Posts tagged with "BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group":

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Unveiled> BIG Hits the Slopes Again with New Resort in Finland

It's no mystery that Bjarke Ingels is a fan of mountains, but building craggy edifices hasn't been enough for the Danish leader of BIG. Now Bjarke has unveiled his firm's latest plans to incorporate "rooftop-skiing." He previously proposed the Hafjell Mountain Hotel in Norway in 2007 and more recently an imperiled Waste-to-Energy Plant in Denmark that appears to have stalled. The Danish firm's latest competition-winner is a 500,000-square-foot resort called Koutalaki Ski Village in the Lapland region of Finland, consisting of four landscaped buildings that double as ski slopes.
Overall View (Courtesy BIG)
Overall View (Courtesy BIG)
Ingels described the project as "grown from the natural topography rather than dropped from the sky." BIG's landscape-minded hybrid design "left the jury in awe," according to the Finnish developer Kassiopeia Finland Oy. The new manmade mountain is an extension to the existing framework provided by the Levi ski center. The new series of buildings will swirl out from the central square, touching the ground on both ends, enabling the skiers to descend in any direction from the rooftops. The resulting central plaza—which will be used for ice skating and music performances—will be sheltered and intimate, while at the same time open to the views of the surrounding landscapes. In the off season, the manmade landscapes will turn green, blending with the surrounding forest environment for picnics and hiking.
Building Model of Koutalaki Ski Village (Courtesy BIG)
Building Model of Koutalaki Ski Village (Courtesy BIG)
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Maltzan, BIG, and West 8 Shortlisted in St. Pete

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida has chosen a blockbuster group made up of Michael Maltzan Architecture, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Design) and West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture as the three finalists to redesign its famous pier. Taking a leap of faith, in 2010 the city voted to demolish the current iteration, a 1970’s inverted pyramid structure and 1980’s “festival market” that St. Petersburg’s web site refers to as “the most visible landmark in the history of the city.” But the pier’s market has fallen on hard times and the city was ready to redefine both the pier itself and the city at large. As their proposals show, any one of these three architects will give St. Pete a sculptural design that will become a new landmark, to say the least. The winner will be chosen in late January. West 8's plan, called “The People’s Pier,” would be  highlighted by a large circular pavilion inspired by a sea urchin called “The Eye” sitting on a new shoal in the bay. It would also create new preserved habitats, a public marina and would include a new plan for ecological waterfront development. Maltzan's ambitious plan would create a new tidal reef, a civic green, raised walking paths, an amphitheater, a watermark and other leisure activities. BIG's spiralling scheme would rethink what a pier is. It would be made up of three parts: a park, a walkway and  “the wave,” a large spiral-shaped structure containing several programs. According to BIG the structure would be made up of the pier itself folding in on itself. Closer to shore the plan would contain contain a large swimming beach and a small forest.
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Unveiled> A BIG Glassy Box for Paris, Sort Of

In Bjarke Ingels' traditional style, what started as a standard box of a building for Paris' Université Pierre et Marie Curie has been lifted, bent, and deformed to maximize light, sight lines, and air flow for a cramped urban site. Ingels' firm BIG and Paris-based OFF recently won won a competition to design the new multidisciplinary research center called Paris PARC to reunite the university's campus with the surrounding city including Jean Nouvel's adjacent Institut du Monde Arabe and the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral. BIG’s design calls for a specific geometry to coordinate the new building with its neighbors from varying historical periods while taking into account optimized daylight access, views, and accessibility. PARC emphasizes its axial relationship to the cathedral with large panoramic windows offering views of Notre Dame and the Parisian skyline. The exterior is slightly titled, creating a canyon-like central atrium that provides greater access to natural light and promotes visibility among laboratories and office spaces. There is also public access to the rooftop, which offers further panoramic views of the city. “As a form of urban experiment the Paris PARC is the imprint of the pressures of its urban context. Wedged into a super dense context—in terms of space, public flows and architectural history—the PARC is conceived as a chain of reactions to the various external and internal forces acting upon it," said Ingels in a statement. "Inflated to allow daylight and air to enter into the heart of the facility, compressed to ensure daylight and views for the neighboring classrooms and dormitories, lifted and decompressed to allow the public to enter from both plaza and park and finally tilted to reflect the spectacular view of the Paris skyline and the Notre Dame to the Parisians.”
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Critically Costumed For Storefront

