Hualien Residences: BIG’s Most Mountainous Housing Project Yet?

Courtesy of

Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled their latest – and certainly greenest – “mountainous” housing project (for previous examples, see: Mountain Dwelling and 8 House). Although still in progress, Hualien Residences, a beach resort housing complex in Taiwan, will consist of green “landscape stripes” that resemble mountains themselves. The project, which incorporates walking paths, underground jogging paths, and an observation point, has already been recognized as a finalist in the 2014 MIPIM awards for its use of design to encourage healthy, active lifestyles for the complex’s primarily older residents. 

The BIG U: BIG’s New York City Vision for “Rebuild by Design”

Render for The BIG U, “The Harbor Berm,” an elevated path through the park. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

Yesterday BIG, along with 9 teams including OMA and WXY, unveiled their proposals for “Rebuild by Design,” a competition which tasks teams with improving the resiliency of waterfront communities through locally-responsive, innovative design. Each proposal was required to be “flexible, easily phased, and able to integrate with existing projects in progress.” As Henk Ovink, the Principal of ”” as well as the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, stated: “ is not about making a plan, but about changing a culture.” The winners will be announced later this spring.

BIG’s proposal, The BIG U, is rooted in the firm’s signature concepts of social infrastructure and hedonistic sustainability. It envisions a 10-mile protective system that encircles Manhattan, protecting the city from floods and storm water while simultaneously providing public realms specific to the needs of the city’s diverse communities. Bjarke Ingels states: “We asked ourselves: What if we could envision the resilience infrastructure for Lower Manhattan in a way that wouldn’t be like a wall between the city and the water, but rather a string of pearls of social and environmental amenities tailored to their specific neighborhoods, that also happens to shield their various communities from flooding. Social infrastructure understood as a big overall strategy rooted in the local communities.”

More on the BIG U, after the break…

BIG Designs Labyrinth for Atrium of National Building Museum

© . Image Courtesy of

The National Building Museum (NBM) has announced that BIG has designed a 61×61 foot maze to be housed in the building’s grand atrium from July 4th to September 1st of this year. According to the NBM’s website, the labyrinth’s Baltic birch plywood walls, which stand 18 feet high at the maze’s periphery, descend as you make your way towards the center. From the core, then, visitors receive a view of the entire layout – and a better understanding of how to get back out.

According to Bjarke Ingels, “The concept is simple: as you travel deeper into a maze, your path typically becomes more convoluted. What if we invert this scenario and create a maze that brings clarity and visual understanding upon reaching the heart of the labyrinth?” Of course, those uninterested in the challenge of figuring out the maze can peek down on it from the Museum’s second and third floors – but where would be the fun in that?

More images, diagrams and drawings after the break!

OMA Tops BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren to Design Axel Springer Campus in Berlin

OMA’s winning proposal for the Axel Springer Campus in . Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

After deliberating over the stellar proposals of three renowned firmsBIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA, Berlin-based media company AXEL SPRINGER SE has just announced that Rem Koolhaas’ design is the winning proposal for their new office building.

The task of the competition was to create additional space for the media company, particularly its digital offers, and thus design a workplace fit for the future of online media. Koolhaas’ design, which features a large 30-meter high atrium or “open valley” with interconnected terraces and public workspaces for both individual, collaborative, and mobile work, won favor with the jury for its forward-thinking concept. As Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, commented: “[Koolhaas] presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house.”

For his part, Koolhaas had this to say: “It is a wonderful occasion to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions.”

See more of OMA’s winning proposal, after the break…

Did Park City Blow It With BIG’s Kimball Art Center?

The original design for the Kimball Art Center. Image Courtesy of Group (BIG)

In an entertaining take on the events that led BIG to completely redesign their winning competition entry for the Kimball Art Center in Park City, , Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan describes the new design as “ridiculously anonymous,” “a huge — and almost hilarious — departure from the personality and warmth of the original design.” She asks the residents of Park City, whose outrage forced the redesign, “are you happy now?” Read the full article here.

Antoine Predock and Bjarke Ingels Awarded 2014 RAIC Honorary Fellowships

Beach & Howe Tower in Vancouver. Image Courtesy of

The wisdom of the Old West, New-Mexico based architect Antoine Predock (who designed the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg) and the vitality of the New East, BIG founder and principal Bjarke Ingels (whose office is responsible for the Beach & Howe Tower in Vancouver and Telus Sky in Calgary), are being distinguished by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) this year with Honorary Fellowships for extraordinary achievement in the field of architecture. More on this news, here.

Designs Unveiled for London’s Natural History Museum Urban Redevelopment

Team 1. Image Courtesy of Natural History Museum

Following the news last year that five teams had been shortlisted to redesign and reimagine the grounds of London’s iconic Natural History Museum (NHM), five anonymous concept images have been unveiled. The brief called for proposals to “reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting” with an aim to creating “an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building and the award-winning Darwin Centre for architectural excellence, whilst also improving access and engaging visitors.”

Read on to see the competing teams, including individual concept images from , Stanton Williams and Feilden Clegg Bradley.

BIG Unveils New Scheme for Park City’s Kimball Art Center

Courtesy of BIG

BIG has unveiled new plans for the Kimball Art Center in , Utah. Departing from his original competition winning design, a twisted 76-foot tall log cabin whose height caused its demise due to public disapproval, the new scheme will now top out at a more modest 46-feet as two slanted concrete walls lift towards the sky and expose the center’s interior to the historic Old Main Street. 

“The building seems to rise with Main Street and the mountain landscape, while bowing down to match the scale of the existing Kimball,” described in a statement.

