Designs Unveiled for London’s Natural History Museum Urban Redevelopment

Team 1. Image Courtesy of

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

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BIG has unveiled new plans for the Kimball Art Center in Park City, 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 developer Novawest was determined to build BIG’s 420-foot observation tower in downtown Phoenix 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 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 BIG 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

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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 ©

Miami Beach 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 Miami 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 , 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 Studio HH with SO-IL (United States); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG, ) 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 , Germany, 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:

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 . 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’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, Denmark, 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

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(BIG)’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…