Suffolk waste treatment facility blends into surroundings

Suffolk waste treatment facility blends into surroundings

In the county of Suffolk, in eastern England, this household waste treatment facility blends gently into the surrounding countryside. The Danpalon® skin finished with aluminium sun-screens contributes to the harmony of the whole building. The construction of a household waste treatment complex is often a source of anxiety for local residents. Unpleasant smells, unsightly buildings and noise pollution… the inconveniences can quickly become a problem.

But in the case of this plant near Ipswich, managed by Sita UK, (a subsidiary of Suez Environment), the client and the project management team seem to have succeeded brilliantly in building an industrial site that blends into the surrounding countryside. And that's not all – the plant provides economic and environmental benefits for the locality by recycling and recovering 260,000 tonnes of waste every year. Ultimately, it could generate electricity for 30,000 homes.

The Grimshaw firm of architects, commissioned to design the structure, decided to cover the central building with a surface that would melt into the English sky and reflect the changing patterns of the clouds. To achieve this, the firm conceived a mixed solution consisting of a primary skin of Ice Danpalon® with a Softlite finish, creating an effect of transparency that recalls the colour of a cloudless sky. The façades were then entirely covered with long horizontal aluminium strips to shade them from the sun.

The idea was to add depth to the building while injecting a dynamic aesthetic. Stephen Davis a construction and architecture designer at Tata Steel Projects, said “To accentuate the uniqueness of the façade, some of the sun-shades were positioned at slightly different angles, creating an effect of volume and shine. These contrasts emerge as soon as the sun shines, bringing the building alive while fusing it permanently with the English sky and landscape!”.

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