Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Building, Austria

Tiroler Wasserkraft AG KWB Control Center Silz Building Austria, Upper Inn Valley Architecture, Architect, Images

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz

Upper Inn Valley Power Plant Development in Austria – design by Bechter Zaffignani Architekten

9 Jan 2017

Tiwag KWB Leitstelle Silz

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Building

Design: Bechter Zaffignani Architekten

The Tiroler Wasserkraft AG (Tiwag) operates most of the power plants in Tirol. The Sellrain-Silz Group at the upper Inn Valley is one of the largest one. In search for a new building for the control center to meet the latest safety standards the Tiwag has launched a european-wide competition 2011, which was won by Bechter Zaffignani Architekten.

Photos © Rasmus Norlander

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Austria

The new building for the power station control centre in Silz is a massive, tower-like, free-standing building. The dominant building on the site was and still remains the old turbine building. Various additions reduced the impact made by this building, with the result that the high-energy processes on the power station site were no longer externally legible. Through the formal idiom it employs the new building attempts to depict these processes.

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Austria

In terms of height, width and axial orientation the new building relates to the turbine building. Its shape takes up and continues the existing spatial direction of the turbine building. A new, clear and expressive volume is made that conveys a sense of the energy processes on the power station site. The control centre now marks the spatial centre of the power station site and connects the neighbouring volumes to create an urban structure.

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Austria

The idea behind the control centre is based on stacking the individual functions vertically, with each functional unit organised on a separate floor level. This clear hierarchy simplifies the administration of the access and security areas and allows a linear networking of the infrastructure. In terms of the amount of space needed the control centre area with the control room is a special case. The need for extra height in the control room allowed the development of an expressive and yet logical building volume.

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Austria

The building’s emphatic verticality is given an additional horizontal moment and creates a powerful gesture towards the north. In response to the user’s requirement for glare-free offices, the east and west facades have no openings. These solid panels form a load-bearing external envelope that is thermally detached from the internal walls and the floor slabs. The solid concrete parapets on the south and north facades function as upstand or downstand beams and serve to structurally strengthen the floor slabs. The connection between the internal and external construction is made by means of stainless steel inserts and stainless steel shear dowels.

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Austria

The materialisation and the colour of the new building relate to other structures in the area of hydraulic engineering. Concrete is the ideal material for providing sufficient resistance to the enormous force of water used to generate energy. Like no other material it conveys a sense of security and longevity. The brown colour of the smooth exposed concrete surfaces – achieved by the addition of iron oxide pigment – refers to the dynamic components of the generation of power. Pressure pipe lines, turbines and transformers are all made of metallic materials produced from iron ore.

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Building Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Building Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz Building

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz – Building Information

Name of work in English: Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz
Name of work in original language: Tiwag KWB Leitstelle Silz
Location: Silz, Austria
Year completed: 2015 (Year began 2013)
Studio: Bechter Zaffignani Architekten

Construction manager: Baumanagement Oswald
Structural engineering: ZSZ Ingenieure
Collaborator (office): Maurer und Partner
Building physics: Weithas Bauphysik
Fire consulting: K&M Brandschutzplanung
Civil, soil and survey: Teindl Ziviltechniker
Lighting: Zumtobel Group
Project management: ao Architekten

Program: Infrastructure
Labels: Energy
Total area: 26774
Usable floor area: 2844
Client: Tiroler Wasserkraft AG
Client Type: public
Map: LatLng: (47.270042021129335, 10.967672838623002)

Tiwag KWB Control Center Silz shortlisted for Mies van der Rohe 2017 Awards

Mies van der Rohe 2017 Award Nominations


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