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BIG-designed Copenhill / Amager Bakke wins World Building Of The Year Award for 2021

Portugal Architecture News - Dec 06, 2021 - 16:10   5000 views

BIG-designed Copenhill / Amager Bakke wins World Building Of The Year Award for 2021

BIG's Copenhill / Amager Bakke in Copenhagen, Denmark has won the World Building of the Year 2021 at the fourteenth annual World Architecture Festival (WAF). 

The scheme, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, was selected from the Production, Energy & Recycling category at this year's WAF 2021 which was held as a virtual from 1 to 3 December, 2021. 

On behalf of the judges, Paul Finch Programme Director praised the way the building "addresses the role of architecture in the new world of recycling and zero carbon. It treats infrastructure projects in a way which makes people say ‘Yes in my back yard’ rather than ’no’." 

Finch added that "It encourages designers to think beyond the brief, to argue for ideas, and to ride the tides of politics and economics in the pursuit of the socially beneficial. And it reminds us that buildings can be fun!."

BIG-designed Copenhill / Amager Bakke wins World Building Of The Year Award for 2021

Image © Rasmus Hjortshoj

Also known as Amager Bakke, the building is a new breed of waste-to-energy plant, topped with a ski slope, hiking trail and climbing wall. Formerly a piece of infrastructure in an industrial zone, CopenHill has become a new destination combining community and leisure with sustainable ambitions, aligning with Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025.

The 41,000-square-metre waste-to-energy plant also includes an urban recreation centre and environmental education hub, turning social infrastructure into an architectural landmark. Skiers ascending the park are able to glimpse inside the 24-hour operations of a waste incinerator. 

The mixed-use building also includes a rooftop bar, cross-fit area, climbing wall and viewing plateau in the city before descending the 490m tree-lined hiking and running trail within a lush, mountainous terrain designed by Danish Landscape Architects SLA.

BIG-designed Copenhill / Amager Bakke wins World Building Of The Year Award for 2021

Image © Rasmus Hjortshoj

The internal volumes of the power plant have been determined by the precise positioning and organisation of its machinery in height order, creating an efficient, sloping rooftop fit for a 9,000-square-metre ski terrain. 

On the longest vertical façade, an 85m climbing wall is installed, making it the tallest artificial climbing wall in the world. Inside, the new waste incinerating facilities integrate the latest technologies in waste treatment and energy production.

BIG-designed Copenhill / Amager Bakke wins World Building Of The Year Award for 2021

Image © Rasmus Hjortshoj

The building features 10,000-square-metre green roof addressing the challenging micro-climate of an 85-metre high park, rewilding a biodiverse landscape while absorbing heat, removing air particulates and minimising stormwater runoff. 

Beneath the slopes, whirring furnaces, steam, and turbines convert 440,000 tons of waste annually into enough clean energy to deliver electricity and district heating for 150,000 homes.

BIG-designed Copenhill / Amager Bakke wins World Building Of The Year Award for 2021

Image © Soren Aagaard

The winner was selected by a super jury of luminaries of the global architecture industry – comprising Paul Finch, Programme Director at World Architecture Festival, Abdelkader Damani, Director of Frac Centre-Val de Loire and Artistic Director of Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans; Nuno Gonçalves Fontarra, Associate Partner at Mecanoo, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Creative Director of 3XN Architects, and Christina Seilern, Principal of Studio Seilern Architects.

The Copenhill/ Amager Bakke is the fourteenth project to claim the illustrious title of World Building of the Year, since its inception at the inaugural World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2008.

In 2019, LocHal Public Library won the World Building Of The Year Award for 2019. In 2018, WOHA's Kampung Admiralty won the World Building Of The Year Award. 

World Architecture Community is official Media Partner of WAF and INSIDE and covered the latest news from both festivals on WAC's Portugal country page.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions around the world, this year WAF moved its physical festival into a virtual festival which was comprised of digital presentations from architects around the world with over 40 days of content. 

Top image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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