When most people think of skiing, snow-capped mountains come to mind. The last place anybody would think to go skiing would be a waste treatment plant. Yet, that’s exactly where tourists are flocking to in Copenhagen, Denmark — and for good reason, too.
CopenHill, also known as Amager Bakke, is the first of its kind waste-to-energy plant that doubles as a beautiful piece of architecture and recreational space. It’s simply one of the coolest buildings on the planet.
Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, the plant first opened in October 2019 and its appeal with locals and visitors alike has only grown since then. The design of the power plant took the better part of a decade and construction of the building began in 2017. Everyone who visits pretty much agrees it’s unlike any power plant they’ve ever seen.
Where CopenHill really shines though is in regards to its environmental efficiency. “It’s the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world, said the firm’s founder, Bjarke Ingels. “There are no toxins coming out of the chimney, just some steam.”
The plant was designed to coincide with Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. Ingles said that goal and the concept of the plant meant his team could “completely reimagine ‘What does a power plant mean?’”
Besides the plant utilizing the latest technologies in waste treatment and energy production, it boasts an artificial ski area 400 meters long. For around $33, visitors can enjoy an afternoon shredding down the slopes, scaling the 85-meter climbing wall, or just enjoy the hiking trails and some of the best views in the city.
Beneath the cross-fit area, rooftop bar, and other recreational aspects, though is a fully-functioning waste treatment plant. Its furnaces and turbines annually convert over 440,000 tons of waste into clean energy that powers 150,000 homes. It’s actually the necessities of the power plant’s operations that allow for its sloped structure.
As Ingles puts it, CopeHill is a “crystal clear example of Hedonistic Sustainability – that a sustainable city is not only better for the environment – it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens.”
Photos via YouTube, Wikipedia Commons, BIG group