As if the ski slope Bjarke Ingels placed on top of his new waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen wouldn't already make it the most interesting power plant in the world, the Danish architect wants the building's smokestack to puff smoke rings of carbon dioxide. Each ring will represent one ton of CO2 burned at the plant, which is being billed as the cleanest power plant on earth. Creating the world's first steam ring generator will be pretty tricky, but Ingels believes that with a crack team of combustion engineers and legitimate rocket scientists, and $15,000, he can prove that it's possible. As for the money thing, the starchitect, who recently purchased a $4 million penthouse in Brooklyn, would love for you to pitch in. Ingels has launched a $15,000 Kickstarter campaign to construct a third and final prototype of the smoke ring generator. Two smaller prototypes already proved to be pretty successful, so it's looking like Ingels and his team might actually pull this thing off. BIG is collaborating on this project with Peter Madsen's Rumlaboratorium and the Danish Technical University. "By sweeping nothing under the carpet, but rather projecting our carbon footprint onto the Copenhagen sky, we provide every single citizen intuitive information to help them inform the decisions they make for their lives and for the city that they want to live in," said BIG on the Kickstarter page. If all goes according to to plan, carbon dioxide smoke rings should be drifting over the Copenhagen sky in 2017.
Posts tagged with "BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group":
High-Style Hacks: Bjarke Ingels, Henning Larsen, and Norm Architects tweak an Ikea flat-pack classic
Danish kitchen purveyor Reform has enlisted Bjarke Ingels, Henning Larsen Architects, and Norm Architects to put their spin on a mainstay of Ikea's kitchen designs, the Metod. While the architects' work is confined to surface treatments and small details, the results definitely elevate the kitchen above the generic flat-pack model. Bjarke Ingles and BIG added a loop of seatbelt webbing to the drawers and doors. Henning Larsen Architects accented the cabinets with strips of contrasting or coordinating metal. Norm Architects created a waterfall counter to frame door/drawer panels made of bronzed tombac, fiber-concrete, or smoked or sawn oak. The kitchens will be available in September 2015.
In observance of the 60th anniversary of the Series 7 chair, furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen enlisted seven architects to re-envision the classic Arne Jacobsen design. Explaining the impetus behind the program, Jacob Holm, CEO of Fritz Hansen, said, "If we fall asleep on top of our heritage, design becomes museum items. And if that happens, it (design) no longer adds new value to the present time." The participating firms—BIG, Snøhetta, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Neri & Hu, Jun Igarashi, and Carlos Ott in association with Carlos Ponce de Léon—certainly created some eye-opening interpretations of the chair. The architects' comments on their designs reveal their inspirations and intentions. Bjarke Ingels Group "The inspiration for the design is the materiality of the chair, the essence of the layered veneer and the functionality of the stacking. The final result is a subtle repetition of the iconic form language." Neri & Hu Design & Research Office "The idea of a replica, a re-edition, hinges on the duality between the original and the re-design. Our take on this project is to embrace this exact idea of duality and create an actual 'double'. The doubling of two original seats facing each other becomes the new version: The singular chair multiplied as the individual becomes a community. Reminding us that we are never alone, but always together." Jean Nouvel Design "Our chair is an example of Jean Nouvel's design signatures: contrasting colors and juxtapositions. Black and white mark each chair—although they still play together in a feminine and masculine flow. Creating a reinforcement of the curves of the front and of the back of the shell." Zaha Hadid "The provision for this chair was to create a harmonic transition from the existing shell and how it can effortlessly touch down on the ground. This special edition formalizes the Series 7 chair as a dynamic and seamless expression of structure and support. Formed from two continuous steel rods, the sculptural base sweeps down to the ground and reaches up to embrace the undulating shape of the iconic plywood seat." Jun Igarashi Architects "When buildings collapse during earthquakes, the building materials are wasted. Our idea is to collect the waste wood, introduce a color and process it into boards that can be used for furniture." Carlos Ott Architects in association with Carlos Ponce de Léon Architects "The chairs have been intervened the same way a vertical garden grows organically up a wall. The upholstery climbs and settles peacefully on the shell of the chair. The curved lines which compose the foundation of the different areas in the garden are mimicked and adapted to the anatomy of the chair". Snøhetta "We nurture differences. When opposites meets, they conjure an interesting dialogue. When nature meets the cultivated, when humans interact with architecture, when soft and hard co-exist—interesting things happen. "Maybe the Series 7 chair with its metal legs and wooden seat acknowledges this juxtaposition. We wanted to explore the soft side of the chair. "The wood is a representation of softness in contrast to metal. A legless construction is free and indeterminate. It is versatile and simple. And maybe it can be a symbol for social interaction and playfulness. If we add even more softness to it we might be able to create a new user experience, additional functionality. We want it to be a multifunctional social tool in both singular and plural contexts. You can sit in any formation dictated by any social scene you are in. It can be a singular, free, soft chair or a plural one in a fixed social situation." The chairs will travel to design festivals in London, Copenhagen, and Gent, Belgium before being auctioned to benefit UNICEF.
