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Bjarke Ingels Group’s ski slope power plant is finally open

CopenHill converts waste into clean energy and serves as a recreation center

Person skiing down green slope, with a metal structure in the back. Rasmus Hjortshoj

Eight years in the making, Bjarke Ingels Group’s improbable ski slope of a power plant is finally open and ready for all kinds of business.

The 44,132-square-foot CopenHill is a many-things-in-one facility—part waste-to-energy power plant, part recreation center, part educational center. But it’s perhaps best known for one thing: a 1,300-foot ski slope that runs down the roof of the slanted building.

BIG worked with a handful of contractors (SLA, AKT, Lüchinger+Meyer, MOE, and Rambøll) on the fantastical power plant design, which rises from from the ground like a gleaming hill. A green hiking path wraps around the building and leads from the ground level to the roof, where a park includes rockscapes, 7,000 bushes, and 300 trees. The building’s facade has also been turned into a 279-foot climbing wall, one of the tallest in the world.

Aerial shot of green slope wrapping on top of and around a metal building. Smaller buildings surround this structure. Dragoer Luftfoto

The whole thing is more mind-boggling when you consider there’s still a functioning power plant on the inside. The plant can convert 440,000 tons of waste into clean energy annually, which will help Copenhagen reach its goal of becoming a carbon neutral city. As BIG’s founder and creative director, Bjarke Ingels aptly puts it, the building is an example of “hedonistic sustainability.”

He says, “A sustainable city is not only better for the environmen—it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens.”

Inside of power plant shows metal structural framing. Three workers stand on a metal platform. BIG
Sloped power plant clad in metal at twilight. Laurian Ghinitoiu