At the former location of the old gas storage facility, we are realising an energy and future storage together with LAVA and Stadtwerke Heidelberg. The pretensioned cable-net facade surrounds the 50-m-high, 25-m-diameter cylinder as a building shell. The cylindrical structure stores water for a district heating system and is part of a new flexible energy system and a module and core component of the value-added chain of the local energy supply organization.
The dynamic-looking sculpture underlines its sustainability by having multiple uses, because it also functions as a viewing platform. The staircase to the platform is integrated in an unconventional way into the cable structure. It winds helically upwards, supporting itself in the gap between the facade of the accumulator and the cable net without any connection to the cylinder. The staircase acts in combination with the cable net to stiffen the whole building envelope. The galfan-coated, high-strength cables in the cable-net facade form triangular meshes. The net is held by the crown at the top edge of the district heat accumulator cylinder. The cylinder with its 15 cross-braced columns forms a stiff truncated cone, which transfers the vertical and horizontal loads onto the accumulator. Thousands of small rhombic panels are suspended from the cable net. They oscillate in the wind and generate a dynamically changing surface. The result is a lively, reflective exterior which is visible even in the dark by means of low-energy LEDs. With its special facade construction and the viewing platform, the accumulator will become a tourist attraction and a technical and aesthetic landmark signaling the city’s transition to renewable energy.