Since setting up shop in New York, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has quickly become one of the most visible architecture firms in the city. It all started with the tetrahedron-shaped residential "courtscraper," first called W57 and now dubbed Via, that is now nearing completion on 57th Street. And then there is BIG's viewing platform at Brooklyn Bridge Park that has been likened to a Tostito. (That nickname has stuck, but the project's funding has not.) Across the East River from the park, over on the Lower East Side, BIG is also in the planning stages for the Dryline, a flood protection system of landscaped berms and parkland that was awarded $335 million in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rebuild By Design competition. And then of course there is the recently-unveiled Two World Trade Center that may or may not be a staircase for King Kong. As these projects have been unveiled one after the other, anticipation has been building over BIG's planned residential building in Harlem. Now, thanks to some early renderings obtained by NY YIMBY we have a sense of New York City's next BIG thing. The residential building on 126th street would make a serious statement with an undulating, concave facade of glass and what appears to be concrete or metal panels. (The design is actually quite similar to BIG's 1200 Intrepid at Philadelphia's Navy Yard.) The T-shaped structure would cantilever over Gotham Plaza, a retail building on 125th street that is owned by Blumenfeld which is developing the BIG project with Extell. YIMBY reported that the building contains 233 apartments, most of which are studios and one-bedrooms. (Twenty percent of the building—47 units—will be priced below market-rate.) As the site also noted, the building's design appears to remain in flux as its facade has been rendered in both black and red.
For Two World Trade Center, Bjarke Ingels has created a tower with multiple personalities. From the 9/11 Memorial, the building, with its seamless glass facade, appears like a somber glass giant huddled around the hallowed site with its peers. But from pretty much anywhere else, the building is quite expressive with a stepped massing scheme that appears like a stack of boxes, a ziggurat sliced in half, or a staircase for King King. To give New Yorkers a better sense of how the 1,340-foot-tall building will impact the city's skyline when it opens in 2020, the New York Times has created a nifty visualization that shows the tower's virtual appearance from Brooklyn Bridge Park, Staten Island, Flushing, Queens, the Bronx Zoo, and Hoboken. Brownstoner reported that Ingels and New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman unveiled the visualization at the Times' Cities for Tomorrow Conference on Monday. For more on the tower's design, check out our Q+A with Ingels from the day he unveiled his design.
Bjarke Ingels and James Corner give Philadelphia's 214-year-old Navy Yard a boost into the 21st century
Bjarke Ingels is giving Philadelphia's antique Navy Yard a jolt into the 21st century. BIG teamed up with James Corner Field Operations to bring a $35 million office building, called 1200 Intrepid, featuring double curves designed to mirror the contours of Corner's surrounding landscape. "Our design for 1200 Intrepid has been shaped by the encounter between Robert Stern’s urban master plan of rectangular city blocks and James Corner’s iconic circular park,” Ingels said in a statement. “The ‘shock wave’ of the public space spreads like rings in the water invading the footprint of our building to create a generous urban canopy at the entrance.” The 94,000-square-foot, four-story structure just broke ground in the Navy Yard. It stands adjacent to the Central Green, a park that boasts circular plots occupied by a variety of trees and plants, pedestrian pathways, and a hammock grove. In addition, it offers a fitness station, a table tennis area, and a running track that 1200 Intrepid's design responds to. The park and building are part of Pennsylvania’s plan to transform this segment of South Philly from an industrialized business campus to a multi-functional industrial space that will accommodate 11,000 employees working for companies ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to Urban Outfitters. The plan to revitalize the Naval Yard began in 2004 when the state commissioned Michael van Valkenburgh Associates, Robert A.M. Stern, and numerous experts to create a master plan that “includes environmentally friendly workplaces, notable architecture, industrial development, great public spaces, waterfront amenities, improved mass transit, and residential development,” according to the Navy Yard website. Ingels’ building will help reach the Yard’s estimated goal of supporting up to $3 billion in private investments, 13.5 million square feet of development, and 30,000 people. Although 1200 Intrepid has yet to secure tenants, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal, it is set to open its doors in 2016. The project is being developed by Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners.
