Denmark fires up its Copenhill power plant, with ski slopes set to open next year

October 24, 2017 by  
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Six years ago, Bjarke Ingels Group unveiled plans for a ski slope power plant that could provide the city of Copenhagen with electricity, hot water, and a steady stream of recycled materials. It’s a wild design, and we never thought it’d see the light of day – but fast forward to 2017, and Copenhill is nearly complete. The waste-to-energy plant is currently operational, and by the end of next year it will be topped with 30 rooftop trees, the world’s tallest artificial climbing wall, and a 600-meter ski slope. Inhabitat recently traveled to Copenhagen for a first look inside this landmark building – hit the jump for our exclusive photos. When it officially opens next year, the Amager Bakken waste-to-energy plant will process 400,000 tons of waste annually to provide 160,000 homes with hot water and 62,500 homes with electricity. The new plant replaces the aging Amager Resource Center, and it’s able to produce 25% more energy while cutting CO2 emissions by 100,000 tons per year. Despite the fact that the plant effectively burns trash, its emissions are remarkably clean thanks to advanced filtration technology – the air in the plant’s vicinity is actually healthier than in Copenhagen’s city center. The plant will also enable the city to salvage 90% of the metals in its waste stream, and it will yield 100,000 metric tons of ash that will be reused as road material. Did we mention that it’s designed to blow enormous smoke rings? BIG Project Manager Jesper Boye Andersen told Inhabitat that “The completion date is after summer 2018, we are still pushing for the smoke rings, and we have proven that the technology works.” The building’s facade is made up of staggered metal planters that vary in size and shape to carefully control solar exposure. When it rains, each planter will drain into the one below it to sustain a flourishing vegetated wall. Copenhill’s roof will made from an artificial turf material, and it will be open to skiers and snowboarders all-year-round. In addition to the ski slope, the roof will feature a cafe, a running path, and the world’s largest artificial climbing wall, which will measure 86 meters tall by 10 meters wide. According to recent estimates, the total cost of the plant will be 4 billion DKK (about $632 million). It was financed by five nearby municipalities that will benefit from the energy, hot water, and other resources it produces. + BIG + Amager Resource Center Inhabitat was invited to Denmark by Visit Copenhagen , which paid for meals and lodging for 3 days

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Denmark fires up its Copenhill power plant, with ski slopes set to open next year

Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen

September 5, 2017 by  
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Industrial agriculture is blamed as a major cause of greenhouse gas, but what if there was a way to sustainably produce food that could help solve some of the world’s toughest environmental problems? That’s what the folks at SPACE10 , a Copenhagen-based future-living lab, tackled with the futuristic Algae Dome, a four-meter-tall food-producing architecture pavilion that pumps out oxygen in a closed-loop system. Powered by solar energy, the Algae Dome offers a sustainable and hyper-local food system that can pop up almost anywhere with minimal impact on the environment. Architects Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski, Anna Stempniewicz, and bioengineer Keenan Pinto created the Algae Dome, which was presented at the CHART art fair in Copenhagen last week. Although SPACE10 has experimented with growing microgreens before, the team targets an even smaller food with the Algae Dome—micro-algae. Praised as a future “superfood,” micro-algae is said to contain twice as much protein as meat and is packed with vitamins and minerals, with more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than found in spinach, according to SPACE10. Even better? Micro-algae are among the world’s fastest-growing organisms and can be grown with sunshine and water almost anywhere, all while sucking up carbon dioxide and expelling oxygen in the process. Related: SPACE10 creates an open-source Growroom you can build at home During the three-day CHART art fair, the Algae Dome produced 450 liters of micro-algae and provided an interactive architectural experience that was part food system, part furniture, and wholly educational. The large amount of food was produced in a surprisingly small amount of space thanks to the design that featured 320 meters of coiled tubing, showing off the flow of emerald green micro-algae. Visitors were invited to sit inside the pavilion and enjoy a “breath of fresh air” created by the micro-algae as it converted carbon dioxide into oxygen. Packets of delicious spirulina (a type of blue-green algae) chips, created by SPACE10’s chef-in-residence Simon Perez, were placed around the pavilion to give passersby the chance to try the superfood. “In the future, different species of microalgae could be used as a form of nutrient-rich food, as a replacement for soy protein in animal feed, in the development of biofuels, as a way to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and as a method of treating industrial wastewater,” said SPACE10. “In other words, microalgae could help combat malnutrition, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels , help stop the destruction of the rainforest, improve air quality, and reduce pollution. Little wonder that microalgae has been dubbed the future’s sustainable super crop.” SPACE10 sees the Algae Dome as the prototype for food-producing architecture that could pop up virtually anywhere, from bus stops to apartment complexes. + SPACE10 Picture credit: Niklas Adrian Vindelev

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Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen

