The Gas must flow.

The Gas must flow.

Gas Kompressor Station Egtved

Oh dear energy transition, when are you finally going to happen?

Fortunately, I mostly am a journalist specialized in architecture and, therefore, do not have to write about uncomfortable stuff like politics. But dealing with the project I am going to write about today, I have to unwillingly think about the current political debate on the so-called 'energy transition'. For it is the project of a new compressor station near Egtved for the energy company It is the first of its kind in Denmark, the great pioneering country in terms of renewable energies, which already covered 40,7 % of electricity consumption in 2011. On October 3rd 2013, 90 % of the entire Danish electricity consumption were even covered by wind power facilities alone, for a short time. Sadly, all that is not enough yet (electricity is only a part of the energy consumption) and, hence, gas is still required, even in super-green Denmark.

And this is where the new compressor plant near Egtved comes into play. It supplies a central intersection of the gas pipelines connection north-south from Germany and east-west to Sweden. By the way, this technical site has been built by C. F. Møller Architects, the largest architectural practice in Denmark. A big firm for a big project, so to speak, and the structures they erected are, in deed, huge.

Bunkers with a rusty Hood

The compressor plant consists of four shiny compressor units and a sequence of service buildings. Among the latter, two are most striking, due to their size on the one hand and their peculiar design on the other. The lower part of those buildings is packed in greened slopes, as if they were risen from earth itself. Above, there as an optically floating 'hood' of Corten steel. The thick steel panels are staggered in depth, which conveys the impression of a very resistant armour. Altogether, the buildings are a little reminiscent of bunkers, anyway, which is not that odd after all, since their form is supposed to provide optimum safety conditions.

The service buildings house, among others, an emergency generator and storage rooms. The large structures screen the compressor units behind them visually, acoustically and in terms of general safety, and offer a natural transition zone between danger and non-danger areas.

Naturally green and timelessly rusty

The special thing about this industrial complex is its well-done integration into the landscape. Beside the 'lawn' façade of the service buildings, many of the spaces between individual components of the compressor station are also occupied by green areas. Instead of hiding behind trees and stuff, the compressor plant makes greening an integral part of its design and, thus, creates a smooth transition to the landscape, characterized by agriculture. In terms of colour, the Corten steel also fits well, giving a shabby elegance and timelessness to the whole, under the motto: “Rust won't rust any more.” But, despite all the positive qualities, there remains the downer that the project is, sadly, still about fossil and not renewable energy.

Project details


Completion: 2013


Area (buildings): 4.600 m²

Area (station): 20.000 m²


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