Heat transfer station

NV Energieproduktiebedrijf UNA
Bus 59-61; metro 54
Marlies Buurman, Maarten Kloos, Amsterdam Architecture 1997-99, Amsterdam, 2000.

Building for the energy-supply

The rectangular building is situated in the metropolitan periphery, in the vicinity of a traffic interchange. Cepezed was commissioned to design a building to house a heat exchanger, which transfers the residual heat released in the cooling of generating stations to district heating. The brief was straightforward; the only requirement was that the building should be impervious to wind and water.

Cepezed produced a design in which the cladding of opal single glass is attached almost directly to the steel construction situated behind. It was possible to use single glass because the heat exchanger itself produces so much heat that insulation is unnecessary.

During the day, the building is an abstract, unobtrusive object which reflects the surroundings and the sky. At night, when other buildings close and darken, this building lights up because the interior is illuminated. The silhouettes of the pipes are then visible to passers-by in the form of shadows on the glazed wall. Because of the night-time illumination, the building does not attract tramps and vandals. This design by Cepezed shows that the ‘spirit’ to do something unusual with this type of closed, inaccessible building does surface from time to time. (ARCAM/Bu)