This nature-inspired substation shows the beauty of industrial design



When you imagine beautiful architecture, you probably don’t think of electrical substations. Who would be? But the new Terna station created by Pierattelli Architetture recently won an award for its innovative design, inspired by the natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside.

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The project is an electrical converter substation that pays homage to its scenic location. It has been carefully designed to blend in with the different colors of the natural landscape that surrounds it. The project is for Terna, a utility company that manages the national high and very high voltage electricity grid in Italy. The Terna substation is part of a permanent effort to modernize the electrical connection between Sardinia, Corsica and the Italian peninsula.

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modular terracotta tiles

Pierattelli Architetture was one of the many companies who attempted the monumental task of designing an electrical substation that would honor and complement the natural landscape of Tuscany. Pierattelli Architetture’s project was chosen for its creative methods of designing an industrial building that would not become an eyesore for the idyllic region.

terracotta tiles

The building will be constructed with multiple modular facets in terracotta, a local and traditional material, which will be attached to steel cables. The modular design creates a textured exterior that shows off the different dimensions and tones of terracotta tiles. The portal and sections of the wall will be covered with a rust-colored paint, an echo of the earth and local rocks. The substation will also be surrounded by native plants, such as cypresses, olive trees and pines. New trees will be planted around the fence and along the road to the post.

LED lights against a terracotta building

“Beauty should be a shared value and something that we really strive to achieve, even in industrial architecture. This is especially true in a country like Italy, which is so rich in history and has such breathtaking landscapes, ”said Massimo Pierattelli, founder of Pierattelli Architetture.

floor plan of an electrical substation

The building is illuminated by recessed LED lights arranged on strips that project the light upwards. This creates a dramatic feeling that highlights the striking lines on the facade. There will also be spotlights among groups of olive trees, illuminating and showcasing the beauty of the landscape.

+ Pierattelli Architecture

Images via Pierattelli Architecture

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