Posts tagged with "BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group":

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An inside look at Via 57 West with BIG and Fritz Hansen

What takes longer to make, a chair or a building? You know you are speaking to an architect when the response is a shrug. Such is the case with Bjarke Ingels Group and its collaboration on the VIA 57 chair with Danish furniture company Fritz Hansen. Christian Andresen, head of design at Fritz Hansen, and Kai-Uwe Bergmann, partner and architect at BIG, sat down with AN to discuss the legacy of Danish design, KiBiSi coming to an end, and what surprised BIG about U.S. architecture practices. BIG is branching into projects on a variety of scales. Where does furniture design fit in? Does it fall under KiBiSi? Kai-Uwe Bergmann: KiBiSi was a collaboration among three entities [Kilo, BIG, and Skibsted Ideation]—you could call it a product design and branding constellation. It has, however, lived its life and we are developing projects just within BIG. This is one of the last efforts we did with KiBiSi. We are still designing a lot of other products and furniture under the BIG umbrella. How did Fritz Hansen become involved with BIG on this project? Christian Andresen: The historic reference to this is, of course, the designers who build furniture in collaboration with an entire project—what the Germans call gesamtkunstwerk. This concept was really nurtured at the design schools and the architecture schools in the 40s and 50s. It came from the Bauhaus, but the Danish really took it on. It’s since been abandoned. So when we asked up-and-coming furniture designers to make something, there was no reference to a project or a building. We wanted the dynamic framework of working within a project; the product has to have a reference to a building. It is in our DNA. And that was the case with BIG and this chair; it was made for the West 57th building. What came first, the building or the chair? Andresen: When the West 57th building was on the drawing board, the chair was on the drawing board. We were making a chair for the public and regular building spaces. BIG was trying to experiment with the furniture design and the way that people would sit around it in the building. It actually took about the same amount of time to make the building as it did to make the chair. When the chair finished, we launched it at ICFF at the same time they had the building opening. How did that design process go? Bergmann: Well overall it’s a big change from working in Europe to working in America. In Europe you, the architect, design everything, indoors and outdoors. You move to America, and they use the term “shell and core” and then they hire interior designers for the rest. We didn’t understand when we first arrived that you could only do the outside or only do the inside; we had always considered the complete experience. We actually had to bid on the interiors of West 57th. I think we’ve been lucky and fortunate that we’ve been able to bridge the two cultures and we’ve been able to design the interiors of most of our buildings. How do architects approach furniture differently from those who are strictly product designers? Andresen: Most architects tend to make products that are softer and more sculptural than their buildings. The simple explanation here is that round windows cost more money and square furniture is boring. But there’s also quite an interesting thing that furniture is at the human scale and many architects work with an interest in finding the meeting point between a person, the piece, and the flow. The ones that are really good at it are also really good at the interior spaces in general. Many Scandinavians and some of the German and Italian architects have touched upon it in their design career in education, but in many countries, building architects and furniture designers are in separate sections, like in the U.S. In Scandinavia, they still spend a lot of time on the artistic part of being an architect. I think it has to do with culture and the educational traditions, and also the legacy that you carry in a culture and in a trade. Our approach to the design and the natural piece is to eliminate the unnecessary details, which creates these very simple pieces that are very difficult to make.
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Frank Gehry might design Facebook's new London headquarters

