Mindfulness on the Highway
New ultra-fast and green charging stations for electric vehicles at the Danish city of Fredericia designed by COBE recharges the batteries of both vehicles and drivers.
The charging stations designed by COBE which also won the infrastructure award at the 2018 Danish Building Awards not only promise to recharge a vehicle in just 15 minutes but also offer drivers and passengers a welcome break and a chance to recharge their own mental batteries while the car is being powered up.
A mental break in a green oasis COBE’s design, which won the infrastructure award of the 2018 Danish Building Awards for its groundbreaking architecture, revolves around a green rethink of the traditional gas station. The new ultra-fast charging stations, which are now being installed, will be a place where drivers can quickly and efficiently recharge the vehicle as well as their own mental batteries.
“Electric vehicles are the way of the future. With our design we offer EV drivers a welcome break and an opportunity to recharge mentally in a green oasis. The energy and the technology are green, so we wanted the architecture, the materials and the concept to reflect that. Hence, we designed a charging station in sustainable materials placed in a clean, calm setting with trees and plants that offer people a dose of mindfulness on the highway,” says Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder of COBE.
The charging stations consist of a series of structural “trees” designed with a tree crown that filters the light and offers shade and thus creates a green setting and a calming atmosphere that is quite different from a traditional gas station where lines of vehicles and gas fumes and the smell of exhaust are the norm.
Thanks to a modular design concept the stations are scalable, so a single “tree” can easily be turned into a “grove”, depending on the need. The stations are constructed in wood and concrete, topped by solar panels and surrounded by trees, grass and shrubs selected in cooperation with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation with the aim of enhancing biodiversity around the station.
The first of the ultra-fast charging stations, which opened last year, offers a relaxed nature experience with a capacity of recharging four EVs at once. The Fredericia charging station is constructed of 12 “trees” with a 400-m2 “crown” with a mix of open and closed roof panels. The goal is for both the new and the upcoming charging stations to offer users a pleasant, restful and Zen-like feel that may even, hopefully, make the roads safer.
The stations are in cooperation with Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever. The Danish e-mobility provider Clever and the European energy company E.ON have formed a joint venture called Powered by E.ON Drive with the purpose of building and operating ultra-fast charging stations along Scandinavia’s main highways. The goal of Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever is to tie the main cities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden together with a total of 48 ultra-fast charging stations.
In the longer term, ultra-fast charging stations can also help make it more attractive to invest in EVs and thus boost and promote the transition from fossil fuels to green, energy-efficient and CO2-neutral transportation both in Denmark and abroad.
Place: Fredericia, Denmark
Client: Powered by. E.ON Drive & Clever
Programme: EV charging stations
Size: scalable modular concept
Status: The first charging station opened in Fredericia on 28 May 2019