The Story Behind The Most Creative Job Application We've Ever Seen

07:00 - 4 February, 2016

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?

How Driverless Cars Could, Should - and Shouldn't - Reshape Our Cities

10:00 - 22 January, 2016

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?

BIG's 2 World Trade Center Stalls After Fox Withdraws

14:00 - 19 January, 2016
© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG
© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG

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. 

Jakob Lange on Founding BIG Ideas and the Diverse Future of Architectural Practice

09:30 - 18 January, 2016
Jakob Lange | BIG. Image © Flemming Leitorp
Jakob Lange | BIG. Image © Flemming Leitorp

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.

BIG Expected to Design New Redskins Stadium

11:45 - 7 January, 2016
FedEx Field, current home of the Washington Redskins. Image © Flickr CC User David
FedEx Field, current home of the Washington Redskins. Image © Flickr CC User David

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

Esquire Interviews Bjarke Ingels on the Google Headquarters, 2 World Trade Center and the NFL

12:00 - 29 November, 2015
© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio
© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

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.

AD Interviews: BIG's Jakob Lange / Chicago Architecture Biennial

16:00 - 27 November, 2015

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."

BIG High Line Project Unveiled

12:15 - 23 November, 2015
© BIG, via New York Yimby
© BIG, via New York Yimby

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.

BIG, SANAA and Lacaton & Vassal Preselected in Competition to Design the New Aarhus School of Architecture

16:00 - 18 November, 2015
The current Aarhus School of Architecture. Image Courtesy of Aarhus School of Architecture
The current Aarhus School of Architecture. Image Courtesy of Aarhus School of Architecture

After receiving applications from 42 teams to pre-qualify for participation in a competition to design the new Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark, three teams have been selected: Lacaton & Vassal, along with Powerhouse and Kristine Jensens Tegnestue; SANAA, along with B+G Ingenieure and Sasaki and Partners; and BIG along with Transform, Rambøll and SLA.

The Business of Design Success: How did BIG Get So... Big?

09:30 - 11 November, 2015
Danish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Image © Iwan Baan
Danish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Image © Iwan Baan

In recent years, the ever-increasing profile of Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG have been hard to miss. For an office that is barely 10 years old, the number and scope of their projects is astonishing; to cope with demand, the firm has grown to employ almost 300 people. This growth, though, did not happen by accident. In this article, originally published on DesignIntelligence as "The Secret to BIG Success," Bob Fisher speaks to the firm's CEO and Partner Sheela Maini Søgaard in order to uncover the business plan behind the BIG phenomenon.

BIG may be the most appropriately named firm on the planet.

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) seems to have an outsized impact in all it does. The Copenhagen-based design firm turns conventions and assumptions upside down and combines contrasting possibilities in outrageously bold, imaginative and playful ways. Projects like Via at West 57th Street in New York City and the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen are prime examples: the first a pyramid-shaped apartment building that defies the forest of rectangular towers around it, and the second a power plant that doubles as a smoke ring-blowing ski slope.

The world has taken note. Whether in praise or criticism, the architectural, cultural and business media tend to strike a heroic tone when describing the firm’s work: radical, ambitious, bold, confident. In short…BIG.

Danish National Maritime Museum, Helsingør. Image © Rasmus Hjortshøj Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium, Hellerup. Image © Jens Lindhe 8 House, Copenhagen. Image © Dragor Luftfoto Two World Trade Center in New York. Image © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG +9

OMA and Ole Scheeren's Interlace Named World Building of the Year 2015

13:01 - 6 November, 2015
World Building of the Year Winner: The Interlace (Singapore) / OMA and Ole Scheeren. Image © Iwan Baan
World Building of the Year Winner: The Interlace (Singapore) / OMA and Ole Scheeren. Image © Iwan Baan

OMA and Buro Ole Scheeren's vertical village in Singapore, The Interlace has been named the World Building of the Year 2015 at culmination of the World Architecture Festival (WAF). Celebrated for being "an example of bold, contemporary architectural thinking," as WAF Director Paul Finch described, the project is eighth building to ever win the illustrious award. It is considered to be a "radical new approach to contemporary living in a tropical environment."

Winners of the year's Future Project, Landscape, Small Project and Color Prize awards were also announced. Read on to see the who won with comments from the jury. 

Florida 3.0: Reinventing our Future

01:30 - 9 October, 2015
Florida 3.0: Reinventing our Future
Florida 3.0: Reinventing our Future

Florida 3.0: Reinventing our Future presents new urban possibilities in response to climate change framed through the perspective of five priorities: Infrastructure, Mobility, Hydro-Ecosystems, The Resilient City, and The New Economy.Florida 3.0 proposes an integrated approach to these priorities and challenges inaction by visualizing the ways we could thrive in a watery future. The exhibition brings together the research conducted through the Consortium for Hydro-generated Urbanism (CHU) at the University of Florida that is focused on the history and future of Florida’s water based settlements and hydro-environments within the broader context of new paradigms for the evolution of cities on water from around the world.

