A year since its opening, the snow-free ski hill and entertainment hub that sits above a waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen is fully open to the city’s outdoor enthusiasts.
The recently completed CopenHill project is part of a new brand of sustainable buildings – one that is environmentally friendly through its very existence. Danish architecture firm BIG professes that environmental practices in architecture are best achieved through hedonistic sustainability – a practice that involves implementing green ideas throughout the entirety of the building design instead of measuring how “green” a building is through metrics provided by third-party certification systems like LEED or the Living Building Challenge.
The multi-use site is located at the Amager Resource Centre and is the highest outlook in the capital city. It even has the world’s tallest climbing wall, an 80-meter-high rock structure that scales the entirety of the building.
The new complex also boasts multi-faceted energy reuse, with the indoor plant converting waste into heat for residents’ homes. What is more, the biodiverse hill outside absorbs heat, filters the air, and minimizes water runoff.
According to Bjarke Ingels, BIG’s founder, CopenHill is a perfect example of the firm’s approach to sustainability. “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,” he explains.
Besides all its public recreation functions, the building’s true contribution to the city will be the 440,000 tons of waste that it will convert into energy each year. All that happens in the Amager Resource Center located inside of the CopenHill project. The center may be an important step for Copenhagen to reach its carbon-neutral goal by the year 2050.
Bjarke Ingels hopes this project will have an influence not only on the local community, but the entire world. “Standing at the peak of this human-made mountain that we have spent the last decade creating – makes me curious and excited to see what ideas this summit may spark in the minds of future generations.”