Posts tagged with "BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group":

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Bjarke Ingel's first office building completed in Philadelphia

You'd be forgiven for thinking that something named "1200 Intrepid" is a ship (or at least a boat), especially when it's located at the Navy Yard Corporate Center. In fact, that is the name of Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) first building in Philly and first-ever office building. Spanning 92,000 square feet, 1200 Intrepid takes on ship-like qualities through more than just its name: its warped facade emulates the hull of warships docked nearby. The four-story building will occupy land between James Corner Field Operations' Central Green Park and the Navy Yard's basin. It's hull-esque facade also curves in sync with the circular layout of the adjacent park. Fenestration on this side is arranged with alternating pre-cast concrete panels that express the building's height and visually exaggerate the angle of inclination. These gradually loom over the tree-lined path that traces the edge and provides shelter of sorts for the walkway. The building's other facades offer more traditional, orthogonal elevations while maintaining the paneling facade system. “The ‘shock wave’ of the public space spreads like rings in the water, invading the footprint of the building to create a generous urban canopy at the entrance," said Ingels in a press release. "The resultant double-curved facade echoes the complex yet rational geometries of maritime architecture. Inside, the elevator lobby forms an actual periscope, allowing people to admire the mothballed ships at the adjacent docks.” Inside 1200 Intrepid, generous ceiling heights mean office spaces are bathed in sufficient amounts of daylight. A central atrium creates a dialogue between the floors: though rectangular, its twist incrementally references the building's signature facade. "In many cases, architects design big, boxy buildings that could be placed anywhere and don’t connect directly to the site," said Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a partner at BIG. "You would really be hard-pressed to place 1200 Intrepid anywhere else, due to how it connects with its surroundings. Our commission involved creating a speculative office building, for which no tenants were committed. The key challenge here was to create a reason for tenants to be here with the constraint of a stringent budget.”
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Ground breaks on Bjarke Ingels Group's Gotham East 126th Residential in Harlem

Yesterday saw the ground break on Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) Gotham East 126th Residential, a collection of rental units in east Harlem. At the event, Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG, was on hand to speak about the building which features a checkerboard-like, curvaceous facade. The project is backed by developer Edward Blumenfeld's firm, Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG) and will offer 233 units for rent. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Blumenfeld remarked how lucky he was to nip Ingels in the bud early on, going on to say, "If we tried to hire him now, I don't think we would be so lucky!" BDG's development is set to comprise a combination of one- and two-bedroom apartments of which 20 percent will be set at affordable rates. "Here we are in the heart of a very lively and transforming neighborhood," said the Danish architect. "We had to think differently. We came up with this idea of gently draping the facade between the two neighbors, leaning back to allow sunlight and air to reach the street and also to fulfill the set-back requirements." By leaning back in such a manner, Ingels said the building "almost moves from 125th to 126th street." Gotham East 126th Residential also "peeks over the hedge" of a commercial building on 125th Street. This, in Ingels' eyes, allows occupants to make the most of the space that has been left unbuilt over the offices below by providing views downtown. On this part of the building, "an amazing roof garden for the inhabitants" is on offer, supplying wide-spanning "views over the developing neighborhood." Inside, these units will be filled with what Ingels described as "explosions of color," something which he drew on his experiences from working in and traveling to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. In practice, this will see the entrance lobby and mailboxes splashed with "Caribbean colors." However, Ingels also spoke of caution when using such a vibrant color palette, pointing out how its use in architecture—and indeed dwellings—can be "incredibly personal." "Architects rarely play with color but here we felt that we had the context to do it," he said, going on to add how residents will have the opportunity to fill their apartments with "their own color." In addition to the living spaces, a lobby will act as a space for local artists to exhibit work. The building will also include a roof garden, game room, and fitness center. Previous renderings of Gotham East 126th Residential had depicted the building clad in cor-ten steel. This, though, has now changed. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper, Ingels explained, "We looked at cor-ten which was the idea of trying to match the red brick with a material that wasn't brick," he said. Now renderings show a black concave facade. "It's blackened stainless steel," Ingels explained. "We wanted something that could express the three-dimensionality of a drape, to have a very soft facade framed by the two buildings either side. The building is also our first in-fill in New York so we wanted to express the idea of spanning between two sides." Ingels continued: "[The stainless steel] is smooth on its surface which means that it will reflect better than cor-ten. On the south side where you have a lot of direct light a bright material would emphasize the shape. But on the north side, where you have light from the sky, then actually a dark material where you can have the sky reflected... emphasizes the three-dimensionality."
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Bjarke Ingels Group releases teaser video for Elon Musk's Hyperloop

