From 2018 to 2017 Teva Hesse and Sam Whatman from 4D Studio were the design leader and project architect for the Greenwich Peninsula Low Carbon Energy Centre. The industrial building is a landmark for sustainable and affordable energy serving one of London’s major urban development areas, The Greenwich Peninsula, which is on the way to growing to over 15,700 new homes and 300,000 m² of office space.
Situated in a prominent location at the entrance to the peninsula, adjacent to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach, the Energy Centre houses technically advanced boilers and combined heat & power plant that distribute heat energy via a District Heating Network (DHN) from the Energy Centre to each plot across the development.
The 49 meter tall flue enclosure has been turned into a place-making statement at the gateway to the Peninsula. Designed by British artist Conrad Shawcross, the cladding for the structure is formed of hundreds of triangular panels that fold and flow across the surface of the tower forming complex geometric patterns that visually break up the flat planes to create an uneven, sculpted surface that plays with the vanishing points and perspective. At night, an integrated lighting design produces a shifting series of compositions lit from within the structure.
Guided by a desire to demystify the process of energy generation, the machine room and flexible ancillary office accommodation is supplemented with a visitor centre that offers an interactive educational experience for prearranged groups of visitors. The building footprint further allows for flexibility in adopting new energy technology over the building’s lifetime.