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AKT and BIG win Copenhagen contest with combined waste plant and ski slope

Engineers to the stars Adams Kara Taylor (AKT) and Danes Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has seen off an impressive shortlist to win the international contest to design a new Waste-to-Energy plant in Copenhagen

The scheme, which doubles as a ski slope, was picked ahead of designs by finalists Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Danish practice 3XN, Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects.

AKT co-founder Hanif Kara, who worked on the project alongside fellow collaborators Topotek 1 and Man Made Land, described the scheme as ’a refreshing idea that the UK industry could learn from’.

The facility on an industrial site near the city centre has been hailed as ‘the single largest environmental initiative in Denmark’ and replaces the 40 year old Amagerforbraending plant next door.

The ski slope will use a recycled synthetic granular with access to the pistes 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’.

The Architect’s View
Bjarke Ingels Founder and Partner, BIG

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 31,000m² ski slope of varying skill levels for the citizens of Copenhagen, its neighboring municipalities and visitors, mobilising 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 waste incineration 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.

Project data

Project: Waste-to-Energy Plant
Client: Amagerforbrænding
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Architect: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Collaborators: Realities United (Smoke Ring Generator), AKT (Façade & Structural Consulting), Topotek 1/Man Made Land (Landscape), FRONT  
Building: 95,000 m²
Landscape:90,000 m²
Total Floor Area: Roof + ski slope: 32,000 m²
Façade area: 74,000 m²
Administrative + Visitor center floor area: 6,500m²
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Leader: Brian Yang
Team: Jakob Lange, Jelena Vucic, Alina Tamosiunaite, Armor Gutierrez, Maciej Zawadzki, Daniel Selensky, Gül Ertekin, Sunming Lee, Long Zuo, Ji Young Yoon

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