Living in the suburbs has its perks - fresh air, your close to green space and you're afforded with peace and quiet - but it also means giving up being in proximity to the city center and efficient urban density. With BIG Architects' Mountain Dwellings, you get the best of both worlds. Not only is the cascading cluster of homes situated close to the bustling city of Copenhagen, but every unit has its own grassy garden and plenty of daylight and fresh air.
When we first read about the complex’s program, we were disappointed with the fact that the development consists of 2/3 parking and just 1/3 of residences. After all, what is the point of being so close to the city center if so many people are still going to be driving cars? However, upon further inspection, the configuration of the parking area makes a lot more sense and is a lot more eco-friendly than parking in a typical garage or a sprawling uncovered lot. Since the “layer” of terraced housing sits atop the parking area, it creates density that a typical suburban lot would not have. Furthermore, the homes’ green roofs and gardens also work to capture rainwater that would otherwise turn into runoff on a typical concrete or tar lot. The symbiotic relationship between the dwellings and the parking also works to elevate the apartments and expose them to fresh air and views that a regular suburban home simply wouldn’t have.
BIG incorporated some other cool features into the building like north and west facades lined with perforated aluminium plates that let air and light to the parking area. In addition to those functions, the panels are a sweet design element. During the day, the holes in the facade will appear black on the bright aluminium, causing a giant rasterized picture of Mount Everest to appear. At night, the panels look like big photo negatives lit by different colors depending on which floor of the parking lot they’re on.