"Banality," the theme of Storefront's Critical Halloween costume fundraiser, was manifested in an array of clever--and occasionally perplexing--forms on Saturday evening at the 3-Legged Dog in Manhattan. Blizzard-like conditions did not deter a group of over 250 design-o-philes and at least one (in)famous party crasher from getting decked out in spandex, foam, plush, rubber, tulle, and acres of cardboard. The weather did prevent Liz Diller from arriving to judge the costume contest, but her fearless partner Charles Renfro stepped into the breach, and channeling Damien Hirst in a rhinstone-studded skull mask ("Greed"), took his place alongside judges Wangechi Mutu (embodying Pantone's "Bluebird") and Justin Davidson (dressed as an architecture critic). Each of the three judges picked a winner, and all the winners happened to come in pairs: "Eyes of the Beholder" (Lisa and Ted Landrum); "1:1 Human Scale, male + female" (Kyle May and Julia van den Hout); and the intriguing "Doll Face" (Mark Kroeckel/moustache and Alison Cutlan).  Some architects riffed on their own current work in the costumes (Jing Liu/SO-IL, Meissen exhibition) while others seem to reflect more a state of mind (Bjarke Ingels/BIG, King Kong with colleague Daniel as the Empire State Building; Mitch Joachim/Terreform1 as "Not Bucky"). Now Storefront and Domus are sponsoring an online People's Choice contest. Whose costume gets your vote for most critically banal? See the line-up here.  
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Bjarke Ingels, WSJ Architecture Innovator of the Year

If Bjarke Ingelsascension into starchitecture hasn't been dramatic enough, the Danish architect is again moving up in the world. On Friday, Ingels' firm BIG threw a party to christen their new office space in Manhattan. BIG has expanded its Chelsea presence, moving up from the third to the twelfth floor of the Starrett-Lehigh Building. A press preview of the new space preceded the party a couple floors above. Among those in attendance were Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, who earlier this month awarded Ingels the $90,000 Culture Prize—the MacArthur of Scandinavia—for his emerging work in architecture. Now it looks like Ingels' October has just been getting started. The Wall Street Journal Magazine will declare the Danish architect among its inaugural Innovators of the Year. Bjarke, seemingly by-passing starchitect status directly to super-starchitect, wins in the architecture category for "his wildly expressive structures, including the radical re-imagining of the New York high-rise apartment building, his commitment to sustainability and his philosophy of 'pragmatic utopianism.'" Richard Wurman, architect, author, and founder of the TED conferences (at which Bjarke has spoken) will present the trailblazing award to Ingels this Thursday at the Museum of Modern Art. No word yet on whether royalty will be in attendance. Ai Weiwei took the innovator award for art, Katie Grand for fashion, Elon Musk for technology, Steve Ells for food, Joris Laarman for design, and Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's The Giving Pledge for philanthropy. Profiles of each of these Innovators of the Year will be featured in the October 29 issue of WSJ Magazine.
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Galloping Gallatin: NYU Exhibition is Out There

