News just broke that BIG + realities:united + AKT + Topotek 1 & Man Made Land have been selected to design the new Waste-to-Energy Plant that doubles as a ski slope for Copenhagen’s citizens and its visitors by 2016.
Located in an industrial area near the city center the new Waste-to-Energy plant will be an exemplary model in the field of waste management and energy production, as well as an architectural landmark in the cityscape of Copenhagen. The project is the single largest environmental initiative in Denmark with a budget of 3.5 Billion DKK, and replaces the adjacent 40 year old Amagerforbraending plant, integrating the latest technologies in waste treatment and environmental performance. The shortlisted offices included Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Dominique Perrault Architecture, 3xN, Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects & Gottlieb Paludan Architects who were selected to compete out of 36 international proposals in Fall 2010. The winning team is announced by an unanimous judge panel.
”BIG’s proposal contributes to the city with something useful and beautiful. We see this creating a lot of opportunities and with this unique building, we can brand the Danish knowledge and technology to show the world our abilities within environmental and energy issues”, Ulla Röttger, Director of Amagerforbraending
Instead of considering the new Amagerforbraending as an isolated architectural object, the building is conceived as an opportunity to create a destination in itself and thereby reflecting the progressive vision to create a new type of waste treatment facility. The roof of the new Amagerforbraending is turned into a 31.000 m2 ski slope of varying skill levels for the citizens of Copenhagen, its neighboring municipalities and visitors, mobilizing the architecture and redefining the relationship between the waste plant and the city by expanding the existing recreational activities in the surrounding area into a new breed of waste-to-energy plant.
“The new plant is an example of what we at BIG call Hedonistic Sustainability – the idea that sustainability is not a burden, but that a sustainable city in fact can improve our quality of life. The Waste-to-Energy plant with a ski slope is the best example of a city and a building which is both ecologically, economically and socially sustainable”, Bjarke Ingels Founder and Partner, BIG
The slope is ecological using a recycled synthetic granular, upending the convention of the energy intensive indoor ski resort. Access to the slopes is via an elevator along the plant’s smokestack providing views into the plant, giving glimpses of its internal workings finally reaching an observation platform 100m above giving sightseers an unobstructed view from one of the tallest structures in Copenhagen. All of this while the smokestack is modified to puff smoke rings of 30m in diameter whenever 1 ton of fossil CO2 is released. These smoke rings which are the brainchild of Germany-based art studio realities:united will form due to the condensation of water in the flue gases as they as they slowly rise and cool, serving as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption and a measuring stick that will allow the common Copenhagener to grasp the CO2 emission in a straightforward way - turning the smokestack traditionally the symbol of the industrial era into a symbol for the future. At night, heat tracking lights are used to position lasers on the smoke rings into glowing artworks.
“Designing a façade for a building is like wrapping a gift without having to consider its content. Instead of concentrating on the wrapping paper we have instead invested our energy on creating a gift for the citizens of Copenhagen & its visitors no matter if they are adults or children, professionals or beginners. I can’t wait to ski on a base of clean and green energy with a view over the city in 2016”, David Zahle, Partner, BIG.
From a distance, the entire building is wrapped in a vertical green façade formed by planter modules stacked like bricks turning it into a mountain from afar. The surrounding topography is sculpted by Topotek 1 & Man Made Land to form a park which offers informal sport activities in summer and winter. Along its western border a field of hills will mimic a mogul piste. A path system throughout the park interconnects the whole site and creates good connections to the neighboring residential area.
Project Description from the Architects:
Amagerforbraending is in many ways situated on an edge condition. It is a place in the outskirts of Copenhagen, but also the centre for new recreational activities. It divides the local area in two, with factories on one side and housing on the other. It is a place you know from afar, but where few people ever go. On one hand the city of Copenhagen on the other hand Amager. The aim of the project is to tie all these opposing forces together, forming an identity for a new place in Copenhagen. We want to turn it into a place in itself – a destination where people will travel to. Most of the recently build power plants are merely functional boxes, wrapped in an expensive gift paper. The main “function” of the façade is to hide the fact that factories are having a serious image/branding problem. We want to do more than just create a beautiful skin around the factory. We want to add functionality! The ambition of creating added value in terms of added functionality does not stand in contrast to the ambition to create beauty. It does not have to be either/or – it can be both! We propose a new breed of waste-to-energy plant, one that is economically, environmentally, and socially profitable. Instead of considering Amagerforbraending as an isolated object, we mobilize the architecture and intensify the relationship between the building and the city – expanding the existing activities in the area by turning the roof of the new Amagerforbraending into a ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen. Now is time to re-brand the factory.
The site is situated in an industrial area just outside the center of Copenhagen, and which is being actively repurposed for recreational and residential developments. Within minutes from the site it is possible to engage in physically challenging sports such as cable skiing, go-carting, sailing, and rock climbing.
One end of the building is lifted to integrate the smokestack into the overall architecture of the plant.
ADMINISTRATIVE + VISITOR CENTER
The envelope of the building expands to accommodate an administrative and visitor center. We anticipate that coordinating design work between the facade and plant designers will allow for an integrated design approach to avoid the transmission of noise and vibration.
Pushing down one end of the building minimizes the overall volume and allows for the possibility a public connection.
APLINE SKIING IN COPENHAGEN
We propose to turn the roof of the new Amagerforbraending into an artificial ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen and its neighboring municipalities. The tall height of the internal volume of the plant means that this could be achieved with an average addition of 10m of vertical structure across the roof. The slope will be ecological and usable all year round, upending the convention of the energy intensive indoor or alpine ski resort.
Use: Commercial, Body Culture
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Status: 1. Prize
Budget: 3.5 BL DKK (650 MIO US$, 460 MIO €)
Site Area: Building: 95,000m2, Landscape: 90,000m2 Total Floor Area: Roof + ski slope: 32,000m2, Façade area: 74,000m2, Administrative + Visitor center floor area: 6,500m2, Landscape: 90,000m2
Architect: BIG (Architecture)
Collaborators: Realities United (Interactive Façade), AKT (Façade & Structural engineering), Topotek/Man Made Land (Landscape)
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Leader: Brian Yang
Team: Jelena Vucic, Alina Tamosiunaite, Xing Xiong, Armor Gutierrez, Jakob Lange, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Maciej Zawadzki, Daniel Selensky, Gül Ertekin, Sunming Lee, Long Zuo, Ji Young Yoon
See the proposal on Google Earth and don't miss BIG's world-famous diagrams in the image gallery below! All images courtesy of BIG.