BIG's CopenHill combines ski slope and waste-to-energy power plant
Some 11 years after first being unveiled, the much-anticipated CopenHill, by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) is now finally open to the public. The project is an inspired combination of a waste-to-energy power plant and a ski slope in Copenhagen, Denmark.
CopenHill (aka Amager Bakke) also involved SLA, AKT, Lüchinger+Meyer, MOE and Rambøl. The eye-catching building features a facade made up of glass and stacked aluminum bricks – though, alas, the plan to install a steam ring generator was never realized.
A large artificial ski slope runs from top to its bottom and there's also a freestyle area and a timed slalom course, plus lower slopes for beginners and kids. The slopes are reached by ski lifts or a glass elevator.
In addition to the skiing, other attractions at CopenHill include the world's tallest climbing wall, which measures 85 m (278 ft), a rooftop bar, cross-fit area, and a tree-lined hiking and running trail. The man-made mountain contains some 7,000 bushes, 300 pine and willow trees, plus other greenery.
The building's interior measures 41,000 sq m (roughly 441,000 sq ft) and contains the waste-to-energy plant itself, as well as 10 floors of administrative space, an education center, and areas for conferences, workshops and academic tours.
"Beneath the slopes, whirring furnaces, steam, and turbines convert 440,000 tons of waste annually into enough clean energy to deliver electricity and district heating for 150,000 homes," explains BIG's press release. "The necessities of the power plant to complete this task, from ventilation shafts to air-intakes, help create the varied topography of a mountain; a man-made landscape created in the encounter between the needs from below and the desires from above."
2019 is proving to be a bumper year for BIG and in addition to CopenHill, the influential firm has also completed an eye-catching bridge called The Twist, the copper-clad Business Innovation Hub, the MÉCA cultural center, which features a periscope, and the unusual Glasir college, as well as unveiling the design for a massive "giga-project" in Saudi Arabia.