Danish Recycling Center . Copenhagen

BIG . + archdaily

As a society, our investment in waste management usually ends up as utilitarian facilities of concrete boxes that constitute gray areas on our city maps. What if they could become attractive and lively urban spaces in the neighborhoods they form part of?

In Denmark 42% of the waste is recycled. Only 6% ends in a landfill. At the core of the effort to enhance the resource extraction from household waste are the recycling stations, where people and professionals can drop off their recyclable waste for free—and scavenge the leftovers of their fellow citizens.
Sydhavns Recycling Center is designed as a public space rather than a piece of infrastructure. The man-made hill holds facilities for fitness, viewpoints, running tracks, and picnic areas. From the ridge of the crater you can look into the recycling square and learn about the journey of recycled materials graphically illustrated on the inside of the crater wall.
In its simplest form the recycling station is a way to start thinking of our cities as integrated manmade ecosystems, where we don’t distinguish between the front and back of house. But rather orchestrate all aspects of daily life—from consumption to recycling, from infrastructure to education, from the practical to the playful—in a single integrated urban landscape of work and play.

Architects: BIG
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Partners In Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Leader: Nanna Gyldholm Møller
Design Team: Julian Salazar, Jesper Henriksen, Karol Borkowski, Paolo Venturella, Tiago Sa, Rasmus Pedersen, Romain Pequin, Tobias Hjortdal
Client: Amagerforbrænding
Area: 1500.0 sqm

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