The following is an abridged version of an open letter by Chicago architect and urban planner Marshall Brown, which was originally presented at the The Design Competition Conference by the GSD and the Van Alen Institute. It follows a previous comment by the author for AN about the state of design competitions in the 21st century. It is in direct response to the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition, which attracted 1,715 submissions before the winner was announced yesterday. My Dear Colleagues, I would like to extend sincere congratulations for your recent achievements and the recognition it has brought to your practices. I suppose you may be wondering about the cause for this letter since, at least that I can recall, we have never formally met. One year ago I wrote an essay for AN that criticized the current state of architectural competitions. It concluded with the melodramatic, yet also sincere invitation for likeminded architects to join me in “early, complete, and permanent retirement” from such contests. In the meantime I have mostly managed to follow through on my retreat from the design competition industry, despite several invitations from colleagues to collaborate. Instead of speaking negatively about the Helsinki contest, I would like to speak to the finalists, in hope that some of us might grow in the process, or at the very least, avoid undermining each other in the ways that architects too often do. In 2009 I worked briefly with J. Max Bond, David Adjaye, and Phil Freelon on the competition for the National Museum of African American History, until Max Bond’s untimely passing, after which I withdrew from the project. In 2012, my team was a finalist in the Navy Pier Centennial competition in Chicago, after which I consulted with the winners, James Corner Field Operations. But for various reasons, and despite some measure of success, participation in both of these contests, among others, left an assortment of bad tastes in my mouth. Without airing too much dirty laundry in public, I will say that I trace many of the problems to the nature of design competitions themselves: Competitions create a culture that devalues our labor. Competitions often cultivate animosity among colleagues. And competitions often preference spectacle over substantive architectural development. Your contest is an interesting case, since it involves an American institution staging a competition for a private building on public land in a European country. After examining the Competition Conditions, I found it evident that the competition is not for an architectural commission. The only prizes explicitly guaranteed to the winners are bragging rights and a small stipend. I look forward to being corrected if necessary, but the following passage from page 8 in the conditions seems to disclaim any obligation or commitment of the organizers to build the winning proposal: “A decision on whether to proceed with the construction and development of the museum is expected to be brought to the City of Helsinki and the State of Finland for consideration following the conclusion of the competition and the public announcement of the winning design.” So it appears that yours is actually an ideas competition and marketing campaign that might inspire a building project by someone, somewhere, sometime, in the future. Okay. Fine. The winners will receive enough money to recoup some portion of their actual costs. The rest will console themselves with whatever prestige falls from the brief afterglow of the whole spectacle. As I wrote last year, many architects don’t care that competitions are bad business. That discussion has been well covered by others with deeper knowledge of professional practice, and is not the point of this letter. I am only trying to ask: Where does it all end? How much of our careers and lives are we willing to give? How far will we bend for the ever more limited promise of increasingly uncertain rewards? Despite my early retirement, I had a recent reengagement with the competition industry. Against better judgement, I attended the final presentations for a major design competition in Chicago. It was a closed session for the organizers and a few members of the political and design communities. As usual, each team presented their requisite manifestos, slides, and video animations. I found the entire show to be excruciating, not because of the design proposals, but because of the architects’ performances. Their faces were a mixture of desperation and barely masked contempt for their self-imposed captivity. At one point I found myself head down, ears covered, and overwhelmed by the pathos of the whole scene. One contestant from a well-established Chicago firm actually stripped to reveal a t-shirt with their project logo. Free t-shirts were provided for all in attendance. I left the building that night feeling personal shame, not disappointment in those other architects, after realizing that I had subjected myself to the same indignities on a similar stage just two years ago. At the time