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Architecture & Design

Värtaverket, Biomass Power Plant

On the outskirts of Stockholm, the energy company Fortum AB is building Sweden’s largest biomass-fuelled CHP plant. It is an extension of the existing Värtaverket.

Värtaverket is surrounded by industrial, office and recreational areas. The major extension must show consideration for its neighbours and respect the presence of a number of protected oak trees and the function of the area as a fauna path between the northern and southern parts of Djurgården, a natural area that blends into Stockholm proper.

As a consequence, it has been necessary to find alternatives to having fuel delivered by lorry. Therefore, parts of the production plant are placed in subterranean volumes, and fuel is delivered via tunnels, direct from the quayside at Värtahamnen harbour.

The part of the plant which rises above the ground is covered in a well-insulated, noise-absorbing façade, which is structurally, functionally and financially optimized. The façade is wrapped in curved brick slats, which may be regarded as a subtle nod to the fine, old industrial buildings on the site – many of which have major architectural value – and provide the technical facility with a warm, burgundy glow. The brick slats serve as vertical shutters, covering the exterior of the technical facility and allowing for adjustable and flexible positioning of the necessary openings in the underlying building envelope.

The project is made in collaboration with the Swedish architecture firm Urban Design.

Project location