BIG to transform Lapland ski resort

Danish architecture firm BIG has won a competition to transform an existing ski resort in Lapland, Finland, into a major international destination.

Located on a gentle slope, the existing Levi ski center provides the framework for the future Koutalaki Ski Village.

BIG proposes to create a series of buildings that radiate out from a central square to create four freestanding buildings.

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

The plaza will accommodate ice skating and music events and is connected to a bowl-like yard with cafés and bars.

Bjarke Ingels, founder and partner, BIG, added: “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.

“As a result, our design for the Koutalaki Ski Village creates a new hybrid integrating distinct identities such as village and resort, shelter and openness, cozy intimacy and natural maj­esty, unique character and careful continuity – or simply – architecture and landscape.”

BIG’s complex will cover 47,000 m2 and is backed by Finland-based developer Kassiopeia Finland Oy.