Marchwood’s silver dome scoops top design award

One of the most stunning landmarks on Southampton Water – the Marchwood Energy Recovery Facility – has won a top industry design award.

The building, which is operated by Veolia Environmental Services Hampshire, was shortlisted in the Public Private Finance Awards 2009 for the category of ‘Best Designed Project’.

The Marchwood dome was announced as one of two winners at a ceremony in London hosted by comedian Hugh Dennis. The building beat off competition from projects based in North Kent and Sussex. To win the award, judges were looking for an example of design excellence which would be capable of enduring as a fine work of architecture, and
assessed the building for fitness for purpose, design vision, innovation, how well the building sits in its surroundings and capacity to stimulate and engage occupants.

Although the dome is a local landmark people are often unaware of it’s’ role in creating electricity through burning household waste. The ‘Energy Recovery Facility’ as it is officially known creates electricity equivalent to that which would power 22,000 homes, and helps to divert 165,000 tonnes of household waste away from landfill every year. The silver dome therefore isn’t just pleasing to the eye, as the facility plays a valuable role in Hampshire’s record landfill diversion figures.

Site manager, Mike Campbell said, “The staff are delighted the dome won the award for ‘Best Designed Project’. I know the building is a bit of a local landmark, and it’s great to receive national recognition for the innovative design.”

The Marchwood ERF has been developed as part of a wider integrated waste management infrastructure within Hampshire. Through working with Project Integra (the Hampshire wide partnership between Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, the eleven district councils and Veolia Environmental Services) Hampshire now landfills a smaller proportion of household waste than any other county in the UK.

The building was designed by leading French architect Jean-Robert Mazaud of S’Pace architecture, and is noted for its organic form that blends in with the natural curvature of the landscape abandoning the conventional industrial straight lines and sharp edges associated with similar facilities.

So the Marchwood dome isn’t just an outstanding example of progressive design, it also helps to preserve the Hampshire countryside, whilst providing a sustainable source of power for local homes and businesses.