I had felt privileged and honored to sit alongside so many accomplished and notable professionals like Bjarke Ingels, Martha Schwartz, and James Corner. But only after witnessing a similar scene from the outside do I now realize that I was just another sad prisoner in the lineup. So what is the end game? You will all submit your projects. After the submissions, you will likely be asked to give public presentations. These performances could be broadcast to the entire world. The jury will meet and hand down their decision. Prizes will be awarded. Critics will pass judgement. Some of you will receive more prestigious academic appointments. A museum may be built. Another blockbuster competition will probably be announced later this year. And we will all move on. Yet while writing this letter I have begun to imagine other endings to the story: What if you had decided not to complete your projects? What if you had completed the projects, but staged a group exhibition instead of handing them over? What if you had insisted on renegotiating the terms of the competition before submitting? What if you had all just walked away? Some will accuse me of being cynical, sanctimonious, overly judgmental, or naive. They may be right on all counts. But in my own defense, these words come from a colleague who has been where you are at this moment, and wishes that he could have sooner had the resolution and foresight to turn from this path we architects are expected to follow. As I wrote one year ago: “The old argument that competitions drive architectural innovation is no longer credible. Developers, cultural institutions, and government agencies have mastered the use of design competitions as publicity campaigns. Their claim of searching for the best ideas is just an alibi that unfortunately continues to seduce too many of our best talents… The real justifications are simple. Developers and institutions gain fantastic and relatively affordable publicity from the mad traveling circus of design competitions. By helping them attract financing and donors, we encourage the proliferation of these sham exercises where enormous projects are fully rendered without contracts, necessary approvals, or even clear programs.” From what I have been able to surmise from a brief examination, the GHDC submits fairly well to this assessment. But most of you probably knew this from the beginning, and soldiered forth regardless of the real odds or evident risks. Therefore I conclude this letter with thanks for your time, an open invitation to respond, and two simple words: Good luck. MARSHALL BROWN
Last week another point was scored for social media as the de rigueur disseminator of architecture with the opening of Rem Koolhaas' Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow’s Gorky Park. As new media takes over old, images of Facebook’s new headquarters by Frank Gehry hit Instagram first, the announcement of BIG replacing Norman Foster at Two World Trade Center came through on Wired, and it may have reached its natural apex with the Garage designed by OMA. The first images of the museum flooded Instagram several hours before the June 10 press event—the museum officially opened on June 12. Feeds from photographer Iwan Baan—@iwanbaan—Nadine Johnson PR, and of course Garage’s own account @garagemca, all captured the guts and glory of a building that still seemed to be finishing up construction. A more traditional press event with architect Rem Koolhaas, museum founder Dasha Zhukova, museum director Anton Belov and Garage chief curator Kate Fowle complimented the social media onslaught. The team sat under a giant mosaic from the building’s previous life as the 1960s pre-fabricated restaurant Vremena Goda where OMA cleverly (when are they not?) retained the generous interior spaces and replaced the exterior with a translucent polycarbonate enclosure. Koolhaas, like Gehry, seems to be returning back to his early projects for inspiration, utilizing low-cost materials for both economical reasons and to subtly subvert expectations of taste. Now, that off-the-shelf approach applies to media and storytelling. By revealing the project via a purely visual medium like Instagram, Koolhaas liberates the architectural narrative from the traditional modes of transmission much like he has altered our preconceptions of what types of buildings materials can be used for and to what purpose. These well-known architects are not the only ones taking charge of their own narratives via social media and using those platforms to create exposure that might not otherwise occur. Los Angeles–based Warren Techentin of WTA created the La Cage Aux Folles installation in the courtyard of experimental gallery Materials & Applications. Collective posts on Instagram led to digital coverage in before appearing in print. Leave it to OMA to most seamlessly integrate old and new media (intentionally or not) to build a narrative for the Garage Museum, an institution positioned to transform from an outpost of the art world to one that spawns its own curatorial efforts.
