The artificial slope that recycles rubbish… and blows smoke rings!

All images ‘borrowed’ from Bjarke Ingels Group

An overview of the building in the snow, to create a wintery vibe. See the little smoke ring coming out the top?

Workers in Copenhagen have just started work on the country’s latest artificial ski slope, which they’re building on the roof of a waste-recycling plant.

The 95,000 square metre building will have more than 1,500 metres of slopes on the roof including a permanent snowboard park, and a black run! They’re fairly vague about what the surface will be (“recycled synthetic granular material” apparently) but we’d be willing to bet it ends up feeling a bit like snowflex.

This crazy idea was dreamt up by architects at Bjarke Ingels Group, who won a competition to provide a new “waste-to-energy” plant, which uses the recycling process to generate power, at Amargerforbraending.

“And this is where we’ll put the down-flat-down” The architect shows the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen his crackpot plans.

Rather than just build a massive Battersea Power Station-style industrial hulk, they decided to try and build the plant in such a way that the people of Copenhagen could actually enjoy it.

Once they’d worked out that they wanted to make the roof sloping to disguise the chimney as part of the building, the next logical step (obviously!) was to wack a ski slope on top of it.

Three logical steps to building a waste recycling plant.

As their brief explains:

Instead of creating a large expanse of empty roofscape, we propose to turn the roof of the new Amargerforbraending into an artificial ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen.

See, it makes perfect sense! But wait, it gets even better.

This recycling-plant-that-is-also-a-ski-slope will not only provide entertainment for the happy people of Denmark, and have walls covered in plants so it looks more natural, but also blow smoke rings.

Yep, that’s right, smoke rings. And not just any smoke rings either. Smoke rings that light up in the dark with heat-seeking lazers.

A smoke ring illuminated by heat-seeking lazers at night. Honestly, we’re not making this up!

Before you think we’ve lost all grip on reality, check out the full plans here, where the architects explain their thought process (sort of).

As far as we can gather, it goes something like this: They want to create something that’s not only green and sustainable, but also fun: “The idea [is] that sustainability is not a burden, but that a sustainable city in fact can improve our quality of life.”

Not only that, they also want it to look green and environmentally friendly. Hence the plant covered walls. And the smoke rings.

Apparently the plant will be staffed exclusively by scientists with freaky stares and oompa-loompas who hover two inches off the ground in high-vis vests.

Rather than just have the chimney from the plant spew out smoke the whole time, they’ll store it, and puff out a smoke ring every time there’s a ton of carbon dioxide is released.

This will remind people that humans are pumping large tons of harmful gasses into the atmosphere the whole time. Or as they put it in Danish architect-sepak:

These will serve a communicative function as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption.

So not only is this a ski slope, a vertical garden, a recycling plant and a source of energy, it’s also an educational tool. Not bad for a building eh?

If this thing actually gets finished (and they’re scheduled to complete it in 2016 at the moment) we’re definitely going to have to head over there and check it out. Who’s down?

The happy people of Copenhagen enjoying their waste-recycling plant. But hang on, those two badly-photoshopped girls look very familiar…
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