BIG shows us that infrastructure can be beautiful

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top of building

credit: Lloyd Alter

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This is an incinerator. It burns garbage. It's stunning both in how it looks and how it works.

This is infrastructure. It is a big industrial facility where they burn garbage to generate electricity and enough hot water to heat 150,000 homes. It's designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, or BIG, who won an architectural competition.

This would never get built in North America. Many governments have unwritten policies that anything that taxpayer money is spent on should be miserable and mean, because nobody wants to be seen as spending taxes on frills. One architect told me of government offices that had gorgeous high ceilings and the politicians came in and insisted it be changed -- it was too nice. An incinerator? it must be utilitarian and industrial. Oh, and there had better be a giant fence around it to keep the terrorists far away.

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