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07 Oct 2019

BIG's waste-to-energy ski slope opens in Copenhagen
BY Stu Robarts

The power plant has a 450m (1,480ft) ski slope running down its roof, a trail for hiking or running and a climbing wall up its side

The power plant has a 450m (1,480ft) ski slope running down its roof, a trail for hiking or running and a climbing wall up its side
photo: Dragoer Luftfoto

This weekend saw the opening of Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) ski slope-topped waste-to-energy plant, CopenHill.

The 41,000sq m (441,000sq ft) power plant in Copenhagen, also known as Amager Bakke, is said to be the cleanest in the world, incinerating waste and cleaning the smoke created to produce electricity for around 30,000 households and central heating for 72,000 households. Uniquely, though, it also features a variety of recreation and leisure facilities that extend its use beyond that of just city infrastructure.

The building, which is 85m (280ft) high at its summit, has a 450m (1,480ft) ski slope running down its roof with four lifts to transport people to the top and inclines of up to 45 per cent, as well as a 500m (1,640ft) trail for hiking or running and a climbing wall up its side. In addition, there is a restaurant on the building's rooftop terrace and a ski centre at the bottom with a cafe, a bar and a ski equipment rental and sales store.

Discussing the significance of Copenhill's multiple uses, founder and creative director of BIG Bjarke Ingels said: "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.

"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 façade is climbable, its roof is hikeable and its slopes are skiable. 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."

BIG's design for the building was chosen in 2011 via an international competition and construction began in 2013. The final drawings for the plant's rooftop ski slope and park were revealed early last year.



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