Värtaverket wins the Wienerberger Brick Award in the category 'Building outside the box'


Since 2004, the Wienerberger Brick Award has been instrumental in putting a spotlight on brick architecture and honouring worthy exponents. Winners are selected every other year in various categories. This year, Gottlieb Paludan Architects and Swedish collaboration partner Urban Design were among the recipients for their spectacular achievement with Värtaverket.

Värtaverket is situated at the harbour in central Stockholm, and it is one of the largest biomass-fuelled CHP plants in the world. The complex is some 20,000 m²; parts of the production plant are placed in subterranean volumes, not least out of consideration for the surrounding environment which functions as a fauna path and includes a number of protected oak trees.

The plant façade is wrapped in curved brick components, which may be regarded as a subtle nod to the fine, old industrial buildings in the area and add a warm, red glow and tactile finish to the technical facility.The brick components take the form of vertical slats which cover the exterior of the plant and allow for adjustable and flexible positioning of the necessary openings in the underlying building envelope. 

An international panel of five architects decided to give Värtaverket the award in the category Building Outside the Box and added the following comments:

“… The finished appearance of the façade links the new CHP plant to the characteristic brick buildings in the area. However, more than anything, the new façade exemplifies the modern infrastructure building that integrates with the tradition of a North European city.”

Värtaverket opened in 2017 and was a collaborative project, designed by Gottlieb Paludan Architects and the Swedish architectural company Urban Design. Gottlieb Paludan Architects previously received the Swedish Tile Award and the American Architecture Prize ™ (AAP) for its contribution to Värtaverket.