top of page


Metabolic Architecture

An Urban Metabolism study whilst working at FABRICations was produced for the port city of Rotterdam in order to improve the energy consumption of the city.

The Heat Hub was a design proposal culmination of one branch of metabolism research.

The presence of geothermal heat brings opportunities for creating a heat network that is stabilised by a grid of heat hubs. 

By linking the heating network to geothermal heat, a very stable network is created that can be developed in a centralised or decentralised way. Culminating in enormous savings in energy consumption and a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions.


This new proposal of the heat hub also has a public function with innumerable possible uses, from watch tower to year round public space and spa.

View from the top



Every month, industries and power plants waste an enormous amount of heat, which, if recovered and redistributed would be more than enough to acclimatize all the households and office buildings in the Netherlands. As part of this heat recovery system, FABRICations designed the Groningen heat hub, a storage and distribution facility, specifically arranged to serve the local heat network, and to host public activities.

Heat Hub Locations



The Heat Hub is an architectural strategy to store and re-distribute hot water in a better and more dynamic way. To prevent a mono-functional tower as a result, FABRICations inserted different programs, in order to use the heat in excess, and by doing so, achieve social-cultural connections in an active public space.

Heat Network



The Heat hub has three functional levels: as a technical building, connecting heat infrastructures, as a public meeting point with sports and research facilities, and as a symbol for Groningen as a region of energy.

Thermal heat storage



Being an icon, the tower offers also a physical connection point between the university campus and the Zernike Science Park, a research-based industrial area with energy as a spear point.

Structure Build up + Render
Heat Cascade + Space Creation
Flow + Access
Structure Frame + Ribs
Structure Tanks + Final
Heat Hub
bottom of page