The Amager Bakke waste-to-energy power station in Copenhagen is set to be the ‘world’s cleanest power plant.’ But, despite impressive efficiency — 25 percent greater energy output than the previous plant — and huge improvements to environmental performance, the facility will still produce 107,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Rather than shying away from the fact, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group — the architects behind the project — have commissioned an art piece atop the smokestack to raise awareness of the emissions, in the form of a steam ring generator that produces the circular symbol every time a ton of CO2 is emitted by the plant.
The steam chimney installation is a collaboration between artists realities:united, the Danish Technical University and Peter Madsen’s Rumblatorium. The power plant, which is expected to be finished in 2017, is complete with a ski-slope roof structure — another feature that will make the building a positive part of Copenhagen’s landscape, instead of a source of shame to be hidden away, as power plants have become in light of climate change and diminishing traditional energy resource.
The steam ring generator is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where is has almost doubled its goal. How else could public facilities and art be used to transform eyesores into engaging architecture?