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ESS - European Spallation Source



Location: Lund, Sweden
Client: ESS AB (European Spallation Society
Team: Stig L. Andersson, Katrine Sandstrøm, Laura Parsons
Design phase: 2012
Realization: 2025
Area: 76 ha.
Type: Landscape design
Partners: Henning Larsen Architects, COBE, NNE Pharmaplan, Buro Happold, Transsolar


The European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund is Europe's new multi-disciplinary state-of-the-art research center within the atomic nucleus research with the world's most powerful neutron source.


As one of the largest centers being built in the world today, ESS, is a collaboration between 17 European countries, and the center should each year house 3,000 guest researchers' experiments, in particular physics, biology, life science and engineering sciences.


Together with the planned MAX IV Research Centre and Lund Science Village will ESS be one of the main hubs in the European research landscape.


To address the challenges of providing security in a modern research environment without compromising on the quality of the recreational areas SLA has designed a varied landscape using vegetation, wetlands and terrain to ensure the area - rather than using fences, barbed wire and walls to provide security.


Using the so-called Ha-ha's, a deep terrain depressions in the land which meets a vertical earthen wall, creates boundaries and impervious areas. At the same time Ha-ha's give an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond, while it acts as a traditional wall.


SLA landscape for ESS will have varied vegetation, which ensures high biodiversity, improve the microclimate and provides spacious qualities of the landscape.


All rainwater from ESS will be handled by converting a portion of the area to a new wetland consisting of lakes, marshes and meadows, at the same time creates a vibrant and ever-changing visual and spatial connection between ESS, Max IV Lund Science Village and the future World Park in Lund.


The landscape also provides heated, thermal baths in parts of the wetlands. It uses a small portion of the excess heat from the spallation-process to heat the water. The hot baths offer a unique opportunity to actively use nature year round.


By integrating security and landscape qualities, the recreational value of the ESS landscape creates an optimal environment for one of Europe's most important research destinations.


ESS is thus not only a unique research environment, but also a giant magnifying glass to the public, which may have an insight into the fascinating world of science.