Architect proposes disguising gas power station as a "green mountain"


May 6, 2013

AZPA's proposal for a new gas power station in Wedel, Germany asks, why do power stations always look like power stations? (Image: AZPA)

AZPA's proposal for a new gas power station in Wedel, Germany asks, why do power stations always look like power stations? (Image: AZPA)

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Why do power stations always look like power stations? That's the tacit question behind AZPA's proposal for a new gas power station in Wedel, Germany, which it envisages as a "green mountain" of topiary. The idea is not so much to disguise the plant as it is to turn it into a local attraction.

A coal-fired power station was built in Wedel in the 1960s to provide electricity to the nearby city of Hamburg and was retrofitted into a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in the 1980s. There are now plans for a new 400-MW gas-fired CHP power station to be built in Wedel later this decade that will be owned and operated by Swedish power company Vattenfall, which also runs the existing coal station.

AZPA's proposal, which pertains to the new power station, takes cues from its location on the banks of the Elbe and the native riparian forest which once prevailed there. Though initially the idea would be to erect a green textile structure to create an immediate visual barrier, this would be replaced over time with meshes that would support climbing vegetation.

As well as climbing plants, trees would be planted around the power station. Initially, fast-growing species would be favored, and taller trees, such as poplars, would be planted nearer to the power station, again creating a visual barrier.

Though both trees and climbing plants will sequester some CO2, the proposal is probably more aesthetically than environmentally motivated. AZPA writes that its proposal attempts to "resolve the conflict between the natural ecology and the manmade environment."

Source: AZPA, via Arch Daily

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

I don't the older building was nice but the newer design is way cooler and very green looking. So many power plants are not as appealing as the older design for this one was. I think they should take design cues from this newer one.


The question is does the green facade cost more than its pleasant appearance is worth.


Sort of the ultimate in greenwashing right down to the preposterous suggestion that it will sequester CO2. Why not simply paint it with invisible paint.


re; CliffG

So in your world trees don't turn C02 into wood. Strange.


Very pity about 1 very important missing fact about the building. Its a former Flak bunker, a 40m high ugly concrete structure. Thats the reason to give it a green fasade. A dutch article about it can be found here:

Slowburn look at the videos, as a critic about renewelable energy you can see the system compensates the down periods of solar and windpower.

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