BIG Update: Planning Commission approves West 57th

After months of an “arduous” public reviewing process, ’s eye-catching West 57th apartment building in Manhattan has been approved by the City Planning Commission. The atypical design quickly gained international attention with its abruptly sloped, tetrahedral shape that rises from three stories to thirty-eight stories on an awkwardly sized single block site. Cleverly titled W57, the unique project was “born of logic”, as Magazine’s Justin Davidson would describe. It features a massive, football-sized courtyard with stunning Hudson River views and outdoor terraces for all 753 residents, along with a vibrant street life and close proximity to the Hudson River Park.

“Our approval will facilitate development of a significant new building with a distinctive pyramid-like shaped design and thoughtful site plan that integrates the full block site into the evolving residential, institutional, and commercial neighborhood surrounding it,” stated City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden before voting in favor of the project.

Find out what it took to get W57 passed, after the break…

Phoenix Observation Tower / BIG

Courtesy of

Architects: BIG
Location: Phoenix, AZ,
Architects In Charge: Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Iannis Kandyliaris
Project Team: Thomas Fagan, Aaron Hales, Ola Hariri, Dennis Harvey, Beat Schenk
Collaborators: MKA (structure), Atelier10 (sustainability), Gensler (local architect), TenEyck (landscape)
Client: Novawest
Area: 70,000 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of BIG

BIG and OMA Neck-to-Neck For Miami Beach Convention Center

Courtesy of Curbed

High profile architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels) and OMA (Rem Koolhaas) are in a close battle to win the redevelopment competition for the design of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Recently put on hold by a corruption probe and procedural concerns, Miami Beach’s ambitious plans to create a 52-acre convention center district are again progressing toward a crucial vote by elected officials. The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by interim City Manager Kathie Brooks, who will issue her own recommendation to city commissioners. Commissioners could vote on the project and development teams Dec. 12. More information after the break.

Superkilen / Topotek 1 + BIG + Superflex

© Iwan Baan

Architects: Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex
Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Copenhagen Municipality, Realdania
Budget: 11 MIO USD
Area: 30,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Hasse Ferrold, Jens Lindhe, Maria da Schio, Torben Eskerod, Mike Magnussen

AD Round Up: BIG Part II

© Jens Lindhe


For today’s Round Up, we bring you the second part of previously featured projects by one of our favorite studios, BIG. Take this opportunity to check again the unique mixed-use 8-House in Copenhagen. Also you can see West 57th the BIG proposal for the awkwardly shaped large site at West Side Highway and 57th Street in .Check out the colorful Superkilen a collaboration between BIG and  and the amazing proposal for National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan. Finally, revisit one of 2010 AD Building of the year, the incredible Denmark Pavilion in Shanghai Expo.

The Katerva Awards – Open for Nominations

Process-Zero, a Net-Zero Retrofit of a Government Building in Los Angeles, originally built in 1965. Courtesy of HOK and Vanderweil

Katerva isn’t looking for ideas that will improve the world in small increments. We are looking for paradigm-busting ideas. Our Award winners don’t simply move the needle when it comes to efficiency, lifestyle or consumption; they change the game entirely. This is a celebration of radical innovation and an acceleration of much needed change.

The Katerva Awards, the “Nobel Prize” of Sustainability, are once again looking for nominations that will change our world as we know it.

Last year’s winner in Urban Design was the Freshkills Park in , which converted a landfill/marsh into a beautiful, productive landscape. Runners-up included BIG’s Waste-to-Energy Ski Resort, Architecture 2030 (a non-profit working to make all buildings Net-Zero by 2030), Hylozoic Ground (a project of regenerative, responsive architecture), and a retrofit to make a 1965 Government building Net-Zero.

Do you, or someone you know, have a radically innovative design worthy of recognition? Urban Agripuncture, a project we featured recently here at ArchDaily, has already been nominated – and yours could be next.

Courtesy of BIG

According to the Katerva site, nominees must have been launched during the last two calendar years. They will then be chosen based on feasibility, scalability (a.k.a potential to work at the global level), originality, and impact. Urban Design projects should pay particular attention to “improving the quality and impact of high density populations.”

Nominations can be made here.

MÉCA – Maison de l’Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine / BIG

Courtesy of

Team BIG+FREAKS freearchitects, dUCKS scéno, Khephren Ingénierie, VPEAS, ALTO Ingénierie, Vincent Hedont, PBNL, Mryk & Moriceau, Ph.A wins the competition to design a new 12 000 m2 cultural center on the riverfront of , merging three cultural institutions into one single building. More images and complete press release after the break.

“My Playground: A Film about Movement in Urban Space” Documentary

A couple of years ago, we mentioned an interesting documentary about Parkour, and how such contemporary discipline is able to make reading the urban space in a different way.

The film was recorded mainly in , using locations such as the Mountain Dwellings designed by BIG. It also includes some conversations with Bjarke Ingels, discussing about his understanding of urban space. It has been selected as part of the films program of the RIBA 2012. If you’re in London, you will have the chance to watch it next June 26th.

