Who says power plants have to be ugly? Not the designers at Monovolume Architects, who slid a concrete slab into an Italian hillside, covered it with landscaping that matches the surrounding alpine valley, and finished off the whole thing - called the Punibach Hydroelectric Plant - with a natural wooden lamellar façade.
From afar, all that is visible at the Punibach Hydroelectric Plant is a curvy landscaped roof with a wooden facade. Located in the southern Tyrol province of Italy, the plant was built using earthy materials including raw concrete.
Daylight manages to penetrate the interior, which disguises all of the plant’s mechanical equipment, and the villagers get to keep their beautiful view. At night the plant takes on a different role as a sort of lantern in the valley as warm light spills out from the wooden facade. It is an iconic building that says, unequivocally, “nature comes first.”