Sustainability and entertainment at once

Can you imagine a 100% clean power plant, which is also an entertainment zone for the locals?
22 October, 2019
BIG is ready to prove ones again that even the most crazy ideas can come to life. The Architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a pioneer in sustainable design, has assisted the Copenhagen's state of the art plant to set new standards for environmental performance, energy production and waste treatment. Now it burns waste instead of fossil fuel, and has a roof that doubles as a ski slope.
Copenhagen's Amager Resource Center was imagined as a landmark example of public architecture from the outset. The architects also had an idea to include the "fun factor" into a nondescript industrial building. This aim of that was, in part, to raise consciousness about energy consumption and its effect on the planet.

This incredible plans have finally become a reality, as CopenHill ski slope was opened to the public. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the 450 m slope, with incredible views of Copenhagen's skyline and Sweden in the distance. The building also has plenty of entertainment opportunities for non-skiers – a rooftop bar, cross-fit area, 85-metre-high climbing wall, "tallest artificial climbing wall in the world", and 490-metre-long hiking and running trail within a "lush" garden.

Images: Dezeen
This "garden" is not only a beautiful addition to the contraction, but also bears a functional goal – it creates a "vibrant green pocket" in the city for birds, bees and flowers, while absorbing heat, removing harmful air particles and minimizing storm water runoff.

CopenHill is distinguished by its wedge-shaped form, sloped green roof and blocky facade composed of 1.2-metre-tall and 3.3-metre-wide aluminium bricks that are stacked like gigantic bricks.

BIG claims this power facility to be the "cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world".

Images: Dezeen
"CopenHill is a blatant architectural expression of something that would otherwise have remained invisible: that it is the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world," said Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG.

"As a power plant, CopenHill is so clean that we have been able to turn its building mass into the bedrock of the social life of the city – its facade is climbable, its roof is hikeable and its slopes are skiable" he continued.

"A crystal clear example of hedonistic sustainability – that a sustainable city is not only better for the environment – it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens."

The design for the 41,0000-square-metre CopenHill "ski plant" had an honor of winning an international competition back in 2011. It is hoped the building will help Copenhagen meet its goal of becoming the world's first carbon-neutral city by 2025.

Images: Dezeen
Inside the building is filled with "the latest technologies in waste treatment and energy production", capable of incinerating 440,000 tons of waste to make clean energy that will deliver electricity and district heating for 150,000 homes annually.

CopenHill accommodates ten floors of administrative space and a 600-metre-squared education center. These are all naturally lit by glazing slots in between the aluminium bricks.

"To me CopenHill is a perfect example of the world changing power of architecture. That we have the power to give form to the future that we want to live in," concluded Ingels.

"Standing at the peak of this human-made mountain that we have spent the last decade creating – makes me curious and excited to see what ideas this summit may spark in the minds of future generations."

The building's original design incorporated one more unusual feature - an art work in the chimney, which would release a ring of vapor every time 250 kilograms of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. According to the studio, this installation will be added to CopenHill when funding is secured.

Banner image: Dezeen