Bridging the gap between energy consumption and the cultural needs of society is an odd strategy to use as a means of winning an architectue contract, but as the world becomes more aware of the necessity in forerunning sustainability at the forefront of architecture and construction, these unique design methods and collaborations will become increasingly more familiar within the built environment.
This is an angle which has swung the architectural design bid to revamp a 40 year old incinerator in favour of one particular Danish architect.
Based on the outskirts of Copenhagen on an industrial site the old building will be modernised as a means of responding to waste management, recycling issues and the social requirements of the city. Combined with these factors is the ever present importance of sustainable design within the built environment.
The design bid was won by Bjarke Ingels at BIG architecture, combined with the finished project being the tallest in the world; the design aims to create a site which is the cleanest in the world.
Over 100 metres all the design of the $636 million building will incorporate a ski slope on the roof of the energy plant in order to become a public park and attraction as well as combating a social issue with waste management. The development is expected to be completed in 2016.
The exterior design includes a green façade which is predominantly made up of planters, and as a way of tapping into the general public’s consciousness a 30 metre smoke ring will be generated from a rooftop smokestack into the city every time a tonne of CO2 is released by the incinerator. According to the architects, “in Copenhagen in 2016, you will simply have to count the smoke rings”.
Over the last two decades Denmark has repeatedly stood out as a country which has actively been renovating the ways in which the deal with their waste management systems and levels of energy consumption.
Today 56% of all waste is recycled, and another 39% of all collected waste in Copenhagen is processed through ‘waste to energy’ plants which produces power for thousands of homes across the city. In 2004 alone 70,000 homes were powered through the heat and energy generated from these methods.