After six years of construction, Copenhill is now open for business. It’s a ski slope, a massive green space, a playground, and a climbing wall—but mostly it doubles down on Copenhagen’s goal of going carbon neutral by the year 2030.
The fabricated green mountain—also known as Amager Bakke—is a waste-to-energy power plant that converts trash into electricity for the city. It also pumps water warmed by that process to nearby homes as radiant heating—and it will serve nearly 98% of Copenhagen’s homes across five municipalities.
Waste facilities are often eyesores, but Bjarke Ingels Group—who this year alone unveiled Norway’s The Twist and France’s MÉCA—partnered with design firm SLA on a waste management concept that ties into the waterfront.
"The goal is to ensure that [the park] will become an eventful recreational public space with a strong aesthetic and sensuous city nature that gives value for all Copenhageners all year round," says Rasmus Astrup, a partner at design firm SLA.
As the power plant quietly generates electricity, visitors can go on trail runs through the verdant 170,000-square-foot park, ski down a rainbow of synthetic bristles, climb the world’s tallest artificial rock wall—or all of the above. At 246 feet, the slope is now Denmark’s highest vertical ski drop.
"[The facility] is a green bomb," Astrup says. "The rooftop’s nature is designed to attract and shelter a wide selection of birds, bees, butterflies, and insects," he says, "which in itself will mean a dramatic increase in the biodiversity of the area."
The $635 million project was paid for by the city of Copenhagen.
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