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A+U 548: BIG + SMALL

14:00 - 9 May, 2016
A+U 548: BIG + SMALL, Courtesy of Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.
Courtesy of Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

From the Publisher. The May 2016 issue of a+u is a special issue dedicated to recent works by BIGBjarke Ingels Group.

The team is engaged with projects both large and small in locations all over the world. The issue reflects that diversity, with the first half devoted to the large, urban-scale works for which the practice is best known, and the second half devoted to smaller works, including residences and a pavilion. Including those nearing completion, 20 of the 22 projects introduced here are currently underway. Over the next few years, we will see many more of their works finished.

The Top Five Installations of Salone del Mobile 2016

16:45 - 22 April, 2016
The Top Five Installations of Salone del Mobile 2016, “Invisible Borders” / MAD Architects. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
“Invisible Borders” / MAD Architects. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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.

Gallery: BIG's VIA 57WEST Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

16:00 - 7 April, 2016
VIA 57WEST / BIG. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
VIA 57WEST / BIG. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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.

For more on BIG's courtscraper and the firm's boundary-pushing design philosophy, check out this New York Times video or this gallery of under-construction photos

BIG Redskins Stadium Designed for More Than Just Football

12:00 - 14 March, 2016
BIG Redskins Stadium Designed for More Than Just Football, Courtesy of Redskins an CBS News
Courtesy of Redskins an CBS News

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.”

5 Major Practices Shortlisted to Expand Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery

12:00 - 3 March, 2016
5 Major Practices Shortlisted to Expand Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery, © Flickr CC User Nick Stanley
© Flickr CC User Nick Stanley

Five major firms have been shortlisted for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's $80 million expansion in Buffalo, New York. Chosen for their "design intellect" and ability to collaborate, the competing firms will envision ways to expand the gallery's exhibition space and create a new public urban area that maximizes the site's potential, as the Albright-Knox campus is located on the edge of Delaware Park - one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s major works.

“The selection of the architects reflects that malleability, because none of them has a fingerprint style,” Albright-Knox director Janne Sirén said. “All of them, almost, specialize in an ability to build for a given context.”

The five practices include:

BIG to Design Champs-Élysées Flagship for Galeries Lafayette

11:50 - 10 February, 2016
BIG to Design Champs-Élysées Flagship for Galeries Lafayette, Inside the future Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées. Image © Galeries Lafayette
Inside the future Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées. Image © Galeries Lafayette

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 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?

BIG Expected to Design New Redskins Stadium

11:45 - 7 January, 2016
BIG Expected to Design New Redskins Stadium, 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

This SOM Archive Video Offers a Look Back at the Early Days of 3D Visualization

09:30 - 10 December, 2015

Until recently, the only options for providing clients and the public with visualizations of what a prospective building would look like were almost exclusively hand drawn renderings, or scale models built by hand. Both of these practices are still in use today, but now there is a much wider range of options with 3D modeling software providing the bulk of renderings, the growing presence of 3D printing, and even video fly-throughs with special effects that rival the latest Hollywood action movie. This 16mm film created by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in 1984, and digitized by illustrator Peter Little, reminded us of what the early days of digital 3D modeling looked like.

ArchDaily Readers on the Role of Crowdfunding in Architecture

08:30 - 3 October, 2015
ArchDaily Readers on the Role of Crowdfunding in Architecture, 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.

The BIG Steam-Ring Kickstarter: Is There a Limit to What Should Be Crowdfunded?

09:30 - 19 August, 2015

Update: The Kickstarter campaign launched by BIG to fund the development of their steam ring generator reached its goal of $15,000 in less than a week after it was launched. As of today (24th August) the campaign total stands just short of $25,000, with 19 days still to go.

BIG has launched a Kickstarter campaign, aiming to fund the ongoing research and prototyping of the "steam ring generator" designed to crown the firm's Waste-to-Energy power plant in Copenhagen. The campaign was announced on Friday and picked up a lot of steam (pun intended) in the design press - but at ArchDaily we were hesitant to publish news of the campaign because, in short, it led us into a minefield of questions about the role of invention, public engagement, and money in architecture.

Of course, BIG are far from the first to attempt to crowdfund an architectural project. Previous projects however have generally focused on otherwise-unfundable proposals for the public good, barely-sane moonshots or complex investment structures which depending on your viewpoint may or may not even count as crowdfunding. BIG are perhaps the first example of an established architectural firm attempting to crowdfund the design of a project that is already half-built, causing some people - ArchDaily staff included - to ask: "Why wasn't this money included in the project's budget?"

