BIG wins the International Competition to design a new Waste-to-Energy plant

Courtesy of

BIG + realities:united + AKT + Topotek 1 & Man Made Land is selected to design the new Waste-to-Energy Plant that doubles as a ski slope for ’s citizens and its many visitors by 2016.

Located in an industrial area near the city center the new Waste-to-Energy plant will be an exemplary model in the field of waste management and energy production, as well as an architectural landmark in the cityscape of Copenhagen. The project is the single largest environmental initiative in Denmark with a budget of 3,5 Billion DKK, and replaces the adjacent 40 year old Amagerfor- braending plant, integrating the latest technologies in waste treatment and environmental performance.

The shortlisted offices included Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Dominique Perrault Architecture, 3xN, Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects & Gottlieb Paludan Architects who were selected to compete out of 36 international proposals in Fall 2010. The winning team is announced by an unanimous judge panel.

More images and complete architect’s description after the break.

Courtesy of BIG

Amagerforbraending is in many ways situated on an edge condition. It is a place in the outskirts of Copenhagen, but also the centre for new recreational activities. It divides the local area in two, with factories on one side and housing on the other. It is a place you know from afar, but where few people ever go. On one hand the city of Copenhagen on the other hand Amager. The aim of the project is to tie all these opposing forces together, forming an identity for a new place in Copenhagen. We want to turn it into a place in itself – a destination where people will travel to. Most of the recently build power plants are merely functional boxes, wrapped in an expensive gift paper.

Courtesy of BIG

The main “function” of the façade is to hide the fact that factories are having a serious image/branding problem. We want to do more than just create a beautiful skin around the factory. We want to add functionality! The ambition of creating added value in terms of added functionality does not stand in contrast to the ambition to create beauty. It does not have to be either/or – it can be both! We propose a new breed of waste-to-energy plant, one that is economically, environmentally, and socially profitable. Instead of considering Amagerforbraending as an isolated object, we mobilize the architecture and intensify the relationship between the building and the city – expanding the existing activities in the area by turning the roof of the new Amagerforbraending into a ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen. Now is time to re-brand the factory.

Courtesy of BIG

The site is situated in an industrial area just outside the center of Copenhagen, and which is being actively repurposed for recreational and residential developments. Within minutes from the site it is possible to engage in physically challenging sports such as cable skiing, go-carting, sailing, and rock climbing.

One end of the building is lifted to integrate the smokestack into the overall architecture of the plant.

Administrative + Visitor Center
The envelope of the building expands to accommodate an administrative and visitor center. We anticipate that coordinating design work between the facade and plant designers will allow for an integrated design approach to avoid the transmission of noise and vibration.

Courtesy of BIG

Public Connection
Pushing down one end of the building minimizes the overall volume and allows for the possibility a public connection.

Alpine Skiing in Copenhagen
We propose to turn the roof of the new Amagerforbraending into an artificial ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen and its neighboring municipalities. The tall height of the internal volume of the plant means that this could be achieved with an average addition of 10m of vertical structure across the roof. The slope will be ecological and usable all year round, upending the convention of the energy intensive indoor or alpine ski resort.

Courtesy of BIG

Architect: BIG
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Leader: Brian Yang
Team: Jelena Vucic, Alina Tamosiunaite, Xing Xiong, Armor Gutierrez, Jakob Lange, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Maciej Zawadzki, Daniel Selensky, Gül Ertekin, Sunming Lee, Long Zuo, Ji Young Yoon
Collaborators: Realities United (Interactive Façade), AKT (Façade & Structural engineering), Topotek/Man Made Land (Landscape)
Client: Amagerforbraending
Budget: 3,5 BL DKK (650 MIO US$, 460 MIO €)
Site Area: Building: 95,000m2, Landscape: 90,000m2 Total Floor Area: Roof + ski slope: 32,000m2, Façade area: 74,000m2, Administrative + Visitor center floor area: 6,500m2, Landscape: 90,000m2
Images: Courtesy of BIG

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "BIG wins the International Competition to design a new Waste-to-Energy plant" 27 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    Tipical BIG… Has BIG a style already?…

    • rodrigo tello

      yes they have a style
      its like oma decaffeinated

      sorry that they were once fresh

  • tatafak

    tik lieka pasveikinti! :)

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