans, triggered only at high temperatures, help to cool the building only when needed.  A comprehensive deep dive to understand the electrical needs of each discreet piece of equipment – from mechanical systems to the hand dryer in the restrooms – led to an incremental load reduction.

    Larkin Street Substation Extension by tef Design
    Photograph © Mikiko Kikuyama

    The PG&E Larkin Substation addition is the first targeted net-zero electrical switchgear utility building to get a rating from the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge.  The design team collaborated with ILFI in order to establish a rating system for registering the unprecedented building type.

    Larkin Street Substation | Project Details

  • Architects: tef design
  • Area:  12,200 sq.ft.
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  Mikiko Kikuyama
  • City:  San Francisco, California
  • Country:  The United States
  • Credits:
    TEF Design: Andrew Wolfram, AIA (Principal-In-Charge); Paul Cooper, AIA (Project Manager); Justin Blinn, AIA (Project Designer)
    Plant Construction Company, LP (general contractor)
    Creo Landscape (landscape architecture)
    BFK Engineers (civil engineering)
    Rutherford + Chekene (structural engineering)
    MHC Engineers, Inc. (MEP engineering)
    Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (lighting)
    Urb-in (utility consultant/owner’s representative)
    Thornton Thomasetti (sustainability consultant)

    Three Houses and a Yard Under Lysá Hora

    Three houses and a yard form the maintenance area of the Golf & Ski Resort in Ostravice. At the project's beginning, many considerations were raised about the role of architecture and urbanism in the field of purely pragmatic purpose-built facilities. Today's hectic world bound by economic criteria usually does not leave much space to design these buildings other than by following the most economical architectonic, urbanistic and material solutions. Approaching the brief the other way round became both a clear philosophy and a challenge to our design.

    Three Houses and a Yard Under Lysá Hora
    Photograph © Petr Polák

    The golf resort in Ostravice is known for its unique location, offering views of the Beskydy Mountains – especially their highest peak Lysá Hora, the difficulty of the game and, last but not least, the quality of the course. And a well-maintained course cannot do without a good maintenance facility, which is a condition that the existing one, housed in a former agricultural area, could no longer meet. As a site for the new maintenance facility, the investor chose the remaining land in the shape of a triangle separated from the course by the Stříbrník Stream. This site is also near the planned housing and accommodation development.

    Three Houses and a Yard Under Lysá Hora
    Photograph © Petr Polák

    From the original expectation of a utility facility designed as a standard metal storage hall, considerations about the aesthetics of the building, its arrangement, and its relationship to the broader surroundings began to shift in a different direction. Our objective was to contribute to the cultivation of development in this landscape by employing the scale and aesthetics that follows from it. At the site's foundations stood our endeavour to follow the local craft traditions and create a set of buildings whose design would not become a thorn in a side to the future residential development and an eyesore to the neighbourhood.

    Three Houses and a Yard Under Lysá Hora
    Photograph © Petr Polák

    Thanks to its three-object layout design, the resulting project is a definition of a farmyard. It represents the focal point of the whole site while hiding the everyday operation from the public. The farmyard's scheme can be understood as the principal source of inspiration for the whole design. But the overall scheme of the site goes beyond this historical inspiration. It also follows both the logic of the maintenance operation and the desire for the effective use of the plot's shape complexity.

    The first building is a two-storey wooden building with a gable roof. It houses changing rooms, staff facilities, office, storage, and a repair workshop for all the equipment. The second building is an unheated, simple one-storey steel frame with a wooden facade designed to park the machinery used for the whole golf resort maintenance. The third building, separating the area from the stream and the course, is an accessory block consisting of concrete cubicles for bulk storage and a shed for covered parking.

    Three Houses and a Yard Under Lysá Hora
    Photograph © Petr Polák

    The buildings themselves are visually unified through the material used on the facades, made of larch wood panels with mouldings overlapping the joints. The unification is further supported through repetitive tinsmithing details, windows and doors. The craftsmanship detail of the facades, applied on many historical buildings throughout the whole Beskydy Mountains region, enlivens these buildings and makes for their rhythmic and plastic character. Still, it is a solely functional construction solution, designed for easy maintenance of the whole resort and the natural ageing of the buildings' exteriors.