It happened suddenly, as if out of nowhere: NYU’s Gallatin opened Global Design/Elsewhere Envisioned, an exhibition that comes with two symposia, is described as an initiative, and some hope might just morph into a new school of architecture. A large crowd was on hand for Jesse Reiser of Reiser/Umemoto’s keynote about four far-afield projects. At the reception afterwards, the crowd milled around an installation of some 20 models sitting atop a pile of cleverly laser-cut white poly-foam pieces stacked in interlocking massifs shaped as Manhattan; the bio-paisley pieces can be unlocked and used as package peanuts when the models are shipped on to NYU satellites around the world. Open through June 15, the diverse display included BIG’s 57th Street condo; Reiser Uemototo’s 0-14 in Dubai, mercury-colored droplets by Evan Douglis; 3D-printed green mystery blocks from Urban Future’s The VeryMany, video demonstrations of Decker Yeadon’s Homeostatic Façade System enabled by artificial muscles, WORKac's infrastructure-containing Plug-Out housing proposal, and others, all requiring more focus than possible with a glass of wine in hand. The show was variously referred to as a marvelous and all-too-rare look at assorted contemporary efforts or as the friends-of-Mitch collection. Mitch being Mitchell Joachim, co-fonder of Planetary One who was appointed in the past year together with Louise Harpman of Specht Harpman in New York and Texas and Peder Anker, historian of ecology to get “leading-edge architects, designers, and theorists to address design issues that affect global ecology and the environment.”  (More professorship appointments are expected. Hopeful contenders were in the crowd.) Joachim contributed several pieces to the show including a myco-model of the New Museum made from a mushroom grown in seven days under Plexiglas. Stay tuned for Symposium 2 on June 10 when BIG’s Bjarke Ingels is supposed to talk about individual responsibility in the face of climate crisis, presumably against a backdrop of slides of his work.
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QUICK CLICKS> Human Helicopter, Enchanted Mosque, Getty Leads, Suburbia

60 Seconds Helicopter. The Sikorsky Prize is legendary, for it has not yet been awarded--it's still awaiting its first winner, whose human-powered helicopter will reach an altitude of 3 meters (10 feet) during a flight lasting at least 60 seconds, while remaining in a 10 meter square (32.8 foot square). But Inhabitat reports that if things go as planned, a team of students from the University of Maryland may be taking home the prize with their human-powered flying machine, the Gamera. BIG's beautified universe. Metropolis deconstructs the renderings of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)'s latest project: a mosque complex in Tirana, Albania. While the thoughtful octagonal design (an overlap of the Mecca orientation and Tirana's urban grid) may have put BIG in front of the competition, one can't help wonder if the seductive juxtaposition of photo-realism and and benign atmospheric glow in BIG's renderings may be the secret to the firm's running marathon of competition wins. More Getty Trust. Christopher Knight at  The Los Angeles Times raises a good point regarding the J. Paul Getty Trust's appointment of James Cuno, currently director of the Art Institute of Chicago, as Trust president and chief executive: It might be a brilliant idea to appoint him to the directorship for the Getty Museum, finally merging the two positions. Suburbia Objectified? Allison Arieff of The New York Times comments on the recently launched Open House, a collaborative project in which the Dutch design collective Droog and Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects imagined "future suburbia." She laments that the project missed the point-- by treating a real place (Levittown) as a "perfect blank canvas" and dodging "the real issues."    
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A really BIG mosque

Just when you thought  architecture juggernaut Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG couldn't win YET another commission in YET another country... the firm announced yesterday that it had beat out competitors including Zaha Hadid to lead the construction of a new cultural center in Albania's capital, Tirana. The complex will consist of a mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony. The design team is made up of BIG, Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold, Speirs & Major lighting, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management. A triangular site plan is divided into the three main components, all carved away to form a central plaza oriented toward Mecca. The public plaza, among other things, is meant to make the religion more "inclusive and inviting," the firm said in a statement. And since it's located next to the city's newly-completed Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals, it makes Tirana "an example for the rest of the world as a global capital of religious harmony." Nobody said BIG didn't aim high... If you'd like a closer look the team has (of course) put together a video of their proposal, with music by The XX.  
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BIG's First Step into the Final Frontier

