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Competition: Hsinta Power Plant, Taiwan

The Taiwan Power Company (TPC) has launched an ideas contest for a new natural gas power station near Kaohsiung City (Deadline: 5 January)

Open to local and international architects, landscape architects and students, the two-stage conceptual competition seeks proposals for a new 3.9GW facility to replace the nearby Hsinta Power Plant, which is due to be decommissioned in 2025.

The replacement power station, planned to start generating in 2023, is part of Taiwan’s strategic ambition to shift away from nuclear power by 2025 and draw 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. It will be constructed on a 130ha site close to the locally important Yongan Salt Field and the protected offices of the former Wushulin Salt Manufacturing Company.

Hsinta Power Plant

Hsinta Power Plant

Source: Image by Lienyuan Lee

Hsinta Power Plant

According to the brief: ‘In the planning of Hsinta Ecological Power Plant as a brand-new facility, TPC hopes to introduce innovative design and ideas and attract reputable design teams around the world while establishing a green corporate image.

‘By undertaking its building form and landscape planning through an international conceptual design competition, thus shaping the vision and image for the future plant, TPC hopes to realise breakthrough concepts for the next-generation power plant – one that aligns itself with leading global standards to become a local landmark. The image embodied by the new plant will also serve to promote TPC’s corporate philosophy, help the public better identify with power plants in the country and enhance the corporate image through promotional activities.’

The Hsinta Power Plant is on a large 147.8ha promontory overlooking the Taiwan Strait. The plant, which will see its main natural gas units decommissioned between 2023 and 2025, is located a short distance from Kaohsiung City near the Hsinta Fishing Harbour.

Contest site

Contest site

Contest site

The competition is the latest international call for ideas to be launched in Taiwan and comes two years after Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners won a contest to design a new terminal at Taoyuan International Airport.

Earlier this year Tainan City launched an international contest to design a $1.795 billion NTD exhibition centre in Southern Taiwan. A winner has yet to be announced.

Last month Taoyuan City also opened an international contest for a $2.375 billion NTD contemporary art museum which remains open for applications until 14 December.

Judges in the Hsinta Power Plant contest include the professor of innovative environments at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Marcus Cruz and local architect Chinghwa Chang.

Five shortlisted teams, due to be announced 26 January, will receive $200,000 NTD each to participate in the competition’s second stage. Five honourable mentions will also take home $100,000 NTD each.

The overall winner, to be announced 27 April, will receive a $4 million NTD prize while a second prize of $2 million NTD, third prize of $1 million NTD and fourth prize of $500,000 NTD will also be awarded.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 5 January

Contact details

Barry Cheng Architect

Tel: 886-4-2326-1799
Fax: 886-4-2326-5212
Email: barry-cheng@umail.hinet.net

Visit the competition website for more information

Värtaverket power station case study: Q&A with Jesper Gottlieb

The creative director at Gottlieb Paludan Architects discusses lessons learned designing a new power station in Stockholm

How has the new power plant contributed to Stockholm’s urban realm?

Värtaverket is a very large technical facility, situated in what used to be a power plant area on the outskirts of Stockholm - but has now turned into a mixed urban development neighbourhood, surrounded by traffic infrastructure. A situation that is becoming more and more common as the big cities around the world keep growing. This means that the new plant – in spite of its size and function – had to become a ‘friendly neighbour’ for the people living and working locally, passing by on foot or bicycle or by car or tram every day, and for the cityscape in terms of the existing infrastructure and architecture. This is what we hoped to achieve with our design, and we believe that we have succeeded in creating a building that engages with all the different scales and historic layers of the area - and in achieving this it has become a sort of ‘quiet landmark’ for this part of Stockholm.

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects & Urban Desgn

Source: Image by Robin Hayes

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Denmark and Urban Design architects, Stockholm

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

Obviously, when designing such large structures, size matters and we have been working seriously with scale and the relation between the near and the far – how should the building present itself on the city skyline and how would it look and feel up close? With regards to material, we have made sure to create a link to the historic, industrial buildings on the site by covering the façade with terracotta. The terracotta slats cover the curved exterior of the technical facility and allow for adjustable and flexible positioning of the necessary openings in the underlying building envelope. The sinuous façade of terracotta helps to negotiate the size of the large-scale building, while its dynamic form proudly expresses its civic function.

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects & Urban Desgn

Source: Image by Robin Hayes

Don’t ‘make up stuff’ that isn’t there. The complex functionalities of a technical facility give you plenty of material to work with in a design process. Technical requirements and aesthetic ambition are not opposed to each other, but can – and should – inform and inspire each other to create innovative designs. And keep the scale in mind, the large facilities will have a significant impact on the local neighbourhood. Last but not at least, ask yourself: How can this new power plant become a good, contributing neighbour?

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects & Urban Desgn

Source: Image by Robin Hayes

Värtaverket power station by Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Denmark and Urban Design architects, Stockholm

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