Bjarke Strikes Again
Leave it to Bjarke Ingels to win a competition for his proposal for a new waste to energy plant by designing a 31.000 m2 ski slope. The competition, which yielded 36 proposals in fall 2010, was the largest environmental initiative in Denmark. With a budget of 3.5 Billion DKK, competing teams designed structures to replace a 40- year-old Amagerforbraending plant in Copenhagen with a more sustainable waste energy plant. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) decided to approach their design in a way that truly celebrates the idea of sustainability. What they call "hedonistic sustainability," refers to design that improves the quality of life, both directly and indirectly- ecologically and socially. Physical exercise and fresh air are rarely associated with waste treatment plants. But here the ski slope reaches out to citizens and gives them a new recreational facility, even as it creates a new relationship between waste plant and city. It shows a connection between shaping a healthy future and disposing waste. And it employs the latest technologies in waste treatment, while focusing on environmental performance. This is not a hidden, isolated, utility structure, but a celebration of health and well being. BIG really topped itself this time. While the firm's buildings continue to be green, innovative, and never fail to surprise, here they propose the ultimate in sustainability. The ski slope, made from recycled materials, sits atop a building wrapped in a green facade formed by plant modules. Beneath this living skin are new waste management and energy management technologies. This building takes the idea of mixed use to a whole new level. Shouldn't all our buildings strive to do the same? We featured Bjarke Ingels's 8House in our December 2010 issue, and he also answered a few questions for us recently. His Mountain Dwellings project was featured in our December 2008 issue. Mountain Dwellings project was featured in our December 2008 issue.