The biggest architecture news this week was obviously the unveiling of Bjarke Ingels' design for Two World Trade Center. The dramatic departure from Norman Foster's original proposal envisions the tower as a series of stepped volumes that gesture toward One World Trade. But does the step-ladder design—easily climbable by giant monsters like King Kong—pose a safety risk for New Yorkers? One petitioner is pleading with Ingels to change the design. Shortly after the scheme was unveiled, AN sat down with Ingels to discuss the project, Foster's previous design, and the World Trade Center redevelopment thus far. We failed to ask the architect if the new building would just be "a staircase for monsters" as concerned citizen Caragh Poh puts it in her Change.org petition that urges Ingels to reconsider his supposedly monster-friendly design. "Though you have designed this building with wonderful reasons in mind, such as completing the framing of the memorial, bringing an even more enhanced skyline to the beautiful city of New York, creating a physical symbol of healing and togetherness, there is one glaring oversight," she wrote. "Your building makes it easier for King Kong to climb." Poh readily admits that she does not have the solution, but suggests turning the building upside down might do the trick. But maybe Bjarke Ingels doesn't want a solution—could this have been all part of his plan? Hear us out: Back in 2011, Bjarke dressed up as King Kong for halloween with BIG's Daniel Kidd going as the Empire State Building—and there's photographic evidence. With this eery reality now staring us in the face, we decided to reach out to BIG to see if Two World Trade Center was, indeed, tailor-made to be a staircase for King Kong. We're waiting to hear back. As of press time, 30 concerned people had signed the petition. You can view the petition and sign for yourself here.
In late 2005, Norman Foster unveiled his design for Two World Trade Center—an 88-story tower capped in four diamonds to direct the eye down toward the 9/11 Memorial, which, at the time, was still years from completion. Then, the World Trade Center site was still in the design phase, and Bjarke Ingels was a little-known architect from Denmark. But in the decade since, Ingels' rise has been nothing short of meteoric. Now, Wired has the story that proves what has been reported for months: the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will replace Foster + Partners at Two World Trade Center, the second-tallest of the cluster of towers in Lower Manhattan. The 1,340-foot-tall skyscraper is being developed by Silverstein Properties and will serve as the joint headquarters for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and 21st Century Fox. If BIG’s building does, in fact, rise, then the final tower at the 16-acre site will have been designed by a firm that did not even exist when rebuilding began. With BIG’s growing portfolio of push-the-envelope architecture, the easy assumption for Two World Trade was that the building would step into the complicated—and politically fraught—site and loosen its buttoned-up, corporate aesthetic. If the redesigned tower accomplishes that, then it certainly does so gently. From the memorial, the 80-story tower takes cues from its neighbors, Three World Trade and Four World Trade, with an uninterrupted glass curtain wall. (Santiago Calatrava’s soaring Transportation Hub creates a brief stylistic rift along the crystalline campus.) But from every other vantage point, the tower appears like a staircase—or a classic mid-20th century Manhattan ziggurat-style building. The structure's massing appears as a series of seven, 12-story boxes that climb upward, stepping toward SOM's One World Trade next door. “On one hand it’s about being respectful and about completing the frame around the memorial, and on the other hand it’s about revitalizing downtown Manhattan and making it a lively place to live and work,” Ingels told Wired. "From Tribeca, the home of lofts and roof gardens, [Two World Trade] will appear like a vertical village of singular buildings stacked on top of each other to create parks and plazas in the sky," Ingels said in a statement. "From the World Trade Center, the individual towers will appear unified, completing the colonnade of towers framing the 9/11 Memorial.” BIG's involvement with the project came about after James Murdoch, Rupert’s 42-year-old son and a 21st Century Fox executive, reportedly expressed concerns over Foster’s design. James Murdoch was looking to create a more open-plan work environment. And BIG has experience doing just that—the firm recently presented designs with Heatherwick Studio for a sprawling Google headquarters complex comprising a series of glass canopies. At the World Trade Center site, BIG's main assignment was to take the spirit of a Silicon Valley, open-air campus and squeeze it into a Manhattan skyscraper. On a practical level, that's no easy assignment. But through generous setbacks, the building offers space for heavily planted gardens that at least serve as a nod toward the corporate campuses on the West Coast. Or so it would seem; Wired reported that the gardens are “supposed to evoke varying