On the incline...

Sian
Tuesday 13 Dec 2011

BIG wins invited competition for 47,000 sq m ski resort and recreational area in Levi


Newly released designs from Bjarke Ingels Group suggests that a future Ski Village in Lapland 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. The jury that selected this submission commented: “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. BIG’s ambitious plan challenges traditional thinking and we believe that the collaboration between Kassiopeia Finland and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group will rise to the occasion.”

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 ski slope skyline that creates an inhabited mountain top.

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 plaza allows ice skating and music events and is connected to a bowl like yard with cafés and bars created by the lower interior heights of the new buildings.

The intimate atmosphere of the spaces created here contrasts the open views from the summit. The whole resort area is connected through a network of paths that prioritises 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 360 degree panoramic views of the landscape and plaza.

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