More info after the break

Going Viral + The ArchDaily Story

Going Viral at the Center for Architecture © ArchDaily


Last night, dozens packed into the Center for Architecture to join the conversation among some of the most influential in our field.   With the energy levels high, panelists  of BIGToru Hasegawa and Mark Collins of Morpholio and  Cloud Lab Columbia University GSAPP,  and ArchDaily founders David Basulto and , shared insight into the impact social media and technology have on our profession and the way in which we design.  While the panelists all share a background in design, their differences in applying technology to their particular niche  – whether to aid the design process, to collect and redistribute data, or to share information and bring awareness  -  fueled a dynamic dialogue that kept the crowd engaged and informed way past the closing hours of the Center for Architecture.

Read on for the story behind ArchDaily, and, if you happened to catch the event, let us know in the comments below.

The Red Line / BIG

Courtesy of BIG

The invited design contest calls for a strong architectural master plan, comprising residential, commercial and cultural programme, forming a new urban area around the existing Ratina sports stadium in one of the most rapidly developing regions in . BIG is selected as a winner of the competition by Finnish developers Rakennustomisto Pohjola & YH-Länsi, among proposals from Swedish Wingårdhs, German Behnisch Partner and Finnish JKMM.

BIG’s proposal, The Red Line, seeks to uncover the urban potential of the 50 000 m2 site located on the Ratinanniemi peninsula, which serves as an important link between City Centre and the nature area of Eteläpuisto Park. BIG’s design embraces and builds upon the existing qualities of the site which is naturally divided into three distinct zones, each holding a unique character. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Cross # Towers / BIG

Courtesy of

Danish architects BIG have just shared with us the Cross # Towers, their latest project in . BIG’s residential towers in the Yongsan International Business District revitalize the Han riverfront into a new commercial and residential center for the citizens of . More images and information after the break.

Beach and Howe Mixed-Use Tower / BIG

Courtesy of

Contributing to the skyline, the 490-foot-tall Beach and Howe mixed-use tower by BIG, Westbank, Dialog, Cobalt, PFS, Buro Happold, Glotman Simpson, and local architect James Cheng marks the entry point to downtown, forming a welcoming gateway to the city, while adding another unique structure. BIG’s proposal, named after its location on the corner of Howe & Beach next to the Granville Street Bridge in downtown Vancouver, calls for 600 residential units occupying the 49-story tower, which would become one of the city’s fourth tallest buildings. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Video: Bjarke Ingels, BIG


Danish architect of -based group BIG tells Crane.tv that yes is more. His design philosophy, which he outlines in his latest graphic book, Yes is More, states that incorporating input from all elements of society, both elite and popular, allows the extraordinary to shine through in the everyday.

BIG ♥ NYC

Together, BIG + Times Square Alliance + Flatcut + Local Projects and Zumtobel celebrates with a BIG red pulsating heart in the middle of Times Square, . The 10-foot-tall heart pulsates as the 400 transparent, LED lit, acrylic tubes sway in the wind. Once people touch the heart-shaped sensor, the light grows brighter and the pulse beats faster. Joining hands with more people will increase the intensity of the heart.

“The heart reflects what Times Square is made of: people and light – the more people, the stronger the light,” Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Partner, BIG.

See the love with the video above and more images after the break.

BIG wins competition for the new Kimball Art Center in Park City

©

BIG has just been announced as the winner of the competition for the new Kimball Art Center in , Utah. The non-profit community center for the visual arts, which started in 1976, invites people to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building (dated from 1929) was in need of restoration and an addition that could allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.

The competition’s shortlist included some of the (in my opinion) best firms in the US these days: BIG (actually Danish, but with an office in NY, which in a way “landed” in the US with several ongoing projects), Brooks + ScarpaSparano + Mooney ArchitectureTod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD

You can check BIG’s proposal previously featured at ArchDaily, a project that stood out not only in formal aspects, but because of its connection with the history that the Kimball Art Center has represented.

Video: Bjarke Ingels featured as a CNN “Next Lister”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta of ’s “The Next List” features the bold and innovative ideas of Bjarke Ingels, focusing on the West 57th project that is transforming Manhattan skyline. Ingels states, “In the big picture, architecture is the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings fit the way we want to live our lives.” The video also features comments from Robert A. M. Stern, Dean at Yale School of Architecture, and Douglas Durst, the developer of West 57th. Check it out!

Reference: CNN

Pier+ / AECOM and BIG

Pier Park + Boardwalk - Courtesy of AECOM

A team led by AECOM and New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is one of five shortlisted teams invited to participate in an international design competition to renovate and reactivate ’s landmark Navy Pier. This is a once-in-a-century opportunity that will redefine the character and focus of ’s waterfront. It is part of an ambitious effort to create a new Navy Pier for the 21st century, and in doing so, to redefine what the pier and the waterfront means to the city.

Unveiled to the public on January 31, 2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the AECOM-BIG design vision aims to “re-colonize the people’s pier,” by maximizing opportunity through a holistic approach. The result is Pier+, a vibrant urban destination that creates a new amenity shared by all while making a positive and progressive statement about Chicago to the world.

Continue reading for more!

Kimball Art Center Shortlist

Proposal - Courtesy of Group

In 1976, art enthusiast Bill Kimball transformed the 1929 Kimball Bros automotive garage into a non-profit community center for the visual arts, now known as the Kimball Art Center. Located in the heart of downtown Park City, Utah, the non-profit center serves as a gathering place for individuals to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building is in need of restoration and an addition that will allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.

BIG, Brooks + Scarpa, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD are the five architects selected to submit final proposals for the transformation of the Kimball Art Center.

Continue after the break to watch each firm’s introductory presentation.