    Three Houses and a Yard | Project Details

  • Architects: Papousek & Silhan Architects
  • Area:  664 sq.m.
  • Year:  2021
  • Photographs:  Petr Polák
  • City:  Ostravice 913, 739 14 Ostravice
  • Country:  Czech Republic
  • Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility

    To meet increasing demand for its products, Woodinville Whiskey needed a larger facility to process and age its whiskey. A 10-acre site set amidst the fields of grain used to produce the company’s whiskey in Quincy, Washington was selected for a multi-phase expansion that consolidates operations as well as provides space for continued development. The initial phase of the expansion features a processing and bottling building, which also houses new corporate offices, and a barrel rickhouse for aging the whiskey. A second barrel rickhouse is currently under construction. Four additional barrel rickhouses are slated for future phases.

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Ross Eckert

    The buildings are large—ranging from 40- to 70-feet-wide-by-400-feet-long—and establish a monumental presence within the fields that surround the site. Despite their size, the structures are an exercise in restraint, taking design inspiration from the simple agricultural and industrial warehouses found in the region, as well as from traditional ricking houses found throughout the American South.

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Ross Eckert

    Inspired by the distillery’s production and tasting facility in Woodinville, Washington (also designed by Graham Baba Architects), the client’s directive required balancing functional and industrial requirements while clearly conveying the Woodinville Whiskey brand. Building massing is simple, with functional aspects such as vehicle circulation, loading and unloading dictating the site’s layout and the buildings’ scale. Maintaining the simple, rectilinear gabled form and dark brown hue of the Woodinville distillery, the new complex consists of buildings clad in dark metal siding and Kebony wood. Large Corten-clad sliding barn doors and bands of Corten siding at key locations combine to evoke the warmth and character of the whiskey.

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Kristian Alvero
    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Ross Eckert
    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Ross Eckert

    Leveraging the economy of prefabricated metal buildings, the team determined manufactured structures would provide a cost-effective way to create a lot of space while still preserving opportunities for customization. Highly crafted details are strategically located where they count the most—in places where they can be touched and seen. In the process building, the entry is topped by a slim canopy that appears to fold up and peel away from the building, revealing a Corten-clad inner core and a large off-center pivot door. The transition between office and process areas is demarcated with a long vertical window that folds from wall to ceiling, transforming into a skylight. Horizontal windows on the north wall of the processing area frame the adjacent agricultural landscape and farmstead. A row of rooftop skylights provide natural daylighting into the processing space, while south-facing photovoltaic rooftop panels provide a renewable source of electricity.

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Ross Eckert
    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Ross Eckert

    Selective elements demolished at the Woodinville distillery (steel and old growth Douglas fir stairs and steel railings) were salvaged and repurposed for the new complex, keeping them out of the landfill while creating a spiritual and physical link between the new facility and the distillery.  Before the stair was moved to its new location, patrons of Woodinville signed a steel stringer, further connecting the past to the future.  On the exterior, a huge “Woodinville Whiskey Co.” sign is rendered as a semi-transparent super-graphic painted onto the north façade of the building, announcing the brand to passing motorists, and recalling signs such as those found on the sides of distilleries and rickhouses throughout rural and agricultural regions from Kentucky to Scotland. 

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility

    The shallow gabled roof, rectilinear form, and repetitive double hung windows of the barrel rickhouses were inspired by traditional whiskey ricking houses and serve both as a visual connection to the traditional methods of whiskey aging as well as a functional purpose—the process of aging whiskey remains essentially unchanged since people first began distilling and enjoying spirits. The hot days and cold nights of eastern Washington create the perfect conditions for aging whiskey, allowing for the expansion and contraction of the distillate within the charred oak interior of the barrels, resulting in the rich, oaken profile and russet hue so distinctive of a good bourbon and rye. The rickhouses are uninsulated and unconditioned to maximize the temperature swings that support the aging process. After aging, the whiskey is piped from the barrels into bottles in the process building, which are then shipped to nearly half the states in the US. 

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility
    Photography © Kristian Alvero

    A tasting room, featuring a tasting bar, windows into the processing area and covered and open patio areas overlooking the fields of rye, corn and wheat, is planned for a future phase. With fields and distant mountain views, the tasting room will provide an on-site amenity open to the public, unlike any other in the region. The tasting room will be elevated several feet above ground level so that patrons will be visually immersed in the adjacent fields of grain—the perfect grain-to-glass experience.  

    Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel-Aging Facility | Project Details

  • Architects: Graham Baba Architects
  • Area:  N/A
  • Year:  N/A
  • Photographs:  Kristian Alveo | Ross Eckert
  • City:  Quincy, Washington
  • Country:  The United States
  • Credits:
    Design & Project Manager: Susan Tillack
    Design & Project Architect: Andy Brown
    Design & Detailing: Brett Baba

    Team:
    Civil & Structural Engineering: JSL Engineering
    Geotechnical Engineer: Western Pacific Engineering
    Landscape Architecture: AHBL
    Fire Protection Consultant: REAX Engineering
    Contractor: Rimmer & Roeter
    Client: Woodinville Whiskey/LVMH

    Footbridge in Příbor …a bridge as a stone laid over the water…

    The bridge is designed as a minimalist object made of perfect material. The most important is the sculptural quality of the bridge. The simple geometric form and the removal of everything insignificant allows the visitor to intensely perceive the basic content of this archetype. The form of the bridge is lapidary, a bridge like a stone laid over water is the oldest form of bridges. The surface of the bridge is noble the structure is designed from shiny smooth concrete. The railing is made of round stainless steel bars, the handle is wooden, solid, wide, painted with ship varnish. Lighting of the bridge using lights in the handrail.

    Footbridge in Příbor
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The footbridge over the Lubina River in Příbor, Moravia, is a unique segmental construction, the first of its kind in the Czech Republic. The footbridge is designed as a simple beam with a span of 35 meters, which is created by the closure of 5 double-chamber segments of 7.2 m in length, 2.5 m in width and 0.8 m in height. From a static point of view, the structure has a unique slender ratio of 1:44.

    Footbridge in Příbor
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The structural material used was UHPFRC class C110 / 130 with dispersed steel fibers, which was developed at the Klokner Institute of the Czech Technical University in Prague. The ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) is a new high performance cement composite material. Its mechanical properties (compressive strength 120-180 MPa, bending tensile strength approx. 20-40 MPa) and workability allow us to design new constructions of specific parameters and shapes. At the same time, the service life far exceeds similar structures of conventional concrete. Thanks to its exceptional durability, the surface of the structure can be walked on without additional waterproofing and covering surfaces. The footbridge volume is lightened by twenty large polystyrene blocks.

    Footbridge in Příbor
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The segments are longitudinally clamped by prestressing cables guided in the longitudinal ribs of the inner grate. Prestressing is, unconventionally for segmented structures, solved by raised cables of parabolic course. A unique protection system of prestressing ropes is designed on the footbridge. The bridge is supported on supports by means of pairs of 200 mm cylindrical roller bearings.

    Footbridge in Příbor | Project Details

  • Architects: Petr Tej | Marek Blank | Jan Mourek
  • Area:  Gross Floor Area: 90 sq.m. | Plot Size: 456 sq.m.
  • Year:  2018
  • Photographs:  BoysPlayNice
  • City:  Příbor
  • Country:  Czech Republic
  • Footbridge in Lužec nad Vltavou in Czech Republic

    Lužec nad Vltavou is a village in Bohemia near Mělník in the picturesque floodplain landscape of the Vltava River. Since 1907, when the lateral canal between the villages Hořín and Vraňany was built, it has been the only village in the Czech Republic that lies on the island with its entire territory. The island is also the largest island on the Vltava River.

    Footbridge in Lužec nad Vltavou in Czech Republic
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The footbridge runs across the innavigable river flow between the villages of Lužec nad Vltavou and Bukol. The bridge is on the long-distance north-south cycle route EuroVelo 7 leading from Sweden to Sicily.

    The architectural design is based on the lightness and subtlety that are made possible by the technologically extremely advanced material UHPFRC (ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete).

    Footbridge in Lužec nad Vltavou in Czech Republic
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The footbridge is conceived as a suspended structure with one pylon and two fields with spans of 30 + 100 m. The main field crosses the river with a width of 70 m. The bridge deck is led in a high-rise arch with a radius of 777 m and is composed of directly walking prefabricated segments from UHPFRC. The hinges consist of 17 pairs of locked steel ropes.

    The bridge deck was mounted on the fixed ring above the banks. The part above the river was mounted as a free cantilever. The bridge deck is connected with two free cables.

