A Green Mountain of Housing Cubes from BIG
The architect for this “green” housing is the playful and green-minded Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which has just completed a ski slope-cum-municipal-incineration project for the city of Copenhagen – by making it into an unlikely combination of green energy and alpine sport, and recently we covered BIG’s imaginative new gallery space for Greenland.
The brief here was to create 1/3 housing atop 2/3 parking space. The result is this sweet idea of creating a mountain out of the gigantic parking space and then planting green cubes on the “mountain’s” slopes.
“What if the parking area became the base upon which to place terraced housing – like a concrete hillside covered by a thin layer of housing, cascading from the 11th floor to the street edge?”
“Rather than doing two separate buildings next to each other – a parking and a housing block – we decided to merge the two functions into a symbiotic relationship”.
The Mountain Dwellings appear as a suburban neighbourhood of garden homes flowing over a 10-storey building – suburban living with urban density.
“The parking area needs to be connected to the street” says Ingels, “and the homes require sunlight, fresh air and views, thus all apartments have roof gardens facing the sun, amazing views and parking on the 10th floor.”
While the density of mountain-dwellers on top has a sustainable urban green vibe, under the houses, in the parking core of the mountain, it is a whole different story.
The mountain is built mostly to house the residents’ cars. Unlike the good green core of the incinerator/ski slope project, this time, his manmade mountain is housing.
The gigantic parking area contains 480 parking spots and a sloping elevator that moves along the mountain’s inner walls. In some places the ceiling height is up to 16 meters which gives the impression of a cathedral-like space.
The result is a real mountain. Rising in the distance, this close-packed housing in Orestad city offers the best of two worlds: proximity to city life in Copenhagen, but the greener tranquility available in the suburbs.
“I work with the idea of hedonistic sustainability, which is sustainability that improves the quality of life and human enjoyment,” is how Ingels described his work on the Copenhagen project. It applies equally here.