interior • graphic • product | design

Koutalaki Ski Village by BIG

Danish architects BIG seem to have a thing for skiing on rooftops and have designed some more buildings that double up as ski slopes, this time for a resort in Lapland.

Visitors to the Koutalaki Ski Village in Levi will be able take an elevator up to the rooftops of the four accommodation blocks and ski back down.

The competition-winning buildings will surround and shelter a public square that can be used for ice skating and music performances.

Cafes and bars will occupy the lower floors of the buildings, while the top floor of one block will offer panoramic views of the surrounding snow-covered landscape.

The future Ski Village will transform the existing Levi ski resort into a world class destination, offering top quality accommodation and leisure services for skiers of all levels and demands. The proximity to the Kittilä airport ensures easy access to the resort attracting international visitors to Levi village and the whole Lapland region.

The Finland-based developer Kassiopeia Finland Oy is investing in its local region as it currently owns and operates Hotel Levi Panorama, Levi Summit Congress Center and Hotel K5 Levi and above and beyond has interests in developing the exquisite Koutalaki area.

“BIG’s visionary approach of combining unique types of accommodation and amenities along with the leisure activities offered at the resort, left the jury in awe.

Located on a gentle slope, the existing Levi ski center provides the framework for the future Koutalaki Ski Village which is conceived as an extension of the summit and the existing cluster of buildings in Koutalaki.

BIG proposes to create a series of buildings that radiate out from a central square and whose ends touch the ground to create four freestanding buildings that each provide access to the roof and allow the skiers to descend from the resort’s rooftop downhill in any direction.

The soft curves of the undulating roofs of the four buildings create a visual continuity of the natural land­scape while lending the whole village the unique character of a skislope skyline that creates an inhabited mountain top.

“The Koutalaki Ski Village is conceived as an extension of both the summit and the resort. Grown from the natural topography rather than dropped from the sky – the ar­chitecture extends the organic forms of natural landscape creating an inhabitable as well as skiable manmade mountain.

The four build­ings arc around a central square to create a new bustling village plaza at the heart of the resort, which is sheltered from the wind yet open and inviting to the surrounding landscape.

The whole resort area is connected through a network of paths that prioritizes skiers and pedestrians. Access to the roofs happens through central elevator cores allowing skiing down either towards the courtyard or the piste. An elevator located centrally in the hotel provides access to the roof top restaurant with a 360 degree panorama views of the landscape and plaza.

All accommodation units offered at the new resort enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding nature, including the eight private villas which are situated at different elevations to provide an undisturbed panorama, while the elevated private gardens serve as an extension of the landscape. The villas embrace the snowy landscape and allow the snow in all its forms become a part of the architecture itself.

While the four buildings simulate real ski slopes during winter time, combining the essence of a ski resort – skiing, relaxation, rec­reation and dwelling, the roofscape of the buildings during summer will be just as attractive serving as a green continuum of the surrounding natural landscape for hiking and pic­nics.

Name: Koutalaki Ski Village
Size: 47.000m2
Client: Kassiopeia Finland Oy
Location: Levi, Finland

Partners in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange
Project Leader: Hanna Johansson
Team: David Tao, Erik de Haan, Jeff Mikolajewski, Jesper Victor Henriksson, Lucian Racovitan, Maren Allen

Copyright © Dezeen Limited 2006-2010