With the 2016 Salone del Mobile now behind us, Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared his photos from Milan Design Week, along with his ranking of the top five architectural installations. Read on to see his exceptional collection of images accompanied by short descriptions of each project.
Bjarke Ingels has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the magazine's annual list of groundbreakers in five categories: Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders, and Icons. Other giants of the same field endorse the authority of each selected figure and, in Ingels case, former boss Rem Koolhaas offers poignant words of praise. “Bjarke is the first major architect who disconnected the profession completely from angst,” says Koolhaas. “He threw out the ballast and soared. With that, he is completely in tune with the thinkers of Silicon Valley, who want to make the world a better place without the existential hand-wringing that previous generations felt was crucial to earn utopianist credibility.” You can review the full profile and TIME’s complete list of people here.
In an interview with the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Bjarke Ingels reflects on the design of skyscrapers, noting how "sculpture is fine, but if its arbitrary it's not as interesting." Architects, Ingels argues, have the problem of "skilled incompetence:" the notion that they "already know the answer before [they've] even heard the question." This prevents them "from questioning the question, or having the question rephrased, or elaborating on the question, or even listening for the question – because [they] already know the answer."
Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has captured the latest photos of BIG's courtscraper, VIA 57WEST. Exploring the urban context of this unconventional high-rise, the images illustrate how the building's swooping facade and peak appear from different sight lines.
Following the loss of part of their proposed site to LinkedIn and the subsequent reveal of an alternative site, Google has unveiled the revised plans for their Mountain View Campus. Designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, the original proposal featured several “Lego-like” buildings covered by glass canopies. The new proposal uses similar design decisions, with the building massing adjusted to the new site.
Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw Architects have won a competition to design pavilions for Expo 2020 Dubai. Under the Expo’s 2020 theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the teams were selected from 13 invited practices to design three themed pavilions within the Expo's HOK-designed masterplan: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability.
"A key criterion for the competition was ensuring that the designs not only embodied one of Expo’s core themes, but also had the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021," said the organizers in a press release.
BIG has revealed their concept for the Redskins new stadium complex. Complete with a moat, the semi-transparent, undulating structure was designed to redefine the American stadium. Rather than being (mostly) preserved for game-day, BIG envisions the stadium to be a year-round destination used for more than just football.
“The stadium is designed as much for the tailgating, like the pre-game, as for the game itself,” Bjarke Ingels said on 60 Minutes. “Tailgating literally becomes a picnic in a park. It can actually make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year without ruining the turf for the football game.”
The Serpentine Gallery in London has unveiled the designs for this year's prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by BIG, showing an "unzipped wall" which rises to a point above the entrance. In addition to the pavilion, this year the Serpentine gallery will host four smaller "summer houses" designed by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. For these summer houses, the Serpentine Gallery asked the participants to take inspiration from Queen Caroline's Temple, a small, classical summer house near to the gallery that was built in 1734.
Read on to find out more about all five designs.
French department chain Galeries Lafayette has commissioned BIG to design its new flagship on Paris' historic Avenue des Champs-Élysées. BIG's first retail client, Galeries Lafayette hopes to position the project "as an upmarket department store for the 21st century" that will "endow the legendary boulevard with renewed cachet," according to a report on Business of Fashion.
Sited for 52 Champs-Élysées, the 7000-square-meter space will take its inspiration from the historic Art Deco building its housed in. As BIG described, they hope to enhance that space and respect the existing architecture, rather than radically transform it.
The Serpentine Galleries have revealed that the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), alongside a surprise announcement that four "Summer Houses" will also be built by internationally acclaimed practices. Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris), and Asif Khan (London) will each design a 25sqm structure inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a neo-Classical summer house built in 1734 and "a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery." In line with the criteria for the selection of the Serpentine Pavilion architect, each chosen to design a Summer House has yet to realise a permanent building in England.
We've all been there: it's time to write a cover letter to apply for the job you've always dreamed of, but all that you can seem to muster are tired phrases and generic expressions. Well, in walks Étienne Duval to put us all to shame. Duval, a 30-year old architect, wanted to work at BIG, with "Yes is More"-man Bjarke Ingels. And what kind of cover letter did Étienne write? A rap... with an accompanying video. It's witty, well-done and (in our humble opinion) a perfect fit for BIG.
After the video made the rounds here at ArchDaily, we had some burning questions for Étienne. Check out the video, which has racked up over 20,000 views, and the short interview below.
ArchDaily: What inspired you to create a video for your application?
In the race to bring driverless cars from a futuristic fantasy to a present-day reality, developers have touted a plethora of advantages, from reduced traffic congestion on roads to improved safety thanks to the elimination of human error. But the potential widespread implementation of driverless cars could also have profound impacts on the form of our urban environments, fundamentally reshaping infrastructure and land use. As recently as a year ago, this new technology was seen as decades away; however, recently Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla, predicted that driverless cars will be capable of making cross-country treks within about two years, and a pilot program in the United Kingdom city of Milton Keynes plans to launch a fleet of driverless pod-taxis by 2018, matching Musk’s timeline.
The driverless car future could be just around the corner, and the normally slow-changing infrastructure of cities could be forced to apply quick fixes to adapt. At the same time, the full potential of driverless cars cannot be realized without implementing significant changes to the urban fabric. So how will driverless cars change how our cities work, and how will our cities adapt to accommodate them?
Two major tenants, 21st Century Fox and News Corp have pulled plans to relocate to the BIG-designed 2 World Trade Center - the final building planned for the 16 acre site. 2 WTC was unveiled last summer after news broke that BIG would be replacing Foster + Partners as the building's architect. According to a report on The Wall Street Journal, the two media companies based their decision on the high cost of relocating; they plan to stay in their current Midtown site until at least 2025.
The project will be placed on hold until a new tenant is found.
In an age when companies of all types are seeking diverse and creative ways to achieve their goals, the traditional model of architectural practice appears to be increasingly old-fashioned. Last year, one of the most dramatic changes in the make-up of architectural practice was the foundation of product design firm BIG Ideas, an off-shoot of Bjarke Ingels Group, which is tasked with solving problems that are usually outside the scope of an architect's work. In this interview, originally published by Archipreneur in their "Archipreneur Insights" series as "Making BIG Ideas Happen Through Design With Jakob Lange," the head of BIG Ideas speaks to Tobias Maescher about the foundation of this entrepreneurial company and the value of keeping such close connections between a product design company and its parent architecture firm.
Today’s interview is with Jakob Lange, Partner at BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and Head of the BIG Ideas project unit, which was established in 2014. With this unit, BIG is broadening the scope of their architectural practice to a wider field. Combining technology and product design, this remarkable incubator creates prototypes, products and new materials within the building industry.
The Friday Smart Lock, an electronic door lock that pairs with a user’s mobile device, is one great example of an innovative product the team at BIG have helped to produce. They have also utilized creative methods for financing their projects, including a recent Kickstarter campaign for the prototype of a steam ring generator at a BIG-designed power plant in Copenhagen.
We think it is fascinating that one of the world’s most innovative and successful architectural offices is moving into other fields of practice—a very archipreneurial move! However, this is just one of many ways that architects can apply their skillsets to future business innovations. Here are Jakob’s thoughts on architecture, design and product development.
Reports indicate BIG will design the Washington Redskins new stadium. Details have yet to be released, however according to Sports Business Daily the practice's head of communications, Daria Pahhota confirmed BIG is working on an NFL stadium. The Redskins currently play at the 80,000-seat FedEx Field in Maryland; it is said that they are considering moving back to Washington DC or relocating to Virginia.
This past February, BIG and Heatherwick Studio unveiled their designs for Google’s new Mountain View Headquarters in California. The project, which will be built by robots, faced sizeable critique, as well as site complications—that have since been resolved—over the past year. Now, as a part of Esquire’s 2015 Breakouts, Bjarke Ingels—founder of BIG—is speaking out about how the firm won the Google bid, and why the headquarters could create a new mold for Silicon Valley urbanism. Ingels goes on to discuss other major BIG projects, like 2 World Trade Center, and an upcoming NFL stadium. Read the full Esquire interview, here.
One of BIG's most high-profile projects under construction, the Amager Bakke waste-to-power plant in Copenhagen, will have quite the party trick up its sleeve. In order to give locals a new understanding of the issue of global warming, for every tonne of CO2 generated by the burning of waste, the plant will emit a super-sized ring of steam into the sky from the chimney perched at the top of its sloping roof. However, when construction on the project started, BIG hit a road block: as Bjarke Ingels explained to FastCo Design, "there were no smoke ring-emitting manufacturers in the yellow pages."
New York Yimby has unveiled BIG's latest New York skyscraper: 76 11th Avenue. Planned for one of the largest plots along the High Line, the nearly 800,000-square-foot proposed project is comprised of two towers perched on a podium of retail, gallery and hotel space in the city's Meatpacking district. Rising 302-feet to the east and 402-feet to the west, the towers are divided by a "diagonal cut" through the site that opens up more views for residents to the High Line.