Since 2017, Facebook has stated its intention to establish a new British headquarters within the ongoing redevelopment of King’s Cross Central in London. The London Times speculates that architect Frank Gehry is currently in talks with the social media giant to fit out two adjoining buildings, currently designated T2 and T3, as well as a stand-alone building on a separate plot. The buildings T2 and T3 are designed by the British firm Bennetts Associates and are slated for completion in early 2019. In total, Facebook looks to add three buildings totaling more than 700,000 square feet to its London footprint. According to the Architects’ Journal, Gehry has designed numerous buildings for Facebook in the past, including its campus in Menlo Park and a ‘fit-out’ of Rathbone Square. The larger development surrounding Facebook's potential new headquarters, King’s Cross Central, is a 67-acre mixed-use redevelopment site encompassing fifty new buildings, 1,900 homes, twenty new streets, and twenty-six acres of public space. British developer Argent is leading the project and the master planners are Allies & Morrison and Porphyrios Associates. The transformation of King’s Cross from decrepit industrial district to emerging tech hub is influenced by its proximity to King’s Cross Station and St. Pancras International. These stations provide unrivaled rail transport access to international, regional and local transport networks. According to the Urban Land Institute, over 63 million passengers will pass through King’s Cross–St. Pancras by 2022, and approximately 45,000 Londoners will directly live or work in the district. Facebook is not the only tech giant shifting personnel to King’s Cross Central. In 2017, Google submitted plans for a nearly one million square foot headquarters in the sprawling redevelopment site. Designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studios, the 11-story building will extend horizontally approximately one thousand feet, a distance roughly on par with the height of London’s tallest building, the Shard.
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BIG reveals sweeping changes to Smithsonian campus master plan

After facing criticism over an initial 2014 master plan for renovating the historic southern campus of the Smithsonian Institute, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has revealed a sweeping overhaul of its original design. The firm presented their new scheme in front of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), a federal agency responsible for reviewing design proposals in Washington D.C., and were told to go back to the drawing board. The Smithsonian Institute’s southern campus runs alongside D.C.’s National Mall, one of the most iconic stretches of park in the country. Any changes to the surrounding landscape, especially when it involves renovating the Smithsonian’s Castle, which opened in 1855, and the adjacent four-acre Enid A. Haupt Garden, were bound to be controversial. The largest addition, and the one that drew the most ire from preservationists, would have replaced the roof of the sunken Quadrangle Building under the Haupt Garden with a glassy, upswept volume, and built a new subterranean auditorium, gallery space, café, and store. Bjarke Ingels was on hand to personally present the “Smithsonian's Preferred Alternative F” to the CFA yesterday. Among the biggest changes to the original scheme was the toning down of the buried gallery’s corners, so that a new Haupt Garden could be built on top of the space. A sloping entrance to the Castle had been included in the original plan, but was left out of this revision, although the underground space will still be ringed with skylights at the ground level. The entrance to the Castle would be moved closer to the Mall, and Ingels stressed that the new garden topping the Quadrangle building would retain “the character and feel” of the Haupt. He defended the new roof's design, saying "we also want to make more accessible some of the hidden treasures underneath the Haupt Garden – the National Museum of African Art and the Sackler Gallery – which are so well hidden that they’re under-enjoyed compared to the value they represent. If we can make them more accessible, more people might be tempted to explore." The Hirshhorn Museum, which also sits on the campus, will expand underground as well, although plans to remove the walls enclosing the site have been scrapped. Community input over the original design has reportedly played a large part in the new design. The CFA took umbrage with the plan’s demolition of the existing garden and entrances, as well as BIG’s lack of use for the existing Arts and Industries Building on the campus. Some of the commissioners in attendance were particularly harsh. “This is a redesign,” said Elizabeth Meyer. “It has nothing to do with preservation and it’s not good design.” Ultimately the CFA took no action, and told BIG to come back with alternative schemes and more information at a later date. Regardless of the final design, the southern campus will need extensive renovations. The initial 2012 existing conditions survey discovered that all of the buildings on the campus are in need of a mechanical systems upgrade, that the roof of the current Quadrangle building leaks, and that the Castle needs to be better protected against seismic events. The first stage of the $2 billion plan, the renovation of the Castle, is expected to begin in 2021, and the entire campus renovation should finish in 2041.
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BIG proposes floating villages for San Francisco Bay

