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30 PROJECT REPORT: INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS


even fully functional. “The new power plant would replace a polluting, non-performing, often broken down power source,” he says. The construction of a new and greatly improved facility provided Capri with the opportunity to obtain energy from renewable sources, and thereby reduce its emissions to zero, as well as provide safer power infrastructure. It would also connect the island to Italy’s national grid for the first time. “For the island, the new power plant was a strategic intervention to ensure future development and a public service for the delivery of green electricity.” The old plant, located in a different part of the island, has since been decommissioned and closed, though Frigerio says there are currently no plans to either demolish or repurpose it.


The brief


The need to ensure the power station wouldn’t detract from the surrounding landscape was a key part of the brief that was given to the practice. “They wanted the insertion of the new power station to harmonise with the environment,” says Frigerio, adding, “to diffuse the urban fabric and minimise


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the visual impact, in a place considered ‘the pearl of the Mediterranean’.” Terna manage Italy’s high and extra high voltage national power grid, and as such had strict requirements for the plant specification itself, says Frigerio. The new power line connecting the new station to the mainland is entirely underwater and underground. It’s been estimated that connection to the national grid means the island is collectively set to save around €20m a year and see a 130,000 tonne reduction in CO2.


One of the most important practical features to bear in mind for the architects was to ensure the installed equipment would be easily accessible for maintenance purposes, as well as general day-to-day operation. The main rooms housing technical equipment were therefore located in areas accessible by vehicles. It was also essential that any potential noise pollution was contained, which meant a change was required to the initial design by the architects. Large transformers initially planned to sit outside have been placed inside a volume covered by a green roof. Despite the non-negotiable requirements the client gave the studio, they


ADF SEPTEMBER 2021


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