Photography © Kåre Hansen / © Bjørn Leirvik
Kebony has been honored with an Architizer A+ Award in “Architecture +Sustainability". Stein Hamre Architects chose Kebony wood for the exterior on Helgeland Kraft’s Øvre Forsland Power Station, which is also referred to as the world’s most beautiful hydraulic power plant.
The power station was selected as the winner by popular vote from a group of five finalists. The Architizer A+ Awards program is the largest of its kind, focused on promoting and celebrating the greatest architectural achievements of the past year. Their mission is to nurture the appreciation of meaningful architecture in the world and champion its potential for a positive impact on everyday life.
Øvre Forsland is situated deep within the mountains of Helgeland, a hiker’s paradise just below the Arctic Circle. The region is known for its unique coastline and spectacular mountain formations. The plant sits on the river bank, in a clearing at the edge of a spruce forest. A main inspiration for the design was the verticality and the irregularity of the spruce trees. Along with extensive use of stone, slate, and glass on the exterior, Kebony wood is used for cladding.
“This award is a testament to our hard work in sustainable, green building efforts, as well as our good cooperation with Stein Hamre Arkitektkontor,” said Christian Jebsen, Kebony CEO. “We are proud to be recognized as a leader in sustainability, especially given the other incredible projects showcased in this category.”
The Kebony technology permanently modifies the properties of softwood, giving it the same characteristics and cellular makeup of the most durable tropical hardwoods. This modified wood stands up to extreme weather conditions and was an ideal building material for the power station, especially considering the design characterizes the surrounding environment. Kebony wood develops a natural, grey patina, giving architects at Stein Hamre an aesthetically pleasing material to complement the beauty of the forest landscape.