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has unveiled a speculative design proposal that aims—among many aspects—to populate the San Francisco Bay with floating villages as part of an effort to buttress the region against climate change–induced flooding. The proposal is undertaken with One Architecture + Urbanism (ONE) and Sherwood Design Engineers and is among a slate of ten newly-announced schemes generated for the Resilient By Design Bay Area Challenge, a regional competition aimed toward generating ideas for how to best protect the Bay Area from rising sea levels. Projections for the region call for a minimum of four feet in sea level rise under moderate warming conditions by 2100. The changes would bring flooding to the area much more frequently than is currently the case, a development that would devastate coastal communities. Many of those communities are built atop landfills over former marsh areas and tidal zones. BIG’s proposal takes two routes in its effort to achieve its ambitious goals. First, the plan calls for restoring Islais Creek—a stubby inlet on the San Francisco side of the Bay sandwiched between the Dogpatch and Hunters Point neighborhoods—as part a larger plan for retrofitting the entire San Francisco Bay’s edge. BIG’s conceptual masterplan for the San Francisco Bay envisions restoring the wetlands along the water’s edge lost to development while redistributing new population centers into the bay to create an urban archipelago connected by public ferries. The plan also proposes relocating and expanding the existing network of industrial, port, and warehouse activities into more compact configurations surrounded by trails, marshes, and parkland. The scheme also calls for modernizing a stretch of Interstate-101 as a “machine for autonomous collective transit,” as explained by BIG founder Bjarke Ingels in a presentation video. The plan would create a Bus Rapid Transit loop in the south Bay that will anchor and connect new density nodes. The plan would extend to the southern edges of the Bay, as well, where existing salt palm and tidal marsh areas will be revisioned into experimental urban agriculture zones. The proposal is joined by schemes from James Corner Field Operations and Hassell+, among other multidisciplinary groups, and follows a year-long research period that brought together designers, landscape architects, planners, politicians, and community activists from across the region. For more information, see the Resilient by Design: Bay area Challenge website.
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SLA's park design for Bjarke Ingels power plant revealed

The Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG)-designed Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen is finally set to wrap up later this year, and international firm SLA has revealed their final plan for the plant’s 170,000-square foot rooftop park. First revealed in 2011, the biomass-burning plant, with its ski slopes on the roof and a smokestack meant to belch ring-shaped clouds, instantly caught the internet’s attention. Amager Bakke is seen as major step in Copenhagen’s transition to a carbon-free city, as the plant will burn wood pellets made from rotting waste wood instead of coal. Because Amager Bakke is off the coast of the city center, BIG chose to approach the project as both a publicly accessible common area and a tourist attraction. Clad in a perforated aluminum façade that resembles oversized bricks, the power plant is 289-feet at its peak near the smokestack, but gently ramps downward to meet the ground and provides pathways for both walking and skiing. While the renderings released up until now have typically shown skiers tearing up snowy slopes, SLA has released renderings of how the roof will be planted in warmer weather. The extreme angle of the roof, combined with the building’s height, and temperatures reaching up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit due to boilers under the roof, meant that the plant selection had to be carefully curated. Several distinct biomes are seeded throughout the roof, including a “mountain” and “meadow” area, trees to shield guests from the wind, and laid out hiking and jogging trails that run alongside the 1,640-foot long ski slope. A fitness area has also been placed alongside the viewing platform at the roof’s peak, which visitors can reach by either hiking, or by summiting the building via a climbing wall at ground level. SLA hopes that other than being used as a year-round recreation space, Amager Bakke’s green roof will seed the rest of Copenhagen with city-friendly vegetation. According to Rasmus Astrup, a partner at SLA, “The rooftop’s nature is designed to attract and shelter a wide selection of birds, bees, butterflies and insects, which in itself will mean a dramatic increase in the biodiversity of the area. And utilizing natural pollination and seed dispersal will mean that we can spread the rooftop nature to also benefit the adjacent industry area, parking lots and infrastructure.” Amager Bakke is also well known for its smokestack, which Bjarke Ingels originally envisioned as being able to blow a ring of steam for every ton of carbon dioxide that the power plant emits. Following a successful Kickstarter in 2015 to build a prototype of the system, the “steam ring generator” will be included in the final design. Construction on the rooftop park is underway and will be completed in September of 2018.
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Google and BIG propose one million square feet of offices in Sunnyvale

Google has been on an expansion tear lately, and has announced plans to follow their recently approved Mountain View, California housing development with a new campus in neighboring Sunnyvale. The one-million-square-foot project will be called Caribbean, and sees Google teaming up with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) yet again for a pair of terraced office buildings for up to 4,500 employees. The city of Sunnyvale is no stranger to Google, as the tech giant has been consolidating land purchases throughout the year and most recently paid $21 million for a five-acre plot in the Moffet Park area on December 22nd. BIG and Google are also familiar partners, as the firm has been involved with both the Charleston East campus and speculative designs for the northern Mountain View residential project. Their latest collaboration will involve two five-story office buildings, each featuring green roofs with paths that gently zigzag atop stepped floors. Each building will connect these paths with the ground level and encourage the building’s melding with the street. Renderings show that these paths could be used for a variety of activities, from biking to skating, and that any floor of each building should be accessible from outside. Although each office building will be clad in a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall, they differ slightly in their typology. While one is boxier, with easily distinguishable steps and clearly defined plazas and gathering areas, the other resembles a cascading hillscape with organically defined curves and valleys. From the ground level, the offices’ landscaped terraces clearly evoke cliff faces or natural slopes. The future 200 West Caribbean Drive will be 505,000 square feet, while the nearby 100 West Caribbean Drive will be slightly larger at 538,000square feet. Other than BIG, Clive Wilkinson Architects has been tapped to design the interiors, while OLIN Landscape Architects will be responsible for the landscape design. A project this large will require a number of approvals from the Sunnyvale city government, and the project is only just beginning to work its way through the process. Google expects to move employees into the finished buildings in 2021. Of note is that the city has mandated that all of the utilities, sewage systems, hydrants and streetlights will need to be relocated and upgraded, which will falls under the city of Sunnyvale’s design guidelines.
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Google wins approval in Mountain View for sweeping housing plans

The Mountain View, California, city council unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve a redevelopment plan that would give Google the power to build up to almost 10,000 residential units near its new Charleston East campus, and they won’t be restricted solely to Google employees. The approval paves the way for Google to build alongside its new Charleston East campus, designed by a team of Heatherwick Studios, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and Hargreaves Jones Landscape Architecture, which expects to complete construction by 2019. Besides bringing 3.6 million square feet of office space and the aforementioned residential buildings to the North Bayshore neighborhood, Google and other outside developers will be allowed to construct a high-density, mixed-use neighborhood in an area stymied by a lack of new housing. Rising above than the low-slung suburban office park surrounding the new site, the new development will feature office towers up to eight stories, and residential buildings up to 15 stories tall. Although the city, Google, and other interested developers still need to put together a master plan detailing the project’s timeline, it’s expected that the project will claim up to 150 acres for residential use. Of the 9,850 units allowed by the new measure, developers are shooting to keep 70 percent of the units as one bedrooms or studios, with 20 percent of the total set aside as affordable housing. Planners have already begun envisioning the new neighborhoods that the ordinance would create, naming them Joaquin, Shorebird and Pear. Overall it’s expected that the redevelopment will bring more office space, retail and entertainment options to a previously underdeveloped area. At the Tuesday meeting, vice mayor Lenny Siegel said the project would help address the Bay Area’s housing crisis. “This is a cutting edge plan that sets a standard,” said Siegel. “Not just for the Bay Area, but for the rest of the country.” The massive project will still need to face further rounds of public approval before being finalized, but previously released renderings by Google provides some indication of how the tech giant will build out their adjacent campus. A distinctive two story, tent-like structure with a solar panel-clad canopy will occupy 595,000 square feet, with the ground floor open to the public. The second floor will hold Google office space, and both areas will be peppered with interior courtyards designed to act as cores for socializing. It's not yet clear how the newly-formed neighborhoods will link with the company's peaked office space. The recent city council approval is only the first step in a long line of public approvals that the development will need to clear before becoming a reality. While no exact estimates of how long the project will take, or how much it could cost, have been revealed yet, Siegel has said that it may take up to a decade to fully realize.
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Adjaye, DS+R, Ryue Nishizawa and SO-IL on shortlist for Australian contemporary art museum

Adjaye Associates, SO-IL, BIG, and Woods Bagot are among the 13 firms the Government of South Australia has selected to produce concept designs for a new contemporary art museum in Adelaide, South Australia's capital.

The Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition, as it is officially known, asked firms to design both a museum and public space for events around the future Adelaide Contemporary, which will be part of the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) network.

The six chosen teams, a mix of Australian and international firms, are now at work on concept designs that will be revealed to the public in April 2018, right before the competition jury convenes. London's Adjaye Associates was matched with Sydney's BVN, while SO-IL and Melbourne's HASSELL are working together on a concept. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen) and JPE Design Studio (Adelaide) are paired up, as is Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York) and Woods Bagot (also from Adelaide). London's David Chipperfield Architects and Sydney's SJB Architects working together on the design, and a team of three firms—Khai Liew (Adelaide), Office of Ryue Nishizawa (Tokyo) and Durbach Block Jaggers (Sydney)—makes up the final grouping. The firms were selected in the competition's first stage from over 100 teams (525 firms) representing five continents. To create the final teams, organizers paired international winners with shortlisted Australian firms. "This is an extraordinarily rich list of diverse creative partnerships of architects looking to complement their talents by working with both peers and smaller talented practices. There is a strong thread of Australian professional expertise running through the entire list with Australians taking both equal and collaborative positions," said Nick Mitzevich, director of AGSA, in prepared remarks. "The six teams all showed a strong connection with Adelaide—and understood that our aim is not to create an off-the-peg architectural icon but a piece of Adelaide, an entity that will be sustainable and polymathic in the way it enhances the social, cultural and architectural fabric of the city." The final jury will be announced in early 2018.
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BIG unveils first pro sports stadium for Austin

Austin Sports & Entertainment, together with New York–based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Austin-based STG Design, has released a first look at plans for its 1.3-million-square-foot, multipurpose collection of interlinked stadiums. The new East Austin District bills itself as Austin’s first pro-sports stadium and will host workspaces, convention space, retail, medical facilities, and a huge music arena. Anchored by a 40,000-seat stadium designed for soccer and rugby games and a connected 15,000-seat multipurpose arena, East Austin District will be a loose collection of buildings covered by a shared, latticed rooftop. The checkerboard roof, taking inspiration from the Jefferson Grid, will segment each area by function while still allowing visitors to experience a variety of indoor and outdoor programs. Resembling enormous, overlapping shingles, the red photovoltaic roof will allow the district to be self-sufficient, and eventually export electricity to the rest of eastern Austin once the infrastructure is in place. “Like a collective campus rather than a monolithic stadium, the East Austin District unifies all the elements of rodeo and soccer into a village of courtyards and canopies. Embracing Austin’s local character and culture, the East Austin District is a single destination composed of many smaller structures under one roof,” said Bjarke Ingels, BIG's founding partner. Although each building greatly differs in function, they’re united through all-wood interiors that reference Austin’s characteristic barns and porches. Eight outdoor courtyards are interspersed throughout the district, further highlighting the connection to Austin’s porch and patio culture. Expected to be used throughout the year, the outdoor spaces will host public parks and plazas, food trucks, and smaller concerts. While BIG’s plans for East Austin District are still conceptual, Austin Sports & Entertainment has been pushing to raise funding for the project, although they have declined to disclose the projected cost. If successful, the district would be built over the site of the annual Rodeo Austin with the event moving to the development’s secondary arena. “We are in active discussions with leading global sports and entertainment organizations, including our partner Rodeo Austin as well as various corporations, to serve as anchors to accelerate the goals of the Spirit of East Austin Forum,” said Sean Foley & Andrew Nestor, co-managing partners of Austin Sports & Entertainment, in a statement. If investors for the project can be found, construction is expected to begin in 2018 and finish by 2021.
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2017 Best of Design Awards for Building of the Year – Southeast

2017 Best of Design Awards for Building of the Year – Southeast: Grove at Grand Bay Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Location: Coconut Grove, Florida Grove at Grand Bay, a pair of 20-story twisting glass towers located in Miami’s historic Coconut Grove neighborhood, marks BIG’s first condominium design completed in the United States. The 98-unit, sold-out development, which was also the first new residential project completed in Coconut Grove in over ten years, has helped lead the rejuvenation of the neighborhood—an area long known for its bohemian attitude and laid-back waterfront lifestyle. On first impression, the design appears to be a purely aesthetic move, conceived from the outside in; but in fact, the shapes of the Grove at Grand Bay towers were generated by inward necessities following an exhaustive study by the firm. The team searched for the ideal form that would allow maximum views for every unit in both buildings, gradually settling on two tornado-like towers to achieve the most effective orientation. “Developer-led housing can often be a bore, but the designers managed to breathe life into it. The client took a risk with the structural system, and the landscaping helps it meet the ground elegantly.”Matt Shaw, Senior Editor, The Architect's Newspaper (Juror)
Developer: Terra Landscape Architect: Raymond Jungles Executive Architect: Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates Structural Engineers: DeSimone Consulting Engineers LEED Building Consultant: The Spinnaker Group
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BIG designs kindergarten for WeWork as the company expands into education

Fresh off the completion of the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has embarked on a playful new school project for co-working company WeWork. Called “WeGrow,” WeWork is hoping to extend its reach into education with a pilot school near the company’s Manhattan headquarters. With an initial test class of seven students ranging from 5 to 8 years old, WeGrow wants to rapidly expand its micro-school to a class of 65 by next fall, and then to a full K-through-12 program soon after. Currently housed near the company’s Chelsea headquarters, WeGrow will join WeWork when it moves to the former Lord & Taylor building on 5th Avenue in 2019. A plan that ambitious requires a dedicated space, and BIG has revealed renderings for a WeGrow school full of soft, biomorphic forms. Pebble-shaped pillows can be stacked for adjustable seating, and swooping round reading areas are right at home among circular lighting fixtures, play areas and staircases. While BIG has tried to let in natural light by removing divider walls and creating open floors, the studio has left the underlying columns, beams and joists exposed for an industrial look. Bjarke Ingels described the design as tactile, and meant to encourage interactivity in an educational system that typically disparages experimentation. “What we’ve tried to do is undo the compartmentalization that you often find in a school environment,” said Ingels. While funding for WeGrow hasn’t been finalized, the initial plan may be to charge a market-comparable tuition on a sliding scale and potentially transition into a privately funded non-profit later on. Set to occupy its own section of the future headquarters, complete with a separate entrance, WeGrow hopes to use this first school as a jumping off point for eventually integrating a WeGrow space in every WeWork. Picturing a world where parents can head to the office with their children in tow, WeGrow is a logical next step for a company that also operates WeLive, a co-living space featuring fully furnished apartments, and Rise By We, a chain of wellness clubs. Adam Neumann, WeWork’s CEO, has stated that he eventually wants to expand into designing entire neighborhoods. WeGrow, in their own words, has claimed the ambitious goal of trying to eventually educate people “from birth to death.”
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Air rights locked down for BIG's spiral tower in Hudson Yards

At a buy of $157 million, New York–based developer Tishman Speyer secured the final air rights it needed for The Spiral, a massive new BIG building in Hudson Yards. The green-ribboned glass monolith, which will top out at 65 stories with a $3.2 billion price tag, acquired the rights from lots around the Eastern Rail Yards owned by the Hudson Yards Development Corporation. Pfizer, the New York–based pharmaceutical mammoth, will be the tower's primary tenant, and has already inked a deal to rent out 800,000 square feet of the total development. To date, Tishman Speyrer has spent $265 million on air rights alone—the tower will rise to a lofty 1,005 feet, which will make it the second-tallest development in the Hudson Yards, right after 30 Hudson Yards. Designs for the supertall were first released last February by the developer, and feature an ascending spiral of terraces populated with vertical and hanging greenery split between two-floor atria. These spaces, leased out as offices, housing, and hotel, will offer incomparable views over the Hudson River and the High Line, which will extend right up to the tower's base. The idea for the spiraling greenspaces (a popular trope, especially after Stefano Boeri's forested towers in Milan) is drawn from naturally-occurring patterns demonstrated in plant growth, molecular structure, and galactic formations, as Ingels explains in the tower's promotional video. With all rights locked down, Tishman Speyer now has the go-ahead for construction, joining its KPF-designed neighbors 55, 30, and 10 Hudson Yards.