By Cailey Rizzo
November 19, 2016
This former incinerator is becoming a green power plant—with a ski slope on top.
Credit: Courtesy of Christoffer Regild

Copenhagen is finding many creative ways to move forward as part of its ongoing mission to become the world’s first zero-carbon city by 2025. Some of the ideas are more creative than others.

Next year, the city will open one of the world’s largest artificial ski ramps on the roof of a green power plant. The ski slope was specifically designed as part of the waste-to-power incinerator. The building will not only help Copenhagen on its mission of being more eco-friendly, it is meant to draw tourists to its roof.

The roof of the incinerator will turn into a 440-meter (1,400-foot) ski slope every winter. There will be three different lines stretched across the area with varying levels of difficulty. Slopes will be accessible by moving carpet lifts and elevators inside the building.

Copenhagen is putting a ski slope on top of a building.
Credit: Rendering by BIG

However there’s one issue the builders are still trying to solve: How to stop skiers from falling off the 280-foot roof. Some have suggested installing nets as a safety precaution.

In the summertime, the roof will act as a scenic picnic area. There will also be a climbing wall for visitors wishing to scale the building.

“It is a multi-purpose plant that is already catching the eyes of the world because of its local appeal,” Ole Hedegaard Madsen, director of technology and marketing at Babcock & Wilcox Vølund (the firm behind the power plant) said in a statement. “The novelty of the project is the combination of ingenious technology and innovative architecture in a project dedicated local community.”

Copenhagen is putting a ski slope on top of a green power plant.
Credit: Rendering by BIG
Credit: Rendering by BIG
A ski slope on top of a green power plant? Only in Copenhagen.
Credit: Rendering by BIG
Copenhagen has a great idea for this incinerator's roof.
Credit: Rendering by BIG

Amager Bakke, as the building will be called, will start operations on December 1 while the rooftop slope is set to open sometime next year. The plant is projected to provide enough power for at least 50,000 homes every year. The plant is located near Copenhagen airport and three miles from Town Hall Square.

Although Copenhagen’s location for an artificial ski ramp is unusual, it is not the only one. Apartment buildings in both Kazakhstan and Finland have expressed interest in installing rooftop ski slopes. And Dubai has an indoor winter complex—called Ski Dubai—that will let visitors tear the slopes indoor any time of year.