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released a teaser video for Hyperloop One—the high-speed transportation system pioneered by Elon Musk, who is seeking to revolutionize modern transit. The plan is to shoot freight and passenger pods through a pressurized tube at speeds of more than 700 miles per hour using a zero-emission electric propulsion system, which, according to Rolling Stone, could result in a travel time of about 30 minutes from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The video reveals the first hyperloop links in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and features Jakob Lange, BIG partner and director of BIG Ideas, the experimental incubator that creates prototypes and products for their portfolio projects. (See our interview with Lange). BIG Ideas is responsible for helping envision the Hyperloop and designing adaptability into its initial pods and pressurized tubes. Hyperloop One announced that Bjarke Ingels Group would join them as an architectural partner in the same week as it passed its first, open-air test of their electric propulsion technology in the Mojave Desert back in May 2016 (that test reached speeds of 116 miles per hour). Engineering firms AECOM and Arup have also been named as partners to realize the advanced technology as infrastructure. The video above reveals planned Hyperloop connections between Abu Dhabi Airport and Dubai Airport, among other locations in the UAE. Hyperloop One’s chief executive Rob Lloyd told The New York Times that he is most proud of the speed at which the technology is being developed, saying that Hyperloop “will do to the physical world what the Internet did to the digital one.” The company recently raised another $50 million needed to complete another prototype, bringing its total funding for research and development to $160 million. The company also named Brent Callinicos as its chief financial advisor to guide its funding needs. Callinicos joins Hyperloop after working as a treasurer at Google, and most recently as Uber’s chief financial officer.
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Renderings revealed of High Line luxury development by Bjarke Ingels Group

New renderings and details on Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) multiuse development under construction on 76 11th Avenue along New York City’s High Line park were released yesterday. The project, dubbed “The Eleventh” will contain a five-star 137 key Six Senses hotel and spa (the company’s first in U.S. location) in the East Tower and approximately 240 luxury apartments split between the two towers, as well as retail space and a public promenade accompanying the adjacent High Line. “When we acquired the last major downtown development site in 2015 we had a blank slate to create a new neighborhood on one of the world’s most valuable and desired pieces of land,” said HFZ Capital Group chairman and founder Ziel Feldman in a press release. The Eleventh will consist of two towers that, at an estimated 300- and 400-feet tall, will be the tallest buildings in the West Chelsea neighborhood (the West tower will be the taller of the two), ensuring panoramic views of downtown and midtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. In addition to the 240 condominiums and hotel, taking up roughly 950,000 square feet, 90,000 square feet will be devoted to retail. The two, twisting towers topped with glass “crowns” have a distinct BIG geometric sleekness about them that is, if not reminiscent of, then certainly complementary to the firm’s VIA 57 West and “The Spiral,” both just north along the Hudson River. According to the press release, the buildings are inspired by “New York City's classic modernist structures and cultural institutions … The punched window openings, meanwhile, are an important nod to the past, a reference to the historic industrial buildings of the neighborhood and nearby Meatpacking District.” The Eleventh joins a slew of starchitecture along the High Line, including Zaha Hadid’s West 28th Street, Neil Denari’s HL23, DS+R’s “The Shed,” and Renzo Piano’s Whitney Museum. The Eleventh is slated to open 2019.
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Winners announced for this year's Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), London-based Zaha Hadid Architects, and four others have been named as winners of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Danish architect claimed the prize for his Superkilen project in Copenhagen, Denmark, meanwhile Hadid for her design for the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. The announcement was made in the capital of the UAE in Abu Dhabi earlier today. Awarded every three years, the prize has become a heavily cherished trophy since its inauguration in 1977 when Aga Khan established the award to recognize building concepts found in predominantly Muslim communities. For this year's award, a jury drew up a shortlist of 19 projects, born from 348 nominations. The prizes awarded are as follows:

Superkilen Copenhagen, Denmark Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek 1, and Superflex Words from the jury: "A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture."

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque Dhaka, Bangladesh Marina Tabassum Words from the jury: "A refuge for spirituality in urban Dhaka, selected for its beautiful use of natural light."

Friendship Centre Gaibandha, Bangladesh Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury/URBANA Words from the jury: "A community center which makes a virtue of an area susceptible to flooding in rural Bangladesh."

Cha’er Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre Beijing, China ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke Words from the jury: "A children’s library selected for its embodiment of contemporary life in the traditional courtyard residences of Beijing’s Hutongs."

Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge Tehran, Iran Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, Alireza Behzadi Words from the jury: "A multi-level bridge spanning a busy motorway has created a dynamic new urban space."

Issam Fares Institute Beirut, Lebanon Zaha Hadid Architects Words from the jury: "A new building for the American University of Beirut’s campus, radical in composition but respectful of its traditional context."

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Plans filed for $3.2 billion Bjarke Ingels-designed tower at Hudson Yards

New York-based developer Tishman Speyer officially filed their plans for the $3.2 billion, 65-story office skyscraper designed by Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Dubbed the Spiral for its continuous band of terraces, the tower will reach a height of 1,005 feet. BIG has been quite busy in New York—they just wrapped Via 57 West and The Architect's Newspaper has even heard they're being passed over for projects because clients fear their office is too busy. Though the plans filed with the city only call for 2.2 million square feet, Tishman Speyer is marketing the property at 2.85 million square feet in size; the project will also include 27,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The Spiral is one of two towers in Hudson Yards already being considered by investment firm BlackRock (if the company decides to leave its Park Avenue home, according to a report by Crain’s New York Business). Back in 2014, Tishman Speyer paid $438 million for the two parcels of land where the Spiral will stand; the company also received a $170 million, 25-year tax abatement on the project later that year. When tenants of two townhouse apartments at 35th Street and 10th Ave. refused to move out, Tishman Speyer paid them a $25 million settlement to vacate the premises in order to move forward with their plans, instead of spending years in court battling it out against the now infamous tenant attorney David Rozenholc, according to Gothamist Tishman Speyer has received over $1 billion from international investors to move the project forward and the developer hopes to pre-lease a third of the building to cover the remaining costs of construction, as reported by The Real Deal. The company also purchased two additional parcels of land across from the Javits Center at 11th Avenue earlier this year, with plans to build another 1.3 million-square-foot office tower.
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Potential clients reportedly fear BIG is too BIG, pick smaller firms instead

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It's your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]

Sources close to the juries for two recent invited competitions tell The Architect's Newspaper that in both cases, smaller firms—SHoP and OMA—were chosen over Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) because the jurors believed that the firm's top dog, Mr. Ingels himself, might be more focused on the WTC 2, the Google headquarters, the project formerly known as the Big U, and the Hyperloop. They are concerned that he might not have time to pay much attention to other, smaller projects. The suspicions may come as a surprise to Rem Koolhaas, for whom Ingels worked in his early career. 

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Inside Bjarke Ingels Group's own tech-driven think tank

This article is part of  The Architect’s Newspaper’s “Passive Aggressive” feature on passive design strategies. Not to be confused with “Passivhaus” or “Passive House” certification, passive design strategies such as solar chimneys, trombe walls, solar orientation, and overhangs, rely on scheme rather than technology to respond to their environmental contexts. Today, architects are more concerned with sustainability than ever, and new takes on old passive techniques are not only responsible, but can produce architecture that expresses sustainable features through formal exuberance. We call it “passive-aggressive.” In this feature, we examine three components—diagram, envelope, and material—where designers are marrying form and performance. We also look back at the unexpected history of passive-aggressive architecture, talk with passive-aggressive architects, and check out a passive-aggressive house. More “Passive Aggressive” articles are listed at the bottom of the page!

BIG Ideas is an in-house think tank at the Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). It delves into three initiatives: simulations, product design, and conceptual ideas. The simulations are carried out by a team of experts in computationally derived methods of design. With this close collaboration, they solve the designs from BIG’s architectural department while addressing the sustainable and environmental needs of a project, maximizing its potential when they see fit. An example of its work can be seen with its ski-slope-sporting, smoke-ring-spouting Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant currently being constructed in Copenhagen.

The Architect's Newspaper senior editor Matt Shaw sat down with Jakob Lange, a partner at BIG and director of BIG Ideas. Lange has been working with Ingels since 2003, when the pair were both at PLOT, Ingels’s and Julien De Smedt’s now defunct studio. Shaw and Lange discussed the role of parametricism in realizing and optimizing the diagrammatic passive-aggressive schemes at BIG.

The Architect’s Newspaper: What setup is in place at BIG Ideas that allows parametricism and sustainability to go hand-in-hand?

Jakob Lange: We have engineers working in-house, which facilitates a continuous loop of iterations, creating a build-up of simulations that can then become parametric. This breaks away from the old-school way of calling up an engineer, where you can get bogged down by discussing fees while having to wait to get a result weeks later.

With this new setup, we can do this on a daily basis. Once the project is in the system, it takes two minutes to change the parameters and see what the output is—say, if we change the overhang of a building. Here we can see how much energy it uses if, for example, we just cantilever it a little bit more. We also look at how it changes the big picture, which can be addressed by building all this information into our system.

To achieve this, we’re collaborating with Dell Inc. We have a supercomputer that allows us to accelerate the amount of simulations that we can do. Prior to this, one of the limiting factors of doing very comprehensive simulations was computer power. Subsequently, this means that the quality of the results that we get out is much higher than what was previously possible.

Now it is very simple. The designers-architects send us an email with a link to the 3-D file and a little description of what they need. There may be a few questions back and forth—depending on how busy the guys are—but it’s done in a short time.

The engineers are actually based in Copenhagen, so those in that office can just simply walk up to them and ask. Some simulations are also difficult to set up, so they take a bit longer, but it is usually a very short back and forth.

As far as this diagrammatic idea of expressing sustainability as “fun” goes, how did that emerge in BIG?

It’s been in our DNA from the beginning. All projects, back from when Bjarke had PLOT, had to have an idea, an idea that we couldn’t just design a beautiful sculpture or something. And of course, very often one of the main idea-drivers is to solve a challenge. A climate around your building is always a challenge; say, if you’re in the Middle East or in Finland. Then, of course, we have this idea that making sure that whatever makes your building so nice is that you’re improving the life quality around your building.

So do the simulations end up altering the form of the building?

Oh yes, often. We did a facade for a museum in Marseille [France] that has louvers, but instead of using horizontal louvers, we used some that curved around with the building. Depending on the location of the sun, the louvers can also be angled individually to be most effective.

To do this, we made some parametric models into which we could feed the facade—no matter how organic it was—and it would generate the optimal angle and then space the louvers out onto the facade.

We are also currently doing a project in Amsterdam and we simulated a facade system. We set the simulation up and just let our supercomputer run all night. In the morning we had a wealth of data that was then compressed, giving us the final result. It really enables us to do some very, very high-quality simulations.

For more "Passive Aggressive" articles, explore: our feature article that features projects from across the world, how WORKac’s Arizona House revives the super sustainable Earthship typologyour brief, unofficial history of recent passive-aggressive design, and MOS Architects' Michael Meredith on sustainability.

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Procrastinate for hours on BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group's website-turned-videogame

1980's video game addicts should stay away from the BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group website. The Copenhagen, Denmark-based international firm's homepage has long featured pixelated font and colorful icons representing their myriad projects. Recently, BIG teamed up with Danish website design firm Ruby Studio to add a playful spin on a layout that seems—at least in retrospect—ripe for a video game transformation. Inspired by the 1986 game Arkanoid, users can now slowly delete the firm's projects (complete with sound effects). Enjoy!
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See Iwan Baan's stunning photos of BIG's Via 57 West

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)'s Via 57 West seems to have already assumed an iconic status on Manhattan's west side. Look no further than the trailer for Marvel's Doctor Strange which—in addition to having 15 million views—prominently features the rental development in its opening setting shot. Tenants began moving into the building this past March; units range from studios to four bedrooms. Bounded by 12th Aveneu, West 57th Street, and West 58th Street, the development features a new pedestrian passageway that runs from north to south on the building's eastern border. (Just next door is FXFOWLE's The Helena; both the Helena and Via 57 are Durst Organization projects.) Residents primarily enter from the southeastern corner, and 45,000 square feet of retail space is spread across the ground floor. The building's interior courtyard is modeled on the proportions of Central Park; it features a path through a meandering garden that culminates in an open, tree-shaded plaza. As BIG's diagrams in the slideshow reveal, the building is a hybrid of a European-style low-rise courtyard building and a tower-and-pedestal typology. The building dramatically rises to 467 feet at its peak. A special system of rails, see at the edges of the building, will enable workers to clean Via 57's curved aluminum cladding. The building's amenities (including an extensive lounge, poker room, children's playroom, basketball court, swimming pool, gym, screening room, and parking) are located on the lower floors, absorbing the loudest ambient noise generated by the nearby West Side Highway.
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Five pavilions to open in this year's Serpentine Pavilion and Summer Houses show

For the first time, the Serpentine Galleries has commissioned not a single pavilion but five separate structures by different architects for London's Kensington Gardens. For the past fifteen years, the summer pavilion has occupied a space between the gallery and West Carriage Drive in the park. This year, that primary pavilion was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and the other four scattered behind throughout the park. The BIG pavilion is just that—big. It's a mini cathedral with a soaring interior vault that pushes the idea of a pavilion to its size limits, competing with Bjarke's former employer Rem Koolhaas/Cecil Balmond and their 2006 inflatable for height and scale. BIG claims that their pavilion is conceptually a “brick wall.” But rather than clay and bricks, the wall is erected from pultruded fiberglass frames/boxes (made by Fiberline) set back and stacked on top of each other. The wall is then “pulled apart” to form a cavity that houses events for the Serpentine's summer program. The unzipping of the wall turns the line into a surface, transforming the wall into a space. Hans Ulrich Obrsit claims that the pavilion, like the other before it, has already been sold and will be re-mounted in China and America. As for the other ‘back yard’ pavilions, they don't match the BIG project in scale or position, but they are every bit as fantastical as one would expect from a garden pavilion. The four are designed by Kunlé Adeyemi, Asif Khan, and my favorites in the show, Barkow Leibinger and 92-year-old Yona Friedman. The Barkow Leibinger structure is made of molded plywood over a steel frame and has four seating areas surrounding the central wooden core. It’s swooping and molded shapes overwhelm the other pieces in the garden. One hopes it is a rehearsal for the Berlin-based firm's securing the central Serpentine pavilion in the future. The pavilion by Yona Friedman is a typical-yet-thrilling Friedman space frame. It's so thin as to be nearly invisible until one is next to it and sees the Plexiglas images of his elevated La Ville Spatial (Spatial City) designs inserted into the pavilion's metal hoops. The Spatial City design consists of modular structures in which people could build their own hoses. This pavilion, which can be disassembled and remounted, was built with the help of young school children in London.
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Bjarke Ingels and Thom Mayne discuss architecture, cities, and public space

At a forum hosted by the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation on May 5, Bjarke Ingels and Thom Mayne discussed the theme “Public Works” with architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. Ingels and Mayne approached the topic from disparate perspectives: At 41, Danish architect Ingels is on a career high and bursting with projects on a variety of scales that he hopes will greatly impact their cities; Pritzker Prize­–winning Mayne, at 72, has an additional 30 years of experience that seems to have left him weary of making overarching, glowing promises. Mayne spoke first, discussing the trajectory of architecture over the course of his career: “Twenty years went by [in the industry] and the series of questions I was engaged with on large scale of public projects and the criteria changed: I was now allowed to operate in a world where the project had social, cultural, political, ecological, and infrastructural consequences,” he said. “It moved from thinking as a designer to thinking in terms of thought leadership and moving toward something more strategic.” However, Mayne concluded later in the lecture, current projects have been reduced back to an architectural scale rather than a civic one. He lamented the loss of his “client,” the public, and the ability of the city and developers to understand the public in terms of city making. Mayne, in particular, slammed the One World Trade Center, “What was ultimately built there was absolutely tragic, it was an embarrassment. The opportunities for rethinking what that space could be were enormous. [The Port Authority] never even looked at the all of the ideas that were available to them,” he said. Instead, Mayne turns to Europe for inspiration in the public space, the piazza concept in particular, and cites Dallas and Los Angeles as examples of modern American cities in terms of broadening work sites to connect with their surroundings and considering public spaces. He focused on fostering the “connective tissues” of a community and replacing starchitect-designed “disconnected icons” with continuous, thoughtful architecture. By contrast, Ingels discussed his U.S. public works in the greater context of contemporary architecture in a more positive light. “Social infrastructure was a term from the 70s that mostly referred to kindergarten, but now we mean it much more literally in terms of positive social side effects,” said Ingels. He discussed incorporating a Copenhagen-style courtyard into his W57 tower to introduce a much-needed oasis in Hell’s Kitchen and researching the Dry Line (A concept he likens to the “love child of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs”), which will be 12 miles of contiguous waterfront protection to protect New York from storm damage while remaining “in close dialogue with community.” “The fact that privately-funded buildings and projects [in the U.S.] are taking responsibility is not a bad thing,” Ingels mused in response to Mayne's critique of the lack of city support for public works. Abroad, Ingels frequently referred to his Amager Bakke Copenhagen power plant, with its ability to transform waste into power, as one of his most socially oriented projects—not to mention the fact that it will also moonlight as a ski slope and emit non-toxic rings of smoke to raise awareness of carbon dioxide emissions. “If we can’t make a difference with our vote, then what we can do is move the world forward to something we believe in with what we do,” Ingels said. “Of course, I would love to only have philanthropic clients or well-funded states, but we can try to tackle the problems that we have through other means.”