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Substation at The H.C. Ørsted CHP

At the H.C. Ørsted CHP Plant, Gottlieb Paludan Architects reinterpreted the traditional brick façade to create a contemporary technical facility that would integrate with the historical buildings at the site.

The original building from the 1920s had been extended several times and further renovations were due. The brief was therefore to create a new cohesive design that would incorporate the various small structures at the site while preserving the link to the past.The new facility was built above and around the old as a concrete structure. A new brick façade wraps itself around the old substation as well as the floors that were added subsequently. In this way, the building retained the same height as the neighbouring “twin” volume, and the length was adjusted to provide space for future extensions within the geometry of the building. The distinctive brick façade has a uniform surface, where every other row of bricks is laid using traditional bricks while the rest are laid with extra wide bricks which sit proud by about five centimetres, creating a ribbed texture. The rows are swapped around at the corners, producing an exquisite toothed pattern.

The expansion joints, which are a technical necessity, are celebrated as distinct vertical lines by the doors on the long side of the building. Gables and long façades have grate-like openings in the brickwork, letting in daylight and providing smoke ventilation in the event of fire.

The construction works were carried out while the original equipment maintained operations.

Design challanges

- Developing modern brickwork that can co-exist with historical, ornamented brick traditions.

- Facilitating a close collaboration between engineers and architects regarding the technical and spatial layout.

Photos: Gottlieb Paludan Architects 

Project location