This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

August 4, 2017 by  
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The 25,000-square-meter school in Denmark is covered with a whopping 12,000 solar panels , which provide more than half of its electricity needs. Unlike most solar-powered buildings, the panels aren’t solely relegated to the school’s rooftop. In fact, more than 6,000 square meters of the facade is clad in sea-foam hued photovoltaics. The days of hiding unsightly solar arrays are fading into the past. C.F. Møller ‘s International School Nordhavn in Copenhagen uses solar panels to produce clean energy – and also as a part of the building’s aesthetic. Related: Solar-powered Colorado school houses a sun-soaked learning environment The solar panels were developed by Swiss research institute EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). The panels are actually clear; the beautiful sea green color is a result of technology that adds fine particles to the glass surface, giving the appearance of color. The result is a reflective green hue that varies with the light, providing the school with an attractive exterior that is beautiful, functional, and green. + C.F. Møller Via Azure Magazine

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This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

COBE transforms former grain silo into a swanky apartment in Copenhagen

June 28, 2017 by  
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At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything old about this swanky new high-rise in Copenhagen . But behind its modern steel facade is the skeleton of a 17-story former grain silo, the largest industrial building in the city’s Nordhavn (North Harbor), that’s been transformed into a modern apartment block. Designed by COBE , the adaptive reuse project transforms the silo into new residences with an industrial chic interior that pays homage to the building’s roots. The transformed building, simply called The Silo, was created as part of COBE’s larger revitalization effort and masterplanning of Nordhavn’s post-industrial area. The Silo includes 38 unique residential units that range from 106 to 401 square meters, and also includes a restaurant with panoramic views on the upper floor and public events space on ground level. To remake the former urban eyesore into an eye-catching urban focal point, the architects wrapped the concrete silo in an angular faceted facade made of galvanized steel that doubles as a climate screen. Related: World’s first silo brewery opens in abandoned NY grain elevator “What makes The Silo is its monolithic appearance, stemming from the materiality and facility of its construction,” wrote COBE. “Its rational form and complex interior are a direct result of its original use and functions as a grain silo.” While the architects retained the concrete skeleton to preserve the silo’s industrial character, they also infused the building with more natural light and warmth to create welcoming and livable spaces. The silo’s different grain and storage functions created diverse spatial variation that gave way to unique apartment layouts. The apartments have varying floor heights, with some reaching heights of seven meters. + COBE Images via COBE

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COBE transforms former grain silo into a swanky apartment in Copenhagen

Spiraling treetop walkway gives visitors a birds eye view of a Danish forest

June 13, 2017 by  
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A stunning new adventure park in Denmark is taking visitors to new heights—literally. Architecture studio EFFEKT designed the Camp Adventure Treetop Experience, a unique destination that aims to reconnect people to nature by elevating them high above the treetop canopy. Located in the preserved forest Gisselfeld Klosters Skove, the Treetop Experience aims improve accessibility to the forest while minimizing landscape disturbance. EFFEKT unveiled their designs for the Treetop Experience this year as part of an expansion to Camp Adventure, an existing sports facility with treetop climbing and aerial zip-lines located one hour south of Copenhagen , Denmark. A wide variety of landscapes are found in Gisselfeld Klosters Skove, including various forest types, lakes, creeks, and wetlands. To show off environmental diversity, EFFEKT designed a winding 600-meter-long treetop walk that sensitively passes through the landscape. The treetop walk is divided into a higher and lower walkway with the former located in the oldest parts of the forest, while the latter is situated in the forest’s younger areas. The walk begins at Camp Adventure Farmhouse and is punctuated with educational features and activities such as an aviary , suspended amphitheater, walkway loops for tree observation, and a variety of viewpoints. Related: Sinuous Boomslang Walkway Gives Kirstenbosch Visitors a Taste of the Treetops in Cape Town The walkway culminates with the star built attraction, a 45-meter-tall observation viewpoint platform with an accessible spiraling ramp. The tower’s hourglass shape gives visitors an up-close look at the tree canopy, and is wrapped with a structural skeleton made up of 120-degree rotated steel elements. “The geometry and spacing of the ramp fluctuates according to the changing curvature, write the architects. “The ramp becomes a sculptural element in itself making the journey to the top a unique experience.” The observation platform offers 360-degree panoramic views of the preserved forest. + EFFEKT

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Spiraling treetop walkway gives visitors a birds eye view of a Danish forest

