Power plants are an eyesore, but with careful design, they can be made less obtrusive and even blend in with the environment a bit. That's what UK firm Hinton Cook Architects proposes to do with their entry for a new biomass power station in the Hertfordshire. Built out of a lattice timber frame with green colored panels and a green roof, the Biomass Power Station would fade into the greenbelt area and resemble the trees and the surrounding forest rather than stand out.
The structure for the building is a latticework of exposed timber beams expressly intended to reflect the trees of the woods surrounding the plant. Various sized volumes and the exterior help break up the visual mass of the power plant as a way to reduce its impact on its surroundings. The cladding is made up of solid, opaque and translucent diamond panels that are set back behind the timber exoskeleton. By setting the panels back, shadows are cast onto the building creating a dappled lighting effect similar to sunlight passing through leaves.
All the panels are colored green and translucent panels let daylight into the interior of the power plant. Some of the panels will be replaced with living panels, which will further aid the building in blending in. The roof of the structure would also be planted with sedum to further reduce the impact of the building on the Green Belt. Most of the building would be prefabricated off site and then assembled to minimize disturbance to the site.