After seeing C.F. Møller's prefab Switchgear Station in Denmark, we're not at all surprised to hear that their latest project is this rather elegant gas compressor plant. The buildings are topped with rusted steel floating volumes, and earth berming works wonders to hide the technical components of the natural gas station at Egtved. The technical structure merges with the natural landscape to lessen the plant's visual impact while improving safety for the surrounding area.
This new compressor station is a critical juncture in the new “gas motorway” from Germany to Egtved that will supply a steady supply to Denmark from continental Europe as supplies in the North Sea are dwindling. Although it’s still a fossil fuel, natural gas is cleaner than coal or gasoline, and it’s part of Denmark’s plan for a greener energy system. This new station features four compressor units and service buildings that serve as a crossroads between the north-south pipes from Germany and east-west ones to Sweden.
Energinet tasked C.F. Møller to come up with a more elegant design for the Egtved Compressor Station that would increase safety while preventing it from becoming an eyesore in the natural environment. “We began by asking ourselves a question: Can we push the boundaries for how we see technical plants? Can we create a gas plant in dialogue with the landscape and yet focus on the energy supply infrastructure, on which we all depend?” says Julian Weyer, architect and partner at C.F. Møller.
The main compressor units are located in the center in a depressed area which is bordered on two sides by service buildings. Earth berming serves as the base for these buildings, which are topped by woven, corten steel volumes that appear to float over the green lawn. The service buildings provide visual, aural and safety screening from the compression units in the middle. This atypical design solution for an energy plant is a breath of fresh air, literally, because most energy plants don’t have any greenery near them at all.
Images ©Julian Weyer