Dam Impressive - Design Bureau

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Dam Impressive

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

by Justin Ray

The Hydroelectric Power Station created by Becker Architekten brings artful visual attention to an otherwise ignored work-a-day structure.

The station lies on the left bank of the Iller River in Kempten, Germany, a medieval town that's relied on hydroelectric power since the 1950s. Becker's undulating design replaces the original 1950s model with a concrete structure that's just as powerful as it is elegant. The dam spans 150 meters and maximizes the river's churn, increasing the flow of the stream to make 10.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy a year.

Inside, wooden planks encapsulate the places where actual work is done, giving the environment a warm yet raw feeling. The turbine hall even meets sound proof standards, even though the area is not highly traversed.

Becker kept the station basic in anticipation of future modifications that are inevitable with use. It's a structure that's simple in materials and program, which makes it a beautiful example of practical architecture. Not bad for an industrial power station.