Factory visit

BIG Architects introduce industrial factory to leisure activities in the name of sustainable awareness in Denmark.

Factory re-branding takes on a whole new meaning when a ski slope gets added to promote public participation and sustainable awareness.

Danish firm BIG Architects appear to be setting the pace in this arena, having recently won an international competition to design a new waste-to-energy treatment plant on the outskirts of Copenhagen in Denmark.

In an attempt to give the standard factory a makeover, the Amagerforbraending also sports a public ski slope on its roof. This is an attempt to use the site more economically while also making it socially and environmentally profitable. A lack of identity has meant that the site receives very few visitors, so this design of a factory-ski slope hybrid hopes to change all that, using architecture to make a destination out of a useful building.

The artificial ski slope results from the height of the factory’s smokestack, measuring about 1 500m in total. An elevator shaft provides access to the ski slope. The Amagerforbraending also encourages interaction by allowing skiers to look into the factory and take a peak at what happens inside a waste treatment plant, by way of two large sky lights in the roof of the factory.

Sustainable energy is of course a key concern here. The design proposal includes a function that will allow the smokestack to release a ring of smoke into the sky whenever one ton of fossil carbon dioxide is released. This signal works to remind people of the environmental impact of consumption. At night, even more impressively, a heat tracking laser light will project a chart on the ring to show that actual amount of fossil carbon dioxide.

Watch the Talk with Bjarke Ingels