in the heat of the world-wide climate debate following the paris agreement of 2015, the dutch design and research firm FABRICations has been active with numerous partners in the study of solutions to explore new models of energy landscapes for the netherlands. the architects claim that drastically reduced carbon emissions will only be possible if the spatial limits of traditional renewable energy infrastructure are challenged.

FABRICations draws a framework for energy landscapes of the future netherlands
eco-park: PV panels integrated into the landscape and tree-like, branched windmills are to become iconic elements
from hart van holland energy assessment (with posad, evolv, buck consultants)



to do so, the amsterdam-based office proposes a data-oriented analytical framework, and promotes three core values for design thinking in relation to energy:



1. combination of different renewable energy sources, like biomass, solar energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy, rather than relying on one source. all means of energy production present very specific conditions, requirements and aesthetic-functional features, which become a design toolbox to interact with each context differently.


2. energy infrastructure should be combined with other functions wherever possible, like eco-tourism, mobility, circular economy and ecology. from an invasive and disruptive presence in the landscape, energy production can become an engaging infrastructure to activate the territory with new aesthetic and spatial qualities. 


3. the spatial impact that the energy transition will have in a densely populated country like the netherlands should be approached as a cultural act rather than a technical one. this requires input from designers, architects and landscape architects. a future-proof energy system is an energy system that is embraced by the people that experience it in their everyday lives.

wind-park: tilted wind turbines orient towards wind direction shaping the experience of the landscape
from hart van holland energy assessment (with posad, evolv, buck consultants)



wind turbines and solar panels can be designed to integrate into the landscape, with innovative shapes and functionalities that interact with their surroundings. the new design does not disrupt local ecologies and builds on the cultural identity of the landscape to become an added value for local tourism. wind turbines, for example, can change poetically with the wind direction and form a play of lights in the night. organically shaped PV panels would bounce the reflection of the sun in various directions on a dunes landscape, using light refraction to strengthen the natural experience of local nature. 

FABRICations draws a framework for energy landscapes of the future netherlands
concept visualization of an energy landscape in a proximity of a highway
the image is part of the spatial vision developed for the municipality of breda



to minimize the impact on natural landscapes, wind turbines and solar panels could be located along highway corridors, taking advantage of leftover space in existing infrastructure. dynamically located PV panels along highways could reflect and react to the speed of cars. moreover, assuming that mobility will be electrified, the produced energy can be used directly for charging vehicles. dynamically located PV panels along highways could reflect and react to the speed of cars.

a circular farm: biomass generated from organic waste is used to power the agricultural facilities
from hart van holland energy assessment (with posad, evolv, buck consultants)



agricultural economies can benefit from integration with biomass energy production. organic waste produced in farms can be transformed locally into biomass to power agricultural facilities, aiming for a circular economy with zero waste. biogas storage tanks could be shaped as small artificial hills, playful and elastic, inviting young visitors to explore and bounce on. 

ecological energy network: the transmission network could connect to urban ecologies, creating space for nature in the city
with lola landscape and studio 1:1



due to safety reasons, land in proximity to the high voltage grid and energy production zones is subject to considerable usage restrictions, especially in urban areas. by taking advantage of this often neglected space, a niche for biodiversity can be created, generating green corridors and biodiversity reservoirs. a powerful experience of the landscape would be generated by the contrast of steel electricity infrastructure and the soft flower-rich meadows under them.

FABRICations draws a framework for energy landscapes of the future netherlands
ecological energy network: nature realized under the transmission network could be a destination in itself, with leisure activities and temporary stay zones
with lola landscape and studio 1:1


concept visualization for a tree shaped powerline poles — additional iconic value of the ecological energy network
with lola landscape and studio 1:1


strategic vision for a completely renewable energy system for the region around the city of leiden by 2050: a combination of geothermal (red), wind (blue), solar (yellow) and biomass (green) energy


configurations of solar panels in combination with other functions, proposed in the project ‘national perspective energy and space’
(with h+n+s, posad, marco vermeulen, nrglab/wageningen university)

FABRICations draws a framework for energy landscapes of the future netherlands
combining electricity production with charging infrastructure on highways
from ‘environmental effects of the climate agreement’, commissioned by the dutch government to a pool of dutch designers


different configurations for ecological energy parks
concept elaborated in collaboration with lola landscape and studio 1:1


the transmission network could become the largest national park in the netherlands, filling in the missing links in the national ecological network (EHS)



project info:


architects: FABRICations

location: the netherlands


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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