PÅLSBU HYDRO POWER STATION

Location: Tunhovd, Buskerud
Built: 2007


The building is located just below Pålsbufjorden dam generating clean power from the height difference between the existing dam and the lake 15 meters below, and such exploiting an unused potential of the dam structure.

The generator chamber is situated as a free standing building in front of the 530 meters long dam, emphasizing the sculptural quality of the unbroken man made line through the landscape.

The structure consists of 15 load bearing precast concrete panels stacked around the turbine and generator. This 52 tons equipment is lifted in place by a crane supported by an in situ concrete framework. The protruding structure of the crane is covered in rough spray-on concrete. There are no gutters; stainless steel profiles are welded to the concrete panels to prevent water from entering the precast holes that serve as screens in front of windows and ventilation openings. The roof is made of prefabricated steel trusses.

The circular layout and the shape of the panels describe the rotation of the water through the turbine. Rain and water from melting snow running down the walls will enhance growth of lichens on the concrete surfaces, over time transforming the building; slowly making it part of the barren, yet compelling terrain it is situated in.

Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2009.


Photo credit: Per Berntsen