Located to the northeast of downtown Nanning, the recently completed Nanning Shuangding Waste-to-Energy Power Plant sits surrounded by the eucalyptus forest, with the undulating karst mountains as a backdrop. The architectural design takes inspiration from the stunning natural context, combing the functionality and human aspect to create the next generation of waste-to-energy power plants in China.
With the overall dimensions determined by the power generation process, the main facade of the factory building is 200 meters wide and 55 meters high. Looking to the north along the road leading to the factory, and considering the perspective effect between near and far, the volume of the factory building is close to that of the background plateau. In order to respond to the natural environment and the memory of the site, the main facade of the building is featured by a pattern of an undulating mountain range to visually remedy the damage of human industrial activities to the maintains, evoking the self-examination of human activities. If the impression of the mountain is the architect’s freehand brushwork for the natural environment, then the vertical lines on the building facades from a close-up view are the delicate touches of the embroidery. UUA takes regional natural forms and folk crafts as design references and responds to the acute question raised by the site through the facade design. In an easy-to-understand and far-reaching way, the architecture takes into account the two aspects of nature and culture, shortens the distance between the people, and becomes a shaper of the landscape of the earth.
For the main body of the mountain range pattern, the glazing system is incorporated with triangular patterned glass fins with mirror stainless steel edging, forming a three-dimensional visual depth. To satisfy the need for uniform illumination of the internal space, the glass fins on the east, south, and west facades can effectively diffuse the harsh daylight entering the building, avoiding the difference in brightness caused by sunlight. The podium of the building contains a variety of functional spaces, thus horizontal strips of windows and aluminum spandrels are adapted to accommodate the flexible opening of windows. The dynamic form of the spandrels is optimized by triangulation, which not only simplifies the construction but also echoes the language of the mountain range. By manipulating the facade’s color, texture, and form, the design team endows the building with a dynamic aesthetic that changes with the viewing angle, light, and weather in an invisible and sophisticated way, reducing the impact of the building’s vast volume on the environment.