Copenhagen now has more bikes than cars

November 30, 2016 by  
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It’s no surprise that cycling is popular in Denmark but a new study shows the number of bikes in Copenhagen is now officially higher than the number of cars . The capital city has been tracking bike numbers manually for decades, and now 20 electric sensors across the city help count the number of cycles wheeling around the streets. Over the last year, an additional 35,080 bikes have been tallied, resulting in a total bike count of 265,700. That surpasses the city’s 252,600 cars by a hefty margin. Copenhagen’s bicycle count is the product of 20 electric sensors installed at city hall and around the city, which automatically tally bikes as they travel through the metropolitan area. The first such sensor was installed in 2009, with others added in the intervening years. Tracking bicycle traffic is just one facet of the government’s aim to encourage more urban cycling, and it’s working. Two-wheeled traffic has increased 68 percent over the past 20 years. Related: Copenhagen is building the craziest bike lane… ever The Danish government has plunked down some $143 million since 2005 in order to support cycling in the city and encourage more commuters to choose two-wheeled transportation. Bike and pedestrian-only bridges are among the added infrastructure that reduce car-bike incidents and help keep cyclists away from toxic vehicle exhaust . While bike traffic continues to increase (with a 15 percent spike in just the last year), car traffic is slowly falling, down 1 percent from a year ago. Copenhagen leadership isn’t finished, either. Morten Kabell, the current mayor of technical and environmental affairs, told the Guardian the city aims for 50 percent of all commutes to be made on bikes by 2025. Given that 41 percent of trips are already taken on two wheels, getting to 50 percent is well within the realm of possibility. A new metro expansion planned to open in 2019 could slow the increase of bike traffic, but Kabell doesn’t mind, since the metro is also an emissions-free form of transportation . “The important thing for me is to have a green transport system,” he said. “As long as it’s fossil-free and alleviates congestion and air pollution, I’m cool with that.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 )

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Copenhagen now has more bikes than cars

Peek inside Booking.com’s envy-inducing new Seattle offices

November 30, 2016 by  
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Booking.com , the interwebs’ go-to site for finding travel deals, now has a spiffy new space of its own in Seattle. Designed by award-winning international design firm Ware Malcomb , the 9,750-square-foot office frames fun spaces (like a game room and well-stocked cafe) in reclaimed materials and design touches that pay homage to the city’s bustling urban energy. Located at 200 West Mercer Street, Booking.com ‘s new regional digs are sprinkled with local flavor and flair. Ware Malcomb used materials such as metal, concrete and reclaimed wood to evoke an industrial feel inspired by Seattle’s iconic Space Needle and EMP Museum. The meeting rooms also pay homage to the city, and center around oversized murals of photos taken by Booking.com employees. RELATED: HOW TO: Green Your Work Place “The team at Booking.com wanted that “wow” effect when you walked into their new offices,” said Alan Lambert, Regional Director of Ware Malcomb ’s Seattle office. ”This was accomplished by applying cutting edge design to create a unique environment inspired by local Seattle icons. Employees and visitors alike are treated to an immersive experience that truly captures the spirit of Seattle, from the vibrant downtown to the beauty of the surrounding landscape.” Undoubtedly one of the employees’ favorite spaces, the game room is the perfect place to blow off some steam with a game of foosball, shuffleboard or ping pong. Those hoping to grab a snack can head to the Pike Place Market-inspired breakroom, which is lined with reclaimed wood and features a custom-made neon sign inspired by the ones seen throughout the famed marketplace. + Ware Malcomb

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Peek inside Booking.com’s envy-inducing new Seattle offices

How COP22 in Marrakech will be different

November 7, 2016 by  
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A veteran of U.N. climate talks held in Copenhagen, Cancun, Doha, Warsaw and Paris looks ahead. Are the “no-go-tiators” finally history?

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How COP22 in Marrakech will be different

Glowing LED "cloud" hovers over a social housing estate in Copenhagen

October 14, 2016 by  
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The main element of this site-specific installation is a distorted sphere made from polycarbonate sheets sewn together with stainless steel wire. The team developed the sewing technique from their previous projects, which featured only two sewing lines. This time, the sphere has three points where the sewing lines meet, allowing the team to experiment with more complex forms. Related: SHJWORKS’ Pop-Up Greenhouses Add a Splash of Summer to Cold Climates The organically-shaped sculpture was installed in a recreational space surrounded by a road, trees and the housing estate. A paved path leads through the area, where the structure creates a semi-public space. The concrete feet act as seating structures. + Shjworks Photos by Simon Hjermind Jensen

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Glowing LED "cloud" hovers over a social housing estate in Copenhagen

Sophisticated minimalist house in Denmark lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the winter

October 5, 2016 by  
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The house references traditional Scandinavian craftsmanship and the region’s authentic principles of working with relief and texture. Providing a serene environment far from city bustle, the house facilitates a connection between the residents and the surrounding landscape. Related: Beautiful timber home is striking in its rugged Scandinavian simplicity The house comprises two volumes-the left one accommodates the main living room which offers views of the forest, and a combined kitchen and dining space on the first floor. The second floor houses the bedrooms and cabinet. Relaxation zones – sauna, swimming pool and play areas- and utility rooms, bathrooms and a garage are housed in the other volume. A glazed gallery connects the two volumes and functions as a winter garden that acts as a continuation of the landscape. + KAVA Architects Images by iddqd Studio

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Sophisticated minimalist house in Denmark lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the winter

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