Phoenix Determined to Build BIG Pin

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Although Arizona developer Novawest was determined to build BIG’s 420-foot observation tower in downtown before the 2015 Super Bowl, failed negotiations has left them without a site. Once planned for the interior courtyard of the Arizona Science Center, the privately-funded project is now being considered for an undisclosed downtown site with completion rescheduled for 2016. Considering the project has received a considerable amount of support from city officials, it seems inevitable that the BIG pin will eventually be built despite harsh criticism from nearby residents. Modifications for the new site will be minimal. You can review the design here

BIG Shortlisted to Design ARTA “Arts Cluster” in Arnhem

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As we announced yesterday, four impressive teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals to design a new house for an existing art museum and film theater on a waterfront site in . Competing to design the “ArtA” cultural center includes BIG, who teamed up with Amsterdam-based Allard Architecture to propose a scheme that would merge the two facilities by constructing “a simple building volume of two poles: The Film Theater facing the city and the Art Museum facing the river.”

AD Interviews: Bjarke Ingels / BIG

At ArchDaily, we think that Bjarke Ingels is one of the most inspiring architects practicing today. Having found success at a relatively young age, Bjarke has never shied away from embracing his YES IS MORE philosophy. His conspicuous enthusiasm for the potential of architecture and design sets him apart from his peers. And it is precisely this go-to attitude that has allowed him to overcome some of the significant limits that face many young architects today. An impressive portfolio of both built and upcoming projects shows that his approach to design, though sometimes criticized, is profoundly impacting the social environment of architecture. 

On running an office, Bjarke says that “you have the opportunity and the responsibility to create the work environment that you would like to work in.” He has modeled his firm as a type of organism that is able to adapt to growth and change. In the interview, Bjarke explains that not only does his own role constantly evolve, but that the success of is contingent on the invaluable contributions of his partners. BIG is more than just Bjarke. 

We also asked him to define architecture (“the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings actually fit with the way we want to live our lives”), and to give students advice about pursuing a career in architecture. Be sure to read the full interview after the break.

BIG, Kengo Kuma Among Four Visions Unveiled for ARTA Cultural Center in Arnhem

© with Allard Architecture

Four international teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals in the final leg of a highly anticipated competition to design a new “cultural hotspot” on the edge of the Rhine. ArtA, the “catchy” new name of what was previously known as “The Arts Cluster,” is part of a larger redevelopment project for the City of which aims to reconnect the southern district of Rijnboog with its waterfront and establish a new home for the Focus Film Theatre and Museum

A sneak peak of the shortlisted proposals, after the break…

Danish Maritime Museum / BIG, by Hufton + Crow

© Hufton + Crow

The talented photographers of Hufton + Crow have shared with us their visual archive of Bjarke Ingels’ recently completed Danish Maritime Museum. Built within the crevasse of a dry dock in the historic surrounds of Helsingor’s Kronborg Castle, the subterranean museum is visible only as an imprint of a ship. By looping the museum around the dock’s 60-year-old walls, Ingles was able to preserve the heritage structure while transforming it into a courtyard that provides daylight deep into the heart of the museum.

Experience the Danish Maritime Museum through a whole new lens, after the break…

BIG Unveils “Honeycomb” Condominium for Bahamas Resort

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BIG has released plans, alongside collaborators and Michael Diggiss Architects, of a luxury, mid-rise condominium at the Albany Bahamas resort. Located on the south coast of New Providence Island, “The Honeycomb” will offer 34, 3,000 to 8,000 square foot apartments, each complete with a private outdoor pool and summer kitchen integrated into the structure’s hexagonal-shaped facade. 

Miami Beach Scraps OMA’s Winning Convention Center Design

Proposed Convention Center Entrance. Image © OMA

city commissioners have unanimously agreed to abandon the $1 billion redevelopment of its 52-acre convention center district, which aimed to radically reinvent the area. This decision comes just six months after the city awarded developer South Beach ACE and OMA the bid after an international, highly-publicized competition that pitted OMA against BIG.

“For the purposes of getting this project done fast, on time, on budget, it’s unfortunate that we’ll have to make a very tough, challenging decision,” said Beach Mayer Philip Levine, “To some people, it’s a little disheartening. To other people, it’s a very fresh start.”

As reported by the Miami Herald, the city plans to reinstate a bid for the renovation of the city-owned convention center as well as another for the development of a nearby hotel. Under the new bid, the city will no longer be required to attain 60 percent of voter approval to build. By doing this, Levine believes the renovation will be expedited.

Impressive Shortlist to Compete for “The Arts Cluster” of Arnhem

© Flickr CC User Marco Derksen

UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition. 

The city of Arnhem, the Netherlands, has revealed an impressive shortlist of five firms who will compete to design a new cultural building for the city, The Arts Cluster, which will combine the Museum Arnhem and Focus Filmtheater Arnhem. 

The five firms selected from 44 entries are: Architecture with SO-IL (United States); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG, Denmark) with Allard ArchitectureKengo Kuma & Associates(Japan); NL Architects; and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

BIG, OMA, Büro-OS To Compete for New Media Campus in Berlin

Proposal from Büro-OS. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

UPDATE: OMA has provided more images and information on their proposal, after the break.

BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA have been announced as the three finalists in the competition to design the new Media Campus for AXEL SPRINGER SE in Berlin, , beating out Kuehn Malvezzi and SANAA. The final ranking will be released in January.

The new campus will be located on the historic site of the former Berlin Wall, what was once a no-man’s land. All three proposals address this contentious history as well as the demands of a 21st century workplace. President of the jury, Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries, proclaimed that: “All three projects show how fascinating architecture can be today. No matter which of the three proposals will be realised: The competition is already an enrichment of Berlin’s building culture.” See all three proposals, after the break…

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

Foster + Partner’s Apple Campus II. Image © City of Cupertino

As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year’s results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, “this year saw a trend towards more commercial names.”

This year’s “most admired” list includes: