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:

BIG Selected to Design Human Body Museum in France

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BIG has been announced as the winner of an international design competition for the new Cité du Corps Humain (Museum of the Human Body) in Montpellier. Rooted in the city’s long medical history and world renowned medical school, which dates back to the 10th century, the 7,800 sqm museum will “explore the human body from an artistic, scientific and societal approach through cultural activities, interactive exhibitions, performances and workshops.”

Its design, orchestrated by eight undulating forms which “weave together” to create an underlying continuous space, will serve as a mediator between nature and city – Charpak Park and the Montpellier city hall. Stunning views, access to daylight and critical internal connections will all be revealed by the Museum’s shifting form.

Read on for more from the architect…

BIG Set to Build Blåvand Bunker Museum

Blåvand Bunker Museum. Image © BIG

BIG’s Blåvand Bunker Museum has secured the necessary funds to move forward. Set to transform a former German WWII bunker carved into the banks of Blåvand, , the 2,500 square meter museum will include four independent institutions: a bunker museum, an amber museum, a history museum and a special exhibitions gallery.

“Contrary to the existing closed concrete lump, the new museum will, in its architecture, function as an open heart integrated into the landscape,” described. “The museum is in every way the opposite of the militant history with its more closed, dark and heavy features.”

Video / Superflex: A Cool Urban Space

“Let’s meet on the red square.” The artists behind Superkilen explain how this colorful wedge shaped public park in , Denmark, was a collaboration based on extreme civic participation.

A public park in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, Denmark, Superkilen was developed by artists’ group Superflex in collaboration with architectural firms Bjarke Ingels Group () and Topotek1. The park was officially opened in June 2012.

In this interview two members of Superflex, Jakob Fenger and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, tell us about the ideas behind the project, and how it came about as an extreme example of citizen inclusion and collaboration: “We found it interesting to look at this very diverse group of people in regard to culture, social standing, nationality, etc., and then see it as a rich and significant foundation for impacting the area these people live in.”

More after the break.

BIG’s Beach + Howe Tower Wins Approval in Vancouver

© Luxigon

Group ()’s 700,000 square foot Beach + Howe development has been approved by the Vancouver City Council. Though concerns still remain regarding the height of the 52-story tower – which is intended to become the city’s fourth tallest building – an overwhelming majority of the council and public seems to be enthusiastic about the project. 

“It meets the test at every respect — gorgeous architecture, turning a dead space into a vibrant public space with animation and job space. The housing is diverse and much needed… People have used the word iconic – I think it’s remarkable design to combine so many elements on a tough site,” stated Mayor Gregor Robertson before the vote. “It’s an extraordinary project that deserves strong council support.”

Danish National Maritime Museum / BIG by George Messaritakis

© George Messaritakis

Some days ago we featured BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum, the 17,500 sqm below ground museum. We now have more photos taken by photographer George Messaritakis. You can check them all after the break.

BIG’s David Zahle Talks Sustainability

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David Zahle, a partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Lead Architect on the recently opened Danish National Maritime Museum, spoke to Mies. UK earlier this year. The practice, widely known for its creative approach to the issue of sustainability (sustainability should be experienced rather than hidden), recently won an an international competition to design a new Waste-to-Energy plant in Copenhagen.

Read more and watch the interview after the break…

Danish National Maritime Museum / BIG

© Rasmus Hjortshøj

Architects: BIG
Location: Helsingor,
Architect In Charge: , David Zahle
Project Leader : David Zahle
Area: 17,500 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Rasmus Hjortshøj, Thijs Wolzak, Luca Santiago Mora

BIG Selected to Design Mixed-Use Complex in San Francisco

Section Model. Image ©

In an effort to reestablish Mid-Market as an arts district in , developer Joy Ou has commissioned BIG to design a mixed-use arts, housing and hotel complex on 950 Market St. As the San Francisco Business Times reports, Group I is collaborating with the Thacher family and the nonprofit 950 Center for Art & Education to develop the project, which could potentially include a 250-room hotel, 316 residential units, a 75,000-square-foot arts complex, and 15,000 square feet of retail. The project will be BIG’s first in the Bay Area.

Round-Up: The Towers of BIG

Courtesy of BIG. ImageVancouver Tower

Today’s been shaping up to be quite the day for . Not only does the BIG founder turn 39 today, but he was just announced as a finalist for the second annual FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards for his work on the award-winning urban park Superkilen. For more Bjarke to brighten up your day, we’ve decided to round-up the soaring, twisting and turning towers that BIG has waiting in store for us: from a precariously spiraling observation tower planned for downtown Phoenix, Arizona; to the two high-rise residential towers BIG has in the works for Miami – the seemingly “ruptured” Marina Lofts and the twisting twins of The Grove at Grand Bay; to the headlines-making, mixed-use towers planned for Vancouver and Calgary. Enjoy!

BIG Designs Pier 6 Viewing Platform for Brooklyn’s Waterfront

Courtesy of

Following the news that Studio V Architecture has been commissioned to convert the 19th century Empire Stores, next to Brooklyn Bridge, into 380,000 square-feet of office, restaurant and commercial space,  Group (BIG) has unveiled designs for “a flowering meadow with seasonal grasses, a sprawling field and a triangular wooden viewing platform” close by.

Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland Shortlisted Proposal / BIG

© BIG

As we announced last week, BIG+WHR+ has been selected as one of three design teams to participate in the second phase of the design competition for Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, a 124,000 square meter acute hospital in Hillerød, north of . BIG’s proposal for the new hospital, serving over 300,000 people, seeks to “preserve the site’s existing natural features while optimizing the efficient hospital machine.”

Read on for more from the architect’s description…

BIG Shortlisted In Competition to Design Denmark’s Largest Hospital

© BIG

UPDATE: All three shortlisted teams have been announced. Check out there proposals here

BIG, WHR and Arup have been shortlisted alongside two other design teams to participate in the second phase of the design competition for what will be ’s largest hospital. The 124,000 square meter facility, known as the Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, is planned to be built north of Copenhagen.

According to the jury, “BIG’s ideas, together with the large green spaces and green surfaces, mean that we really can talk about a healing hospital in the best possible interpretation of the concept.”

We will keep you updated as details of the other shortlisted teams emerge.

Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium / BIG

© Jens Lindhe

Architects: BIG
Location: 2900 , Denmark
Creative Director: Bjarke Ingels
Partner In Charge: Finn Nørkjær
Project Leader: Ole Schrøder (Concept), Ole Elkjær (Construction)
Project Architect: Frederik Lyng
Project Team: Narisara Ladawal Schröder, Henrick Poulsen, Dennis Rasmussen, Jeppe Ecklon, Rune Hansen, Riccardo Mariano, Christian Alvare Gomez, Xu Li, Jakob Lange, Thomas Juul-Jensen
Area: 1100.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jens Lindhe

OMA Wins Miami Beach Convention Center

Courtesy of OMA

After months of competition, debate, and quite a fair share of controversy (from the Miami politiicans that is), OMA and South Beach ACE have beaten to win the Convention Center masterplan.

Despite the last-ditch efforts of the Miami politicians to keep the drama going (including a presentation on the supposed superiority of the BIG plan, due to time-sensitivity and cost-efficiency) and even the surprising revelation that negotiations with the teams had been taped (we assume to monitor corruption, as accusations of back-handed deals have haunted the vote), the Miami Commissioners approved the South Beach ACE team over the Portman-CMC team (with BIG) in a five to two vote.

The 52 acre mixed-used development will not only include an iconic new convention center and hotel, but will revitalize this underutilized area of Miami Beach with a network of undulating, green spaces that integrate into Miami’s urban fabric. As OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, Shohei Shigematsu, and Rem Koolhaas said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be chosen to develop one of the most significant urban districts in the US. Our design will reintegrate Miami’s vital convention center with its neighbors, offering new facilities as well as amplifying the character of this exciting city.”

Last month we interviewed Shohei Shigematsu about the Miami Project. Check out that interview, as well as a short video of the proposal itself, after the break…

BIG Unveils ‘Telus Sky’ Tower in Calgary

Courtesy of

In an attempt to transform ’s corporate-centric downtown into a walkable, dynamic community, TELUS has commissioned BIG to design a mixed-use skyscraper in the heart of the Canadian city. Known as TELUS Sky, the 750,000 square foot tower is designed to “seamlessly accommodate the transformation from working to living as the tower takes off from the ground to reach the sky.”

Fate Uncertain for Miami Beach Convention Center

Courtesy of OMA (above), BIG (below)

OMA, BIG and their partnering developers have until later today to decide whether they want to alter their plans for the or walk away from the competition entirely.

The city was supposed to choose between OMA’s or BIG’s proposals, which have been in the pipeline for months, in the next few weeks. However, according to the World Property Channel, the city has now – in a disappointing turn of events – decided that the $1.1 billion project should be radically downsized by removing the residential units and cutting down retail space.

It’s a reversal that will, in the words of Kevin Brass in his must-read opinion piece, remove ”the opportunity for creativity and vision. Taking out the ambition won’t make it a better project, only a smaller project. is providing a textbook example of how not to create a great urban space.”

Story via World Property Channel

The Prince: Bjarke Ingels’s Social Conspiracy

© DAC / Jakob Galtt

A version of this essay was originally published in Thresholds 40: “Socio-” (2012)

Few architects working today attract as much public acclaim and disciplinary head-scratching as Bjarke Ingels. Having recently arrived in New York, this self-proclaimed futurist is undertaking his own form of Manifest Destiny, reminding American architects how to act in their own country.

While his practice is often branded by the architectural establishment as naïve and opportunistic, such criticism is too quick to conflate Ingels’s outwardly optimistic persona with the brash formal agenda it enables. In the current economic climate, there are any number of gifted purveyors of form languishing in . Despite this, Ingels has somehow managed to get away with proposing a pyramidal perimeter block in midtown New York, a looped pier in St. Petersburg Florida, and an art center in Park City, Utah massed as torqued log cabin while maintaining a straight face. Why, then, is his mode of operation considered unsophisticated by so many within the discipline?

Clearly, Ingels has figured something out about harnessing and transforming “the social” that American architects would do well to identify. So, in the manner of any good conspiracy theorist in search for the hidden method, let’s go to the chalkboard, or rather, the diagram…