BIG won’t let its ambitions be impeded by the laws of physics--namely, gravity. For a competition to plan and design the area around the Hjulsta Intersection, a massive highway infrastructure project just north of Stockholm, BIG teamed up with firms Grontji and Spacescape to create “Energy Valley,” and their winning master plan addresses not only the area around the highway interchange but also above it. The plan's surreal defining feature is “a reflective, self‐sustaining hovering sphere mirroring Stockholm as it is, new and old, creating a 180 degree view of the area for the drivers on their way in or out of the city.” Covered with photovoltaic film and tethered to the ground, this mysterious giant orb would supposedly generate enough solar and wind power to keep itself aloft while also providing power for over 200 surrounding houses. The orb floats above a man-made valley that incorporates a variety of natural environments, from forests to wetlands. “The Energy Valley is a cross‐over between urbanism, landscape, architecture, art, and infrastructure into a new neighborhood of Stockholm. Harnessing the momentum of the massive investment in tunnels and highways and putting the excess excavation to use as a man‐made valley, we create an interdisciplinary hybrid of logistic, economic, environmental and social infrastructure,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. Oh, yes, there's a bike path, too. In the invited competition BIG beat out the Norwegian landscape firm Snøhetta, Danish landscape architect Kristine Jensen, and the Swedish firm Erik Giudice Architects. The scheme certainly fits Ingels' “hedonistic sustainability” approach, but if this fantastical idea actually comes to pass, we’re betting his future work will leave earth behind altogether for the final frontier.
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Bjarke′s Bite

I assumed he would be articulate as all OMA graduates are, and I’d heard he was as intellectually entertaining as only those TED Talk types can be, but I was surprised that Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect recently taking the city in a storm of media, could also simply converse. And he did so with ease last night in a Q&A with The Architect's Newspaper as part of a Design Trust for Public Space council member drive at the oh-so-private Core Club. The theme was "New York After Bloomberg," which frankly scares some people, especially architects, as the mayor has been a practically unprecedented supporter of the building arts and enlightened zoning throughout his three-term tenure. Not that Ingels was prepared to address that scary subject per se. But the audience was far from disappointed with his slide show of current work backing up his theory of “hedonistic sustainability.” Who would disagree with the importance of doing the right thing, an embraceable position whether developers, architects or citizens? And so he showed hilarious slides of visitors to his Shanghai Expo bike ramp underpinned by the lesson that cars and bikes must find a way to co-exist, and provoked wows with his mountain of trash at a waste disposal plant turned urban ski slope, complete with a smoke stack that puffs educational smoke rings. (Dads can tell their children, he said, that ten puffs are equal to an astonishing ten tons of carbon dioxide.) He smoothly explicated his 57th Street project for the Durst Organization, showing how its unconventional deconstructed pyramid shape responded with perfect rationality to an assortment of empirical needs. It was impressive and it was impossible to know how his sunny can-do approach is going to fly in the molten Mordor-like power-field that is New York’s built environment. And so I asked him how his first community board meeting went; he parried that he’d been through worse in Copenhagen when presenting a proposal for a mosque. No one quite believed him. And when asked if he could handle the demands for affordable housing, he was at the ready describing how his most famous built work to date, 8 House in Copenhagen, is based on an offset stacking of pre-fab units, a kind of Habitat for the 21st century. He seemed a little behind times in noting how wonderfully New York had embraced new bike lanes. But much appreciated was his reference to working for Rem Koolhaas and OMA as his “tour of Nam,” while he has clearly modeled his international staffing on Rem’s approach to diverse hires. BIG has recently moved to the Starrett-Lehigh in Chelsea and is preparing for projects that “will be made public throughout the year,” as BIG’s director of business development, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, told the Real Estate Weekly. But for us, it was also appealing that Ingels did not only come to these shores out of blind ambition, but to follow a girl. It is clearly going to be interesting in the next five years to see what Ingels does to New York, and what New York does to Ingels, whether or not it’s post-Bloomberg.
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Ride Bjarke Ride

Last night we enjoyed a sold-out lecture at LACMA by the force that is Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. At age 36 the founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) has accomplished more than most architects do in their lifetimes. How does he do it? We're still trying to figure that out. Here are a few theories: 1.) He acts on every smart and/or crazy impulse and actually follows through. 2.) He marries utopian ideas with pragmatism 3.) He's an amazing speaker and marketer. 4.) He seems to have more energy than just about anyone. Take for example, the video (after the jump) of Ingels riding a bike through his spiral-shaped Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. What better way to show off his architecture and his boundless energy. Genius. Stay tuned for our interview with Ingels, coming soon...
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Community Board 4 Welcomes Bjarke to New York

Bjarke Ingels' star-studded ascendancy to New York architecture fame was checked last night as Community Board 4's land-use committee had its first look at Durst Fettner Residential's planned W57 tower in Hell's Kitchen. Already sobered by a two-hour discussion of planned zoning changes only blocks from BIG's courtyard-skyscraper hybrid, the board quietly sat through Ingels' signature multimedia show detailing the strenuous process that guided the sloping tower's design. A light crowd filled the room, with the Durst contingency of architects and developers huddled in the back corner awaiting their turn in the spotlight. After a quick shuffle to reorient the room to the wall-projected presentation--a move requiring Councilwoman Gale Brewer to reluctantly switch seats--Douglas Durst introduced his starchitect: "We've been getting a lot of media attention lately thanks to our swashbuckling architect." And how! But Durst was clearly impressed with his new building, "After many false starts, I think we've finally found a winner." After a brief review of BIG's built work, a barrage of immaculately detailed renderings, and a slick fly-by video of a traffic-free West Side Highway, the board got down to work dissecting the project in detail, immediately jumping onto the buildings signature form. "Is this thing visible from outer space?" one board member jabbed. "When is it approved for take-off?" chimed another. Such a reaction is what Durst anticipated from the introductory meeting. The night's presentation served as a preemptive discussion to take off the building's edge and move the conversation on to the nuts and bolts of development. The Durst and Ingels team responded to clarify questions about W57, suggesting a 130,000 square foot cultural space could be filled by the International Center for Photography, including a small photography school and showroom. The team said they were looking for a "real" grocery as a 30,000 square foot anchor tenant along the river. The remaining retail space would contain small stores to maximize sidewalk life. "West 57 defines the urban perimeter," Ingels told AN in a telephone interview this week. With its adjacency to the Hudson River greenway, "It's an interesting hybrid between public and private spaces." The central courtyard is elevated two floors, allowing treetops in the courtyard to be seen from the park while providing views of the waterfront. Ingels explained that W57's manipulation of the floor area ratio (FAR) allowed him to insert the courtyard. "We flooded the entire FAR at the base and chose to distribute it differently as the tower rises, shifting the center of gravity to the east." Still, the community board pressed their tripartite concerns of contextual sensitivity, affordable housing, and green space. Board members were unsure that W57 was about Hell's Kitchen. "What can you offer the community besides iconic architecture that could be plopped down in Milwaukee or Sante Fe?" one board member asked. Others disliked a proposed driveway between W57 and Durst's already-built Helena tower next door, worrying it would set the building off from the city like an island. Some took issue with the building's 450-foot pinnacle-height, saying it would overwhelm 58th Street, but Ingels insisted that the steep slope of the building would mitigate the height's impact. Always a sticking point with new residential projects, community members requested that 20 percent of affordable housing proposed by Durst for the 650 to 700 unit tower to remain affordable in perpetuity, a condition the developer has not agreed to. Brewer said the community would fight for increased green space, since the central courtyard is planned for residents only. "The building looks lovely," she said. "But what green can the public get into?" When Ingels and Durst struggled to answer, she replied, "As time goes on, that might be an issue...We're a pain-in-the-neck neighborhood." For the board, adjacency to the Hudson River greenway is not enough. No decisions were made at the introductory meeting and W57 must still undergo a series of approvals including gaining proper zoning to allow a residential tower on the site in the first place.