How Bjarke Ingels is Reshaping New York City's Architecture

14:34 - 27 July, 2015

Bjarke Ingels has become know for his “promiscuous hybrids" that are reshaping skylines worldwide. Now, after news of BIG's redesign of the 2 World Trade Center, Ingels is being credited for single-handedly transforming New York City's architecture. At the New York Times' Cities of Tomorrow conference last week, architecture critic Michael Kimmelman sat down with the 40-year-old Danish architect to discuss just how BIG is changing New York

VIA 57 West: Challenging Form and Urban Development in Manhattan

18:00 - 2 July, 2015
VIA 57 West: Challenging Form and Urban Development in Manhattan, Image © Matthew Carbone
Image © Matthew Carbone

Join the CTBUH New York City Chapter for a discussion on the VIA 57 West building. Guest speakers Bjarke Ingels (BIG), Aine Brazil (Thornton Tomasetti), and Jeff Crompton (Hunter Roberts) will discuss the architecture, engineering and the construction process behind this unique structure. VIA stands tall at 467 feet and is one of the most architecturally distinctive buildings constructed in New York City. The building provides a dramatic visual gateway to Manhattan’s skyline along the Hudson River. VIA is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise development. The building’s unique shape combines the advantages of both: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building providing density, a sense of intimacy, and expansive views. The form of the building shifts depending on the viewer’s vantage point. While appearing like a pyramid from the West Side Highway, it turns into a dramatic glass spire when seen from West 58th Street.

Insiders Tip BIG to Redesign Foster + Partners' World Trade Center 2 Tower

13:30 - 29 April, 2015
Insiders Tip BIG to Redesign Foster + Partners' World Trade Center 2 Tower , Orignial WTC scheme; Foster + Partners' WTC2 seen second tower from left. Image © Silverstein Properties
Orignial WTC scheme; Foster + Partners' WTC2 seen second tower from left. Image © Silverstein Properties

A new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that BIG may replace Foster + Partners to realize the World Trade Center 2 (WTC2) tower - the final tower planned to be built on Ground Zero. The 79-story tower, originally designed in 2006, was stalled due to the economic crash of 2008. 

According to the report, 21st Century Fox and News Corp have "tipped" BIG to redesign the tower should they strike an agreement with project backers Silverstein Properties and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to move into the tower. If the deal goes through, the two companies would occupy nearly half of the building - enough to kickstart development. 

BIG-led Webinar to Discuss the Manhattan “Dry Line”

09:00 - 8 April, 2015
BIG-led Webinar to Discuss the Manhattan “Dry Line”, Courtesy of
Courtesy of

One of the six winners of the Rebuild by Design competition, Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) “Dry Line” project aims to protect Manhattan from future storms like Hurricane Sandy by creating a protective barrier around lower Manhattan. The barrier will be formed by transforming underused waterfront areas into public parks and amenities. Now, you can learn more about the vision behind the project and how it was developed in a webinar led by Jeremy Alain Siegel, the director of the BIG Rebuild by Design team and head of the subsequent East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. The webinar will take place on Friday, June 12. Learn more and sign-up on Performance.Network

First Look Inside BIG's W57 Manhattan Pyramid

17:30 - 30 March, 2015
First Look Inside BIG's W57 Manhattan Pyramid, South Facade. Image © Field Condition
South Facade. Image © Field Condition

Field Condition has published a photographic tour through BIG’s first New York project, two months after W57 topped out. A “courtscraper,” as the Danish practice affectionately calls it, the 32-story, 709-unit tower is a hybrid of the European courtyard block and New York City skyscraper. It’s tetrahedral shape, “born from logic,” is designed to provide every resident in the building's North Tower to have views of the Hudson River, while allowing sunlight deep into the building's interior space. View the project from within, after the break. 

Southeast corner of W57 (left) and the Helena (right) from West 57th Street. Image © Field Condition © Field Condition Looking South from the peak structure. Image © Field Condition Northeast corner from West 58th Street. Image © Field Condition +7

Google Taps BIG and Heatherwick to Design New California Headquarters

11:30 - 25 February, 2015
Google Taps BIG and Heatherwick to Design New California Headquarters , Image: Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick
Image: Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick

The City of Mountain View is expected to receive a massive proposal from the city’s largest employer; reports confirm that Google has enlisted Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio to design its new California headquarters. With the few details released, it is unclear if the proposal plans to update the company’s existing 3.1 million-square-foot Googleplex or replace it. However, as the New York Times reports, the proposal will boast a “series of canopy-like buildings” on a campus organized around bicycle and pedestrian paths.

This means Google is now joining a list of powerful corporations who have enlisted world-renowned architects to design their California headquarters, including Apple’s Foster + Partners-designed “spaceship” and Facebook’s Gehry-Esque 10-acre “room.” If approved, Google will shift its focus on new housing, ensuring there is enough living space within Mountain View to accommodate its growing workforce (a topic of concern for many residents).

The proposal will be submitted to the city this Friday. Take a look at the company’s existing Mountain View headquarters, after the break. 

VIDEO: Bjarke Ingels Walks Us Through The Design of Vancouver House

00:00 - 11 February, 2015

Taking the urban high-rise “one step further,” BIG’s Vancouver House (formerly known as the Beach and Howe Tower) is a gesamtkunstwerk - total work of art. Detailed to the smallest scale, the grand scheme makes use of a difficult site trisected by the Granville overpass and burdened by setbacks, transforming it into a “lively village” at the city’s gateway.

Learn how Bjarke Ingels plans to revolutionize urban living by watching the video above.