As a bustling Scandinavian city, with barely a hill to speak of, Copenhagen is one of the last places you think of for skiing. But, a new man-made ‘mountain’ is set to change that.
Amager Bakke (Bakke being the Danish word for hill) is a unique waste-to-energy power plant built on Amager island (Denmark’s most densely populated island). It converts the waste of Copenhagen’s five surrounding municipalities into heat and electricity for the district.
As the cleanest power plant of its kind, Amager Bakke doesn’t emit any CO2, but the mist produced (as a by-product of the waste-to-energy process) is utilised by the one-of-a-kind dry ski slope on the building’s roof.
Standing at 100m tall (at its summit), the novel ski run provides almost half a kilometre of skiing, complete with jumps, kickers, quarter pipes and rails. Set to open later this year (summer 2019), Swedish freestyle Jesper Tjäder was allowed to test out the new artificial ski slope, also known as CopenHill, before it opens to the public.
Judging by Jesper’s reaction in the video below, he loves it. “This building made it so easy for me to figure out what to do for this project,” he said. “It’s not really about what tricks I do. It’s skiing down a building that’s the cool thing.”
The state-of-the-art waste-to-energy plant, inside Amager Bakke, opened in 2017. It’s an important cornerstone for Copenhagen’s goal of becoming CO2-neutral by 2025, supplying enough heating for 160,000 households and electricity for 60,000 houses.
The revolutionary building-landscape hybrid design also features hiking trails and a climbing wall. It was developed by renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his architect company Bjarke Ingels Group. The project implements the philosophy of “hedonistic sustainability”, by producing emission-free electricity and heat, but also functioning as a basis for a positive, sustainable and hedonistic attitude to life.
“We are looking forward to people coming here and trying out this new kind of hybrid between a building and a landscape,” Ingels said.
Amager Bakke is an inspiring example of ecology, economy and social responsibility uniting in a progressive but playful way. In the near future, Copenhageners will be able to ski on the roof of the power plant near the city centre, save many a trip to the Alps or the Scandinavian mountains and thus reduce their CO2 footprint even further.