After winning the competition in 2016, Lava (Laboratory for Visionary Architects), has started work on the redesign of an energy storage tower for Stadtwerke Heidelberg (SWH) in Heidelberg, Germany. The main objective of the development was to work extensively on the facade of the structure. At length solar analysis and wind tunnel testing were done to check the effectiveness of the design. Solar and wind energies will be used to heat the water and then sell that as heat energy.
LAVA has introduced a multi-layered facade which accommodates 11,000 diamond shaped stainless-steel plates attached to a steel cable network that can rotate 45 degrees in the wind. The architects believe that a number of plates correlate to the number of households that will be beneficiaries of the energy. Nature has been used as an inspiration for the geometries on the facade. The insulation for the inner layer of the facade uses mineral wool panels in hues of blue which use low-energy LED lights at night. The light is also used as a signal for the contents of the storage tank. Time of the day and the seasons also play a role in helping the structure to change its appearance using movement, light, and shadow.
Intersecting and differently inclined circular paths around the tower reach the edges of the 10,000 square-meter site and have been named ‘energy loops’. A spiral helix staircase has been placed outside the building alongside two elevators for visitors to use the event spaces on the roof level including a bistro and open-air terraces. This structure is also Heidelberg’s new tallest building.
The project is due for completion in mid-2019.
Project: Redesign of an Energy Storage Tower for Stadtwerke Heidelberg (SWH)
Client: Stadtwerke Heidelberg (SWH)
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Architects: Lava (Laboratory for Visionary Architects)