Photo Gallery: Skiing on Garbage

Foto: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

A Ski Resort for Copenhagen Hitting the Slopes on the Roof of an Incineration Plant

Talk about multi-functional: A new waste-to-energy incineration plant planned for Copenhagen will also double as a ski slope, with skiers to be given the option of three runs down the building's slanted roof. Time to hit the slopes at Amagerforbraending!

"Let's go to the incineration plant today, kids!" That, one might think, is hardly a sentence that too many parents are likely to use in their lives. But if a Danish architectural firm has its way, outings to a new power plant currently under construction in Copenhagen will become an attractive option. The site will, after all, offer one of the only black diamond ski runs in the entire country.

Construction of the new structure, the brainchild of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, is soon to get underway and will add to Denmark's growing collection of waste-to-energy plants. The roof, however, will slant down to the ground from a height of 100 meters (330 feet) and will offer skiers the choice of three ways down -- one of them advertised as a more difficult "black" route.

"The city has the weather for winter sports," Ingels told SPIEGEL recently. "We just don't have the landscape for it."

Slippery Slopes

The €420 million ($570 million) plant, which goes by the not-entirely-Alpine name of Amagerforbraending, will be replacing an existing, 1970s-era power plant and is situated in an industrial area of the city that has hardly been much of a recreation destination until now. Skiers will be able to access the slopes via an elevator to the peak of the building. The slippery, artificial grass surface means that skiers will also be able to hit the slopes when there is no snow on the ground.

"We propose a new breed of waste-to-energy plant, one that is economically, environmentally and socially profitable," the project description reads.

And educational. An additional gimmick will see the factory's smokestack emit a steam ring for every ton of CO2 the factory emits. The airborne symbol is intended to serve "as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption and a measuring stick that will allow the common Copenhagener to grasp the CO2 emissions in a straightforward way," according to promotional materials for the plant.

It is unclear if a bar for après-ski festivities will be part of the project when it is finished in 2016.

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