In 2019, Copenhagen completed construction on CopenHill, a one-of-a-kind “waste-to-energy” power plant with a beautiful ski slope on its roof, Dezeen reports.
According to the Copenhagen Post, Denmark generates more waste than any other country in the EU — over 1,800 pounds per person yearly. All that trash has to go somewhere, but rather than a recycling plant or landfill, Copenhagen will incinerate it and create clean energy in the process. (You can watch a video of skiers racing down the power plant here.)
Not only does this method get rid of 440,000 tons of garbage each year, but it provides affordable energy for local residents in 150,000 homes.
To do this, Dezeen reports, Copenhagen turned to architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, also known as BIG. The firm’s design for the “ski plant” won an international competition in 2011, and construction started in 2013 before finishing in 2019.
The building’s interior layout includes machinery arranged in order of size, which means the exterior roof creates a consistent slope with a 180-degree turn in the middle. This long ramp has been converted into an artificial ski slope that’s open all year round for residents to enjoy.
Visitors to CopenHill can also enjoy a rooftop bar and the world’s largest artificial climbing wall, according to Dezeen. The roof also holds a garden with a 1,600-foot-long trail for running and hiking.
The vibrant garden helps absorb rainwater, minimizing runoff from the building, and also naturally purifies the air. To get to the rooftop amenities, the building has several elevators and lifts, including a glass elevator that allows passengers to see the waste treatment plant inside. CopenHill’s shining exterior is made up of interlaced aluminum blocks and glass panels.
Bjarke Ingels, the founder of BIG, told Dezeen that CopenHill is “a crystal clear example of hedonistic sustainability.” He added that “a sustainable city is not only better for the environment — it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens.”
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