climates, from tropical to arctic.” But this is New York, not California, so by December all the gardens might lean toward the latter. Underneath these gardens, on the tower's cantilever reveals, are digital news tickers that will display headlines from the news giant operating inside. https://vimeo.com/130120622 Among the other challenges for BIG in redesigning Two World Trade was working within existing realities of the World Trade Center site—and a foundation structure that had already begun construction. The tower’s foundation is already set according to Foster's plan and includes air vents from the neighboring transportation hub. The new tower is also aligned along the axis laid out in Daniel Libeskind's master plan. When it came time to sell BIG's new design to the developer and client, Silverstein and Murdoch were initially skeptical. “I hadn’t seen a building like this beforehand, I hadn’t considered a building like this before, and certainly there was nothing down at the Trade Center to indicate that this would be a trend for tomorrow,” developer Larry Silverstein told Wired. Rupert Murdoch apparently agreed, but after the philosophy of the building was explained—and Ingels is a talented storyteller—Silverstein and Murdoch were on board. The architects behind the World Trade Center’s other three towers—David Childs, Richard Rogers, and Fumihiko Maki—all gave their blessing as well. News Corp. and 21st Century Fox recently signed a non-binding letter of intent to build Two World Trade, which brings the project closer to reality. And if all goes according to plan, Murdoch’s media empire should be setting up shop in Lower Manhattan as soon as 2020.
Bjarke Ingels opens this addition to his high school with a parkour video of a kid jumping off the walls
Since Bjarke Ingels graduated from Old Hellerup High School near Copenhagen, he's obviously become a bit of an architectural sensation. But that doesn't mean Ingels is too cool for school, specifically his former high school. In 2013, the architect created an undulating recreation center for the school's central courtyard that has a ribbed, almost cathedral-like wood ceiling. At the courtyard-level, the structure forms a a man-made hill where students can hang out between classes. And that was just the start of it. https://vimeo.com/117414392 As soon as that project was completed, BIG got to work on a two-story addition for the school which just wrapped construction. The new arts building provides a connection between the snazzy recreation center and the school's soccer—er, "football"—fields. BIG said the new space is intended to mesh with its first project, but not copy it. So where the rec center is primarily concrete with some wood finishes, the new building has wooden walls and concrete floors and ceilings. The building meets the street from underneath the existing fields, which it lifts up by two stories. The building's roof extends the fields, creating a so-called "green carpet for informal activity." The result looks quite similar to Kiss + Cathcart's Bushwick Inlet Park pavilion in Brooklyn. BIG also proposed a similar trick in its Smithsonian master plan. “My high-school, formerly introverted and dispersed, has become open and integrated through two focused interventions. Even though each phase is autonomous and complete – their introduction in to the mix has completely reconfigured the sum of the parts," said Ingels in a statement. "Like a catalyst or an enzyme–once inserted–all the surrounding substance transforms into something completely new.” Since this is the Bjarke Ingels Group, the announcement of the building's completion of course comes with a flashy video (up above). So you can watch as "'free-runner" Bjarke Hellden backflips through the school.
Hot Tub Design Machine: New York's Van Alen Institute launches its annual auction of out-of-the-box architectural experiences
If you have ever longed to explore nature with your favorite architect or discuss the built environment in your bikini, now you'll have the chance. Well, for a few bucks, but in the good name of architecture. The Van Alen Institute has launched its online auction of Art + Design Experiences to coincide with its Spring Party, going down this Wednesday in Lower Manhattan. The auction list boasts exclusive and out-of-the-box experiences with top critics, famed architects, and professionals in the arts and design fields. Some of the more compelling items, or activities, to bid on, include: —A Fire Island hot tub roundtable with architect Charles Renfro at his mid-century modern beach house. —Testing the smoke ring generator at Copenhagen’s new waste-to-energy power plant with Bjarke Ingels. —A helicopter ride on Norman Foster's personal helicopter through London’s skyline, including the architect’s own icons. —A bird watching expedition in an iconic urban park with Jeanne Gang. —Joining Sotheby’s chairman Lisa Dennison for her daily salon blowout ritual as she offers tips on building a blue-chip art collection, followed by a personalized tour of MoMA's permanent holdings. Visit the auction site to check out and bid on the offerings. Bidding closes on Wednesday, May 20. Get your digital paddles ready.