Subsidiary Heating Plant

Nighttime Energy


Beneath settled territories lies a network that transports energy, water, steam, and waste in service of the world above ground.  At times these hidden grids emerge from below and must transform themselves into buildings that are assigned to designated sites and follow an infrastructural logic that must in turn be reconciled within the urban fabric.  In the town of Bressanone, (pop. 21.000) five cogeneration plants are strategically positioned across the fourteen constituent heating districts, and act as visual reminders of the buried arteries diligently delivering heat and power on demand.


While these six heating plants are the primary producers of energy for the town, subsidiary structures are being built to better serve the heating grid.  As consumption drops overnight, less of the “waste heat” produced by the heating plants is put to use causing a considerable loss of energy and a reduction in efficiency.  In order to minimize this loss of heat overnight, hot water reserve tanks are grouped together and positioned to act as an interim holding place whereby the high temperatures can be maintained until consumption picks up again in the morning.


In this case, the small project for a collection of six hot water reserve tanks is located directly behind the scholastic zone and public square of the small township of Milland, Bressanone.  The proximity to the school buildings in conjunction with the large dimension of the tanks (4,40 meters in diameter and 11,00 meters high) prompted the decision to place the tanks into a lower level, reducing the overall height visible above-ground.  The six buffer tanks are crowded together and wrapped with a vertical metal white cladding to create a sinuous sculpture that emerges from a low concrete base. The tanks are accessed and serviced by a metal spiral stair that leads to the lower level that is covered by a continuous, open metal-grate floor.


Millan – Bressanone (BZ), 2011



Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana 2015, Menzione d’onore


ASM Municipal Services

Project Team

Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol