Bjarke Ingels continues his relentless forward march toward world domination, winning yet another project, this time a gallery in Nuuk, Greenland. With so many recent mountains, it appears BIG has moved on to new iconographies inspired by land art, a barnacle perhaps? The Greenland National Gallery is a low, doughnut-shaped structure hugging a difficult terrain on a dramatic fjord. BIG's entry beat a number of firms including Norwegian Snøhetta, Finnish Heikkinen-Komonen, Islandic Studio Granda and Greenlandic Tegnestuen Nuuk. “The Danish functionalistic architecture in Nuuk is typically square boxes which ignore the unique nature of Greenland. We therefore propose a national gallery which is both physically and visually in harmony with the dramatic nature, just like life in Greenland is a symbiosis of the nature. We have created a simple, functional and symbolic shape, where the perfect circle is supplied by the local topography which creates a unique hybrid between the abstract shape and the specific location”, Bjarke Ingels said in a release. Visitors enter the building under a slight lift in the building's facade facing a panoramic view of the waterfront. The building itself is a perfect circle surrounding an interior sculpture courtyard forming a hybrid focal point of culture and nature. BIG says the layout enables flexible gallery arrangements.
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We told you this morning about new details surrounding the Durst Fetner Residential's Bjarke Ingels-designed West 57th Street tower, but now there so much more to share. BIG's Danish office has released additional renderings, detailing Manhattan's surf-and-turf hybrid tower in all it's mountainous glory. And you won't want to miss the fly-by video, either! As Bjarke Ingels has said before, West 57 is all about typological diversity, combining elements through what he calls his Manifesto of Bigamy. Ingels' design language is apparent in his first American design beyond the obvious mountain and sailboat references of its overall form. Equally iconic moves include meticulously crafted views shaped by the central courtyard and a jagged floor plan that creates a highly textured facade. At 467-feet tall, West 57 is slated to contain over 600 residential units, including 20 percent of units marked as affordable. Durst, developer of the LEED-Platinum One Bryant Park Tower, also plans to push for LEED Gold in Hell's Kitchen. “New York is rapidly becoming an increasingly green and livable city. The transformation of the Hudson River waterfront and the Highline into green parks, the ongoing effort to plant a million trees, the pedestrianization of Broadway and the creation of more miles of bicycle lanes than the entire city of my native Copenhagen are all evidence of urban oases appearing all over the city. With West 57th we attempt to continue this transformation into the heart of the city fabric – into the center of a city block,” Bjarke Ingels said in today's release.
Surf-and-turf sure is delicious! We've been eagerly awaiting news from Bjarke Ingels' New York debut on 57th Street in Hell's Kitchen, and today, the Durst Organization, project developer, has released new details of New York's mountain-to-be. New York magazine got the exclusive, this weekend revealing a new rendering of the 450-foot-tall apartment tower poised to redefine the architecture of the stodgy box. Last month, Ingels was guarded in discussing his ambitious plans for New York, but he wasn't kidding when he told AN of his intention to wed the traditional European courtyard block with an American skyscraper. And appropriate to Ingels' emerging philosophy of "bigamy," exemplified by the classic American surf-and-turf, the new tower simultaneously resembles a snow-capped mountain peak and a white-sailed vessel docked on Manhattan's west side. 57th Street's form responds to disparate site conditions with requisite thought and artistry of any BIG project. Ingels told NY magazine that the building's form pushes for a "blatant" connection to the Hudson River greenway while responding to multiple challenges on a site clinging to its industrial past, including adjacency to an elevated highway and a parking garage for garbage trucks. The tower slopes and twists to avoid blocking views while also reducing traffic noise. Just as Ingels promised, the tower features a lush, landscaped courtyard sliced into the middle of the rising mountainside, forming a sort of soft, green oasis along the building's sharp ascent. Balconies have also been pierced into the facade in a similar manner. The design still faces a series of regulatory hurdles in coming months, beginning with a community board meeting this Wednesday. We'll be watching Ingels closely, so stay tuned for a mountain of updates!
Where one architect might see an incinerator, Bjarke Ingels, principal at Dutch firm BIG, envisions a ski slope. Ingels has been fond of the mountain typology and he hasn't been all that subtle about it, giving projects names like Mountain Dwellings and emblazoning Mount Everest on the side. In his latest competition-winning proposal for Copenhagen, BIG takes the concept one step further, with a mountain you can actually ski down. Perhaps more accurately, the $645 million waste-to-energy facility is a volcano, periodically spewing smoke rings from its summit every time one ton of CO2 has been released into the atmosphere. BIG (with realities:united, AKT, Topotek 1, and Man Made Land) clad the building with a modular grid of planters and windows resembling oversize bricks. The rooftop "snow" will actually be made of a synthetic granular material that “The new plant is an example of what we at BIG call Hedonistic Sustainability – the idea that sustainability is not a burden, but that a sustainable city in fact can improve our quality of life," said Bjarke Ingels in a statement. "The Waste-to-Energy plant with a ski slope is the best example of a city and a building which is both ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.” While the sheer industrial scale of power plants often captures the imagination of many architects, the notion that a power plant might invite its city to approach and interact, even ski on top of it, is so new it borders on absurd, but we have to agree with David Zahle, partner at BIG, who said in a statement, "I can’t wait to ski on a base of clean and green energy with a view over the city in 2016.”
UPDATE: Get the full story, including renderings, on our main page. Well into its second decade, P.S.1 and MoMA's Young Architect's Program looked just south of its Queens home for this year's winner, selecting Brooklyn's SO-IL Solid Objectives Idenburg Liu to design the now famous summertime pavilion in the P.S. 1 courtyard. They beat out two fellow Brooklynites, Freecell and Easton + Coombes, Cambridge's William O'Brien, Jr., and a dark horse Danish contender BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Renderings will be released at a MoMA event tomorrow, but a press release describes their entry thusly:
Conceived as a participatory environment that reframes the conceptual relationship between humankind and structure, Pole Dance is an interconnected system of poles and bungees whose equilibrium is open to human action and environmental factors. Throughout the courtyard, groups of 25-foot-tall poles on 12 x 12-foot grids connected by bungee cords whose elasticity will cause the poles to gently sway, creating a steady ripple throughout the courtyard space.While still young, SO-IL is no stranger to success. The firm recently completed a new atelier for Derek Lam above his SANAA-designed showroom on Crosby Street in Soho, and plans are in the works for a trippy green roof not far from P.S. 1 in Sunnyside, Queens. Idenberg's best known work is with another museum, however, as he was the project manager on the New Museum.
The World Architecture Festival in Barcelona is in its second day and it's great seeing New Yorkers doing so well in this international competition. Marion and Michael (Weiss/Manfredi) won for their spectacular Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle and Snohetta (OK via Norway) for their Oslo Opera House. I was on the housing jury and we were presented with 13 strong projects: high rise towers, smaller garden apartments (some with a mix of market rate flats) and a ten unit housing scheme in the shape of a slithering garden snake. Except for the bizarre snake these were all different types of public housing. I am not sure why an American would be selected for this jury but seeing these 'social' projects was inspiring. It gives one hope we can do decent housing in this country for someone other than just the rich (Come on Barack, pull this thing out!). We gave our award to Mountain Dwellings in Denmark by the Bjarke Ingels Group (top). It's a great project but also have a look Adelaide Wharf by Allford Hall Monaghen Morris in Hackney, London (above). And what can I say about the snake??