8Tallet, by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), has one of the world's largest green roofs and was designed to function as a complete community rather than an apartment building. Learn more about this cool building in one of the world's most environmentally progressive cities, Copenhagen.
Completed in October of 2010, BIG's 8Tallet (or 8House) is actually one of three buildings in the complex, which is sited in the southern part of the Copenhagen community of Ørestad. Spectacular views of the Kalvebod Fælled Nature Resort and Copenhagen Canal are framed throughout the building's multiuse program. As the name indicates, 8Tallet resembles a figure eight on its side, with the building being "hoisted up" at the northeast corner and "squeezed down" at the southwest corner, allowing sunlight and air to enter the courtyard.
Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG, describes 8Tallet as a “three-dimensional neighborhood rather than an architectural object.” Ingels envisioned that 8Tallet would have a life based on community. That community finds connection at the center, where the program includes lounges, a cinema, guest apartments, and a common area. Inside the loops of the figure eight lie two distinct public spaces – the park area on the western side and the channel area on the eastern side.
BIG’s 8Tallet is Denmark’s largest apartment building at 60,000 m2 (approximately 645,835 sq. ft.). This includes 475 residences as well as 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft) for the commercial program at the base of the building. As a result of the building being horizontally stacked, the apartments will gain warmth from sunlight while the businesses will thrive from the city life taking place on the adjacent streets. To create diversity, housing comes in three different forms: apartments ranging in size and price, townhouses, and penthouses. The townhouses, Ingels hopes, will attract families, while the apartments and penthouses may appeal more to singles or couples.
A continuous walkway surrounds the building, descending and ascending where the building does, ending at the rooftop and beginning on the ground. The walkway is intended for multiple uses, including bicycling. 8Tallet is not meant to be a building of just cold concrete. Gardens and trees are located all along the walkways. On the roof, 11 stories up, shared spaces act as a combination of mountain path and rooftop garden. A 1,700 sq m (18,298 sq ft) green roof is located on the 11-story descending slope at the end of the building and is oriented from east to west to maximize the light needed to sustain its plant life. This same green roof won the Scandinavian Green Roof Award of 2010.
An alumni of The Ohio State University, Ms. D'Errico obtained a degree in travel writing through a study program that she created herself. For two years Ms. D'Errico served as a staff writer for The Animal Insider, a quarterly publication based in Columbus, Ohio, and has also worked as a review scout for the Columbus division of Yelp.com. Now she is trying her hand at covering ecologically responsible and sustainable architecture for Buildipedia.com.