Waste to Energy Plant
Roskilde, Denmark

With the new Waste to Energy Plant, the city of Roskilde in Denmark now has a second towering landmark, besides the UNESCO World Heritage listed cathedral. The plant incinerates waste from nine surrounding municipalities and from many places abroad, to produce electricity and heat power for the whole region of Roskilde. The design presents an iconic expression for the otherwise functional architecture of the local waste management company KARA/NOVEREN’s next generation Waste to Energy plant. The façade consists of two layers: the inner layer is the skin which provides the actual climatic barrier, allowing the second, outer skin to be treated more freely, consisting of raw umber-coloured aluminium plates with an irregular pattern of laser cut circular holes. The aluminium plates are treated to give them the desired colour and patina during the day time. At night, the programmable lighting, installed between the two facades, gives the building an additional metaphor.

For the illumination of the façade it was important that only the light and not the light sources themselves are visible from the outside. This has been realized by reflecting the light on the inner façade, which allowed the light to glow through the perforated skin. All luminaries can be programmed individually and adjusted in colour. Nevertheless the lighting is not intended to brighten the sky or dominate the surroundings, but rather serves to underline the buildings’ industrial character and above all to give it poetic meaning and experience at night.

The design is based on simple construction details combined with cutting edge manufacturing technology, clever processing and repetition for the production of the aluminium façade panels. Due to its large scale, the Waste to Energy plant is destined to become an outstanding structure in the wide and open landscape of the Roskilde area and represents a hypermodern and sustainable energy plant, where waste will be turned into power.

The new Waste to Energy plant in Roskilde is created specifically to add value to an otherwise purely industrial complex. Enriching the skyline of this small Danish city, once the Danish Capital, the silhouette of the plant also provides a comment to its historic surroundings. The lower part of the building resembles the angular roofs of surrounding factories, but the impressive 97-meter spire and its materialization is the modern counterpart of the city’s prime historical monument, the Roskilde Cathedral.

7,400 m2
Assigned by
Kara/Noveren Roskilde
Completed in 2014
Competition 1st prize in 2008

Styling Roskilde

Erick van Egeraats' design for the new Waste to Energy Plant is seeking to embrace both the historic and industrial heritage of Roskilde.


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Media Architecture Biennale Award
Winner, Best Animated Architecture
PLDR Award
Winner, Best New Project
Darc Award
Winner, Best Exterior Scheme – High budget, Third prize
Media Architecture Biennale Award
Winner, Best Animated Architecture
Danish Lighting Award



Corrugated metal sheet, painted metallic
Inner facade cladding
Anodized aluminum panels
Outer facade cladding


Times Square, New York, USA

Roskilde in the news worldwide when winning the 'Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award, Architecture + Light’ in 2015.

Danish Crown Prince Frederik inaugurated Energy Tower in Roskilde

See the photo report from the official opening of the Energy Tower Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

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Roskilde by night

Energy Tower Facade Lighting was finalized by Gunver Hansen Studio in cooperation with (designed by) Erick van Egeraat in 2014. See the short movie.

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Erick van Egeraat's Roskilde power plant has a glowing perforated facade

Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat has completed a waste incinerator and power plant in the Danish city of Roskilde with a spotty perforated facade that lights up at night as if there's a fire burning within.

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Incineration Line in Roskilde / Erick van Egeraat

With the new waste-to-energy Incineration Line, the city of Roskilde in Denmark will have a second towering landmark, besides the UNESCO world heritage Cathedral: The Energy Tower designed by Erick van Egeraat. The facility was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik on September 2, 2014.

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The Light Fantastic

The Roskilde Waste to Energy Plant, designed by Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat, is a feat of modern technology. Recycling waste to create sustainable energy, this beacon for the town of Roskilde provides a symbolic, as well as technical function, due to its height and visibility.

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