Is There a European Identity in Architecture?

09:30 - 7 October, 2015

“There is a certain tradition, history, and continuity that you can read in European architecture”
- Spela Videcnik, OFIS arhitekti

A product of context and history, Europe has influenced the architecture world in a way that perhaps no other continent has. The continent is the topic of the latest video from the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, produced in relation to their European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, in which prize-nominated architects from 16 European cities are interviewed on what they believe brings them together, and what makes them different.

As a US citizen who has previously lived in Europe for two years, I was struck by the essential question prompted by the video: “Is there a European identity in architecture?” And if so, what exactly is it? To try to answer this question, I sat down with ArchDaily’s managing editor Rory Stott - a Brit - to debate differing perspectives.

2015 Prize Winner - Philharmonic Hall Szczecin / Barozzi / Veiga. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Gym Hall TNW / NL Architects. Image © Luuk Kramer Metropol Parasol / J. Mayer H + Arup. Image © Javier Orive 2013 Prize Winner - Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre / Henning Larsen Architects & Batteriid Architects. Image Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects +6

Arquitectonica Wins Competition to Design Mixed Use Complex in Luxembourg

06:00 - 5 October, 2015
Courtesy of Arquitectonica
Courtesy of Arquitectonica

The government of Luxembourg has announced that Miami-based firm Arquitectonica has won the competition to design a major mixed-use project in Luxembourg City. Set in the new district of Kirchberg in Luxembourg, the 40,000 square meter complex design by Arquitectonica won the bid over notable names in architecture like Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Massimiliano Fuksas, and Neutelings Riedijk Architects.

ArchDaily Readers on the Role of Crowdfunding in Architecture

08:30 - 3 October, 2015
Courtesy of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Courtesy of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Over time, people have found many different ways to fund the construction of a building. Museums for example have long benefited from the support of deep-pocketed patrons, with The Broad Museum, a permanent public home for the renowned contemporary art collection of philanthropists Edythe and Eli Broad, being the newest example in a long history of such practices. However in our ever-more-connected world - and against a backdrop of reduced government support for creative endeavors - the onus of funding seems to be shifting once again, away from the individual and towards the crowd.

As crowdfunding makes strides in all realms of innovative enterprise, including architecture, we wanted to hear from our readers about what they thought of this new opportunity for a publicly held stake in what has historically been the realm of singular, well-heeled organizations in the form of the state or private capital. Writing about the history and current trajectories of public funding, alongside a more pointed discussion of BIG’s Kickstarter for “the world’s first steam ring generator,” we posed the question: does public funding have a place in architecture, and if so, is there a line that should be drawn?

Read on for some of the best replies.

Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels

05:30 - 2 October, 2015
©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (born 2 October 1974) is often cited as one of the most inspirational architects of our time. At an age when many architects are just beginning to establish themselves in professional practice, Ingels has already won numerous competitions and achieved a level of critical acclaim (and fame) that is rare for new names in the industry. His work embodies a rare optimism that is simultaneously playful, practical, and immediately accessible.

See BIG’s W57 Approach Completion in this Stunning Aerial Video

16:00 - 13 September, 2015

BIG’s first foray into North America, the West 57th Street (W57) Building in New York is approaching completion. After initial releases of renderings, and photographs taken two months after topping out, a new video has surfaced, exhibiting the gradual realization of the firm’s vision. This 32-story tower with 709 apartment units combines a courtyard block and a skyscraper, affectionately dubbed a “courtscraper” by its designer. Reacting to an unorthodox, thin plot of land, the building generates its geometry from a combination of providing natural light, views to the Hudson River and maximizing living space for residents. From one angle, its almost pyramidal structure is clear, and from another, it appears to be glass spire. See the most recent developments in this new video.

Bjarke Ingels Talks Tech, Entrepreneurship and Modernism in this Podcast with Prehype

08:00 - 10 September, 2015
The Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, exemplary of Bjarke Ingels' entrepreneurial approach to architecture. Image © Iwan Baan
The Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, exemplary of Bjarke Ingels' entrepreneurial approach to architecture. Image © Iwan Baan

Prehype, a venture development firm, has released its latest in a series of podcasts by partner Henrik Werdelin, featuring Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Having worked with Prehype on investments into tech development, Bjarke Ingels discusses his experiences and perspectives on the industry, drawing parallels between entrepreneurship, tech development and architecture.