In a competition to create designs to update power plants in Italy, Frigerio Design Group takes the win with its forward-thinking and innovative approach.

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The Andrea Palladio power plant in Fusina (Venice) needs a facelift. More specifically, it needs a conversion away from fossil fuel dependence. In a contest titled, “New Energy Spaces,” the environmental transition presented by Frigerio Design Group outlined the solutions needed for Enel, the electricity and gas production company behind the competition, to meet its goals of transforming all of the coal-fired plants into sustainable facilities by an aggressive 2025 date.

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rendering of pond in front of power plant

Named the “Resilience Lab Grid,” the project was selected by a committee made up of representatives from Enel, the University of Venice IUAV and the City and County of Venice. The winning design took top marks in the established categories of environmental and social sustainability, technological innovation, design and visual impact. 

diagram of power plant transition from fossil fuels

“While Venice celebrates its 1,600 years since its foundation, it is still looking toward its future,” said Luigi Brugnato, Mayor of Venice. Brugnato pointed out that “converting the Fusina plant from coal to an energy hub confirms that we are a cutting-edge territory in the challenge of energy transition and that Venice can attract investment and new jobs by focusing on sustainable technologies.” 

diagram of transitioning a power plant away from coal

The winning design also scored for the inclusion of areas that will be open to the public, catering to Enel’s desire to foster social and cultural development as well as education about sustainability and the environment. The architecture is aesthetically pleasing with a modern look in an otherwise aged industrial zone. To achieve this, designers took inspiration from the surrounding lagoon and countryside, merging water with plants to soften the transition from industrial to natural.

diagram of a power plant redesign

“This competition is a tangible example of our vision for the future of energy, which needs to be planned out and realized in an open and shared manner,” explained Carlo Tamburi, President and CEO of Enel Italia. “With this project, the Fusina energy hub, which will expand its technology to facilitate energy transition, will become an area open to the local community, a space able to be in harmony with the landscape and be perfectly  integrated into the surrounding environment.” 

+ Frigerio Design Group

Images via Frigerio Design Group