    Footbridge in Lužec nad Vltavou in Czech Republic
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    All elements of the structure are unified and dematerialized by tones of medium gray color.

    The footbridge is connected with the landscape by a newly planted oak alley along the road on the Bukol side. The oak trees will grow to the height of the pylon.

    Footbridge in Lužec nad Vltavou in Czech Republic | Project Details

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG

    McGill University needed a new building to house three 1.5 MW emergency facilities, generators that will protect research activities in the event of a power outage. The McGill University thermal power plant and the Wong, Rutherford, Administration, and Leacock pavilions are powered by a single emergency generator located in the Ferrier building in the immediate vicinity of the boiler room. This presents risks that should be limited by Housing New generators in separate spaces in the immediate vicinity.

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG
    Photograph © FABG

    The feasibility studies compared several location hypotheses, which led to the location of the structure between the Ferrier building (1963) and the Wong Pavilion (1990) being the best location. These preliminary studies also described the functional parameters associated with the two required 1.5 MW generators and the possible addition of a third in the future.

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG
    Photograph © Steve Montpetit

    Innovation

    The project was developed as part of a multidisciplinary integrated design exercise combining historical research, architecture, engineering, landscape, and urban acoustics to formulate a sensitive response to a problem that cannot be limited to utilitarian considerations.

    The steeply pitched lot was an unused parking lot on Dr. Penfield avenue, which supported a greenhouse that had been demolished. It faces the castle-style pumping station of the McTavish underground reservoir and is part of the Mount Royal historic and natural District protected area.

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG
    Photograph © Steve Montpetit

    McGill University Power Plant - Concept

    The proposed concept is based on the following objectives:

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG
    Photograph © Steve Montpetit

    The solution chosen is a glass pavilion on a limestone podium in alignment with the facades adjacent to the location of the disappeared greenhouses. A gazebo, under the extension of the roof, separates it from the Ferrier building and an external staircase leads to the lower level of the campus. Under this pavilion, a ventilation plenum allows the entry through the floor of the large amount of new air required while concealing the steam pipes connecting the Wong pavilion to the Ferrier Pavilion. The cantilevered overhang at the rear has vent grilles at the underside of the floor. 

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG
    Photograph © Steve Montpetit

    The roofs are vegetated due to the low height of the building which exposes these surfaces to the view all over the south flank of Mount Royal and from surrounding buildings. For the roof surfaces and walls covered with metal panels, environmental problems related to lead discouraged us from using the tinned copper present on the Wong building and led us to propose a fluoropolymer paint baked on an aluminum panel to harmonize with the shade of the neighbor. The acrylic coating on the adjacent portion of the Ironworks has been replaced with limestone siding in this project.

    The project focuses on the underlying presence of the mountain by dramatizing the topography of the site. Although it is a technical infrastructure, we insisted on treating the building as a pavilion that could help enhance the quality and specificity of the McGill University campus.

    McGill University - Power Plant by Les architectes FABG
    Photograph © Steve Montpetit

    McGill University Power Plant - Program

    Storage and maintenance spaces for campus furniture and outdoor amenities are laid out at the foot of the slope and the limestone-clad main wall becomes parallel to the rest of the campus. A mature Elm is preserved at the foot of the staircase, which extends the existing sidewalks to University Street to enrich the network of pedestrian traffic that is being consolidated throughout McGill.

    The generators are installed in a glass pavilion sitting on a granite baseboard at Dr. Penfield Street level while there is storage space for campus street furniture on the lower level. The interstitial space between these two volumes serves as a plenum for air, steam, and electricity connected to the Ferrier power station. An open staircase opens a new passage along the east-west axis to connect the top and bottom of the campus.

    Project Details:

  • Architects: Les architectes FABG
  • Area:  N/A
  • Year:  2019
  • Photographs:  Steve Montpetit
  • City:   840 Avenue du Docteur-Penfield, Montreal, QC
  • Country:  Canada
  • Columbia Building by Skylab Architects

    The Columbia Building supports the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Housing workspace, a visitor reception area, and public meeting spaces, the 11,640-square-foot building not only supports the engineering department of the wastewater treatment facility but also functions as an immersive educational experience, all integrated within a sustainable landscape

    Columbia Building by Skylab Architects
    Photograph © Jeremy Bittermann

    The new single-story building features seven folded cast-in-place concrete roof forms that channel stormwater through a planted roof, which drains along the berms into a visible collection system that leads to the Columbia River. The project accomplished three unique objectives in one single campus site: the creation of a vibrant and efficient workspace; clean on-site stormwater filtration; and a dynamic building that stimulates conversation about the health of the region’s watershed and rivers.

    Columbia Building by Skylab Architects
    Photograph © Jeremy Bittermann

    The transparent north facade focuses attention towards a central and partially enclosed Commons area, as well as to the habitat that surrounds the building. The serrated curtain wall features operable air circulation vents which enables the interior spaces to be natural ventilated. Mirrored glass reflects and refracts light in the Commons, merging the building into the landscape. The building is LEED Gold certified.

    Columbia Building | Project Details

  • Architects: Skylab Architects
  • Area:  11,640 sq.ft.
  • Year:  N/A
  • Photographs:  Jeremy Bittermann
  • City:  Portland, Oregon
  • Country:  The United States
  • A Smart Recycling Factory in Minden, Germany

    The district of Minden-Lübbecke has a constellation of waste and recycling technology that is unique in Germany. In particular, at the location of the Pohlsche Heide (an 84ha disposal centre and landfill site), there is a large number of state-of-the-art technological facilities along with the sorting, processing and depositing of waste/recyclable materials. Parallel to this, legal frameworks together with the current challenges of the energy turnaround and climate protection are leading to a fundamental change in awareness in dealing with ever scarcer resources.

    Aerial Rendered View - A Smart Recycling Factory in Minden, Germany
    Aerial Rendered View | Image © Architekturbüro Lindstedt

    Against this background, the waste management company of the Minden-Lübbecke district (AML) together with the Kreisabfallverwertungsgesellschaft mbH Minden-Lübbecke (KAVG) are announcing a future-oriented direction for the Pohlsche Heide Waste Management Centre, evolving it to a hub for waste and recycling innovation, fueling the circular economy: the landfill site will become a source of raw materials, the starting point for new innovations and a driving force for regional value creation.

    At the centre of the ambitious overall project is the programmatic approach of a "Smart ReCycling Factory" - a resource-intelligent innovation centre for recycling management which makes use of the variety of natural, mineral and technical raw materials available at the site, (re)processes them using new possibilities and technologies of digitalisation, (re)combines them, puts them back into value and prototypically develops and tests new innovative products.

    A Smart Recycling Factory in Minden, Germany
    Image © Architekturbüro Lindstedt

    Minden Recycling Factory Concept

    Producing, consuming, throwing-away, depositing - this form of economic activity proves to be a one-way street. The traditional linear economy leads to a large waste production, which has led to the worldwide scarcity of resources and extreme damage to our ecosystems, humanity and the planet. A cultural change - a new way of living and working is needed.

    A regenerative cycle must become the new guiding principle: "Recycled products with long lifespans and multiple uses. Avoids waste entirely." This is exactly why the Smart Recycling Factory (SRF) is needed. SRF seeks to shift society and the economy from the idea of a ‘single-use’ to a responsible handling of our finite resources. Amongst its various functions of R&D facilities, classrooms and laboratories, the greatest opportunity for this project is to invite the public in and to witness what is unfolding in the world of waste, because awareness is the most powerful catalyst for change.

    Elevation - A Smart Recycling Factory in Minden, Germany
    Image © Architekturbüro Lindstedt

    On the basis of architectural and scenic elements, the most sustainable approach was to use what the location already offers. Leading to a carefully considered strategy of "Plug’n Play". Selectively celebrating and reusing existing structures such as the old weighing station and the road infrastructure, as well as the natural qualities such as the extensive surrounding forests, whilst enlarging the existing water retention ponds to create new landscape features. The buildings themselves look to integrate a series of sustainable building materials such as CLT structures, recycled materials for cladding all combined with large rammed earth walls which make use of the existing site’s large clay deposits. The building materials and spaces are designed to inspire both visitors and staff and encourage effective collaboration between the future researchers and existing waste management.

    In its entirety, the proposal forms a new arc of awareness, innovation and playful experience, which in the future will be enhanced by exhibiting the benefits and results of a resource-conscious, circular economy.

  • Architects: Architekturbüro Lindstedt
  • Area:  5,490 sq.m.
  • Year:  2020
  • Photographs:  Architekturbüro Lindstedt
  • City:  Minden
  • Country:  Germany