The solutions and optimizations identified for the building of the sewage plant pursue a strongly integrated approach, in which technological, architectural, morphological and vegetational elements are asked to contribute to the blending of the plant into the landscape in question using a consistent and homogeneous language. The design for the new Trento 3 sewage plant features a complex set of different elements that are very different in their characteristics and function, the key ones being:
- the long low horizontal building that houses the plant itself;
- the large volume protecting the building, consisting of a high bank of earth located between the plant and the rocky slope;
- the volume positioned along the new stretch of the S.S. 12 trunk road, mainly to help disguise the building from view.
The quest to consistently blend this facility into the landscape was construed through a pursuit of morphological and linguistic uniformity to eliminate the perception of juxtaposed artefacts in favour of the statement of a single organism that is strongly integrated both in its different components, and within the location. The building’s morphology features a long face oriented westward, characterized by bodies of different heights according to the functions they house. The architectural interpretation of the main façade of the building is based on the articulation of volumes and functions described above, and seeks to lighten its breadth by skilful alternations of transparency and shadow. The flat roofs of the lower volumes include the use of greenery and the consequent grassing of entire surfaces, while the higher volumes feature photovoltaic panels oriented southwards in alternating bands with the green roofs inclined towards them. The interaction between the architectural and vegetational elements is emphasized by the structures linking the portals: sweeping roofs that support bands of shrubs to link the protective bank to the bank lining the trunk road. The individual location and the chosen morphology of these architectural elements make them ideal physical and perceptual connecting areas between the volume of the protective bank, the building’s green roofs and the bank along the SS.12; the planting with ecotonal shrubs enhances the function of the ecosystem corridor of the portals themselves. In terms of environmental sustainability and the greatest potential for successfully blending into the landscape, the wear surfaces of all the outdoor paved surfaces, from the large plaza to the maintenance accesses, contain inert materials of different hues and transparent bituminous binders to obtain paving of assorted colours. For the service roads, the possibility of giving such material a wide range of pigmentations has made it possible to evoke the pale shades typical of unmetalled vehicle accessible roads, while the broad surface of the plaza has been fragmented and rendered more dynamic by alternating coloured bands inspired by an analysis of the prevalent hues in the context, which echo on the horizontal surface the rhythmic succession of solids and voids formed by the building’s façades and openings.