Several recently closed and underused thermoelectric power stations in Italy are the topic of the energy company enel’s project Futur-e. Here, some of those plants are described and several reflections at different scales are offered, useful to deal with such technical spaces from a design perspective. The paper will show that these plants are usually part of a global network of fuel flows and part of the ‘operational landscape’ (a definition provided within the context of the recent concept of ‘planetary urbanization’). How such power stations can influence their local context to generate a ‘landscape’ is discussed. The plants are then analysed in terms of their recurring spaces and structures as well as the unexpected environments, such as ‘natural’ areas or even archaeological sites that, strangely enough, may be found inside their borders.
Keywords: Power stations; landscape; architecture