Unveiled> BIG Designs a Power Plant That Loves You

International
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Where one architect might see an incinerator, Bjarke Ingels, principal at Dutch firm BIG, envisions a ski slope. Ingels has been fond of the mountain typology and he hasn’t been all that subtle about it, giving projects names like Mountain Dwellings and emblazoning Mount Everest on the side.

In his latest competition-winning proposal for Copenhagen, BIG takes the concept one step further, with a mountain you can actually ski down.

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Perhaps more accurately, the $645 million waste-to-energy facility is a volcano, periodically spewing smoke rings from its summit every time one ton of CO2 has been released into the atmosphere. BIG (with realities:united, AKT, Topotek 1, and Man Made Land) clad the building with a modular grid of planters and windows resembling oversize bricks. The rooftop “snow” will actually be made of a synthetic granular material that

“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,” said Bjarke Ingels in a statement. “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.”

While the sheer industrial scale of power plants often captures the imagination of many architects, the notion that a power plant might invite its city to approach and interact, even ski on top of it, is so new it borders on absurd, but we have to agree with David Zahle, partner at BIG, who said in a statement, “I can’t wait to ski on a base of clean and green energy with a view over the city in 2016.”

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhapen (Courtesy BIG)

3 Responses to “Unveiled> BIG Designs a Power Plant That Loves You”

  1. Architecture Linked says:

    It seems like BIG is always in the headlines, but I have to admit this is such a fun and creative approach to industrial architecture . I’d ski on it. :) Thanks for the post.

  2. nechodoma says:

    These garbage incerators are quite toxic, no matter what cladding you put on them.

    For every four tons of garbage burned, one ton of toxic ashes remains which then need to be specially handled and disposed of. Not one of these incinerators has been built in the US since 1995 precisely6 because of the problems they bring along–polluted air with cancer-causing nano-particles; large amounts of fresh water needed to make them run which later has to be dumped and is too contaminated to be processed by standard water treatment plants.

    No wonder no one else, but inexperienced firms, wants to design them. They are monuments to waste.

  3. Banh says:

    BIG?? Big WHAT? Ego? Budget? Folly? Joke? Public waste of tax money? Disaster? Please clarify…

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