The competition for the design of the energy center of the future was awarded in Brindisi

Published on Friday, 1 October 2021

It marks a new step forward for the Enel power plant in Brindisi, where the competition New Energy Spaces has just ended: four tenders for architects and designers launched by Enel in July 2020 for the design of the same number of new innovative energy centers in sites impacted by the decommissioning of Italian coal plants by 2025. The competition, which attracted talented youngsters, saw architects and professionals submitting their designs. The projects were evaluated on the basis of the tender’s criteria, by a commission made up of representatives of the Apulia Region, the University of Salento, the Municipality of Brindisi and Enel.

The evaluation committee for the architectural competition in Brindisi included Alberto La Tegola, a professor at the University of Salento, Maria Antonietta Aiello, Vice Dean of the University of Salento, Carmela Iadaresta, Head of the Department of Economic Development, Innovation, Education, Training and Labor - Energy And Digital Infrastructures Division - of the Apulia Region, Marina Carrozzo, Head of Local Planning and Management of the Brindisi Municipality, and various Enel representatives.

The first prize was awarded to the “New Tower of the Winds" project by architect Marina Gousia, as the proposal that best fitted the competition’s aims: to create a new hub for research, sustainable development and recreation that is well integrated with its surrounding environment, and to design a new power plant concept.

The entrants were asked to present project ideas aligned with the principles of sustainability and the circular economy, which reused the existing structures, adapted to the different stages of the plants’ conversion.

The project involves the redevelopment of green areas, planting native trees and shrubs that will serve as the background for new sport and leisure facilities (water basins, an open-air theater, etc.), and where guided tours will take place. The power plant’s facades will be transformed into works of art that produce sun and wind-based renewable energy and which will light up at night, rather like Salento’s traditional light shows. The Tower itself will also light up, becoming a real lighthouse. A small natural wetland oasis, crossed by suspended walkways, will lend these spaces usability.

The winner will be entrusted with the architectural design and executive planning of the proposals, and development will proceed in tandem with the authorization process of the various energy projects planned for the site. Indeed, the project, which is based on future development scenarios, concerns the entire plant area and provides for the construction of a new hub that will involve the community, institutions and Enel.

"Our vision for the future of energy also evolves thanks to projects like this one, which provide new solutions for local areas - explained Luca Solfaroli Camillocci, Head of Power Generation Italy at Enel - Thanks to the contribution of leading architectural firms and the active involvement of the local area, institutions and the University, we can propose a new vision for a power plant equipped with the most innovative technologies. This marks our contribution to the energy transition process that Brindisi and the surrounding area are currently undergoing. A hub that will be open to local communities, a space that will coexist in harmony with the landscape and surrounding environment.”

The evaluation criteria concerned the modularity and flexibility of the project based on the facility’s different conversion stages; its usability by the community; its design and visual impact; the social and environmental sustainability of the proposals, with particular attention to circularity and the reuse of existing structures and infrastructures; technological innovation, and the introduction of new green areas.

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