Before we could even finish saying "trash-incinerator-ski-slope," BIG has dished out another dazzling showcase of founder Bjarke Ingels's "hedonistic sustainability" concept. The Danish wunderkind and his firm were recently announced as the winning designers for EuropaCity, an 80-hectare cultural and commercial destination between Paris and Roissy in France described by the architects as "a laboratory for sustainable technologies." Sure enough, the renderings are drenched in neon green, illustrating the crowning achievement of the design: an enormous continuous green roof spanning over a new metropolis of retail, culture, and leisure. .
As Ingels himself explained in a press release, EuropaCity will be "an experimental hybrid between urbanism and landscape design." The scheme exhibits BIG's signature design move of crossbreeding conventional architectural forms, except bumped up to the urban scale: "Center and periphery overlapped in the simultaneous coexistence of a recreational open landscape of rolling hills superimposed on an urban neighborhood of walkable streets, plazas and parks," said Ingels. Thus BIG — which worked alongside Tess, Transsolar, Base, Transitec and Michel Forgue to complete the proposal — has condensed into a single destination a cosmopolitan center with retail shops, concert halls, spas, swimming pools, and, believe it, a skiing hill, as well as an immense outdoor landscape in the form of a sprawling green roof with hills and valleys providing breathtaking views of central Paris.
EuropaCity is expected to be a more or less self-sustaining urban entity, powering itself with solar, biofuel, and geothermal energy; recycling resources such as water and heat; and even providing other neighborhoods in suburban Paris with heating and cooling. "We find that Paris these years is taking on a holistic effort to ensure that the urban periphery is given equal opportunity to be as lively and inhabitable as its historic center," said Ingels. "EuropaCity will be an important step in this agenda."
All images courtesy the architects