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BIG: The Latest Architecture and News

Landscape Architects Lead Bhutan’s Mindfulness City

“The Mindfulness City will be a sustainable city. To be mindful is to be aware — to perform best,” said Giulia Frittoli, partner and head of landscape at BIG. The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked Buddhist country in the eastern Himalayas, nestled between China and India. It covers 14,000 square miles and has a population of nearly 800,000.

The Royal Office of Bhutan asked BIG, Arup, and Cistri to develop a plan for a new Mindfulness City in Gelephu in southern Bhutan, near the border with India. The city will span 386 square miles and include a new international airport, railway connections, hydroelectric dam, university, spiritual center, and public spaces.

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Does Size Really Matter? Debunking the Obsession with Super Tall Buildings

The future Saudi tower designed by Foster + Partners is expected to reach a staggering height of two kilometers. This multibillion-dollar project, towering twice as high as the current record holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, will dominate the skyline of Riyadh, accommodating offices, residences, and entertainment spaces. It forms part of a development program led by Saudi Arabia, driven by the vision of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to establish the country's presence through ambitious, large-scale projects. While these super-tall towers symbolize visibility and global recognition, they face criticism for their extravagant construction costs and environmental impact.

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BIG and A+ Architects Reveal Design for Mass Timber Transport Hub in France

Bjarke Ingels Group and A+ Architects have revealed the design for the 12,000-square-meter Marengo Multimodal Transport Hub in Toulouse, France. The project will expand the functionality of the city’s central station, Gare Matabiau, strengthening the area’s public transport networks by creating a hub for bus, railway, and metro, all connected under one roof. The design of the new hub takes cues from the city’s distinctive roofscape and the traditional use of the rose-colored “foraine” brick, employing a mass timber structure and low-carbon concrete to ensure a sustainable intervention adapted to its environment. The Hub is set to begin construction in 2026.

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ICON Unveils Groundbreaking Construction Innovations at SXSW: Revolutionizing Building with Robotics, AI, and Sustainable Materials

Pioneering advanced construction and large-scale 3D Printing, ICON was selected as ArchDaily’s Best New Practices of 2021 due to its boundary-breaking technology that is advancing capability in the built environment. The Texas-based startup has just unveiled various toolkits and products to modernize construction processes further. Dubbed “Domus Ex Machina,” the event showcased a range of innovations, such as an AI Architect created for home design and construction, a digital library containing over 60 pre-designed home plans, a new eco-friendly building material, and a robotic printed facilitating multi-story construction. Together, these developments aim to offer a quicker, more environmentally friendly way to build high-quality, affordable housing globally.

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BIG Designs Armadillo Ballpark for Las Vegas Athletics

BIG and HNTB have just won the competition to design an Athletics ballpark in Las Vegas. Situated along the iconic Las Vegas Strip, the ballpark for the Athletics Major League Baseball team promises to uphold the values of the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” Nestled between Tropicana Avenue and Reno Avenue on Las Vegas Boulevard, the ballpark boasts 33,000 seats in an open-air stadium sprawling across nine acres.

BIG Designs Cantilevered Towers Surrounding the Freedom Plaza on Manhattan’s Waterfront

Located along Manhattan’s East River waterfront, the Freedom Plaza sets out to create a new civic and cultural hub, introducing a new open and green space in the crowded area, with plans to add an in-park Museum of Freedom and Democracy. Additionally, the scheme designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group includes affordable housing units, two hotels, retail, and restaurants. Developed by Soloviev Group and Mohegan, the Freedom Plaza development reimagines one of the largest undeveloped plots in Manhattan, measuring 6.7 acres located south of the United Nations headquarters in the Midtown East neighborhood.

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BIG Reveals Updated Design for Vltava Philharmonic Hall in Prague

After winning the international competition for the design of the Vltava Philharmonic Hall in May 2022, Danish studio BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group has now developed the design into a detailed architectural study. The project continues the central concept of the competition, that of connecting the riverbank with the venue’s rooftop via a meandering path that expands the public space and invites visitors to engage with the new building. Construction is expected to start in 2027, after completing the project documentation for the building permit and selecting a contractor. The Philharmonic Hall is expected to open in 2032.

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Combining Danish and Japanese Architecture, BIG Unveils Holiday Homes On Sagi Island, Japan

BIG has released sneak peek images into their “Not A Hotel Setouchi” project in Japan. The scheme draws inspiration from the surrounding beauty and Japanese landscape artworks, situated in the southwest cape of Sagi Island, overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. Consisting of three distinct holiday villas, Not A Hotel aims to blend Japanese and Danish architectural influences.

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Exploring the Projects Shaping NEOM City in Saudi Arabia

NEOM - or "new life" in a blend of Greek and Arabic- is a new urban development planned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Imagined as a cross-border city located in the northwest of the country, it aims to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil. With promises of sustainability and innovation, the mega development has grabbed global attention with its 10 distinct regions.

It is conceptualized as a cutting-edge metropolis, aspiring to emerge as a worldwide epicenter for groundbreaking advancements and an exemplar of eco-friendly lifestyles. Since its announcement in 2017, NEOM has revealed the plans for 10 central regions, featuring a 170km long skyscraper, a futuristic ski resort, an upside coastal hotel, a tourism destination in a mountainous valley, and many more.

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BIG's "Kaktus Towers" Near Completion in Copenhagen

In 2017, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) unveiled its designs for a project in central Copenhagen. The project features an urban IKEA store, a budget-friendly hotel, and residential apartments connected by green spaces. As a significant part of the development, BIG designed two high-rise residential towers known as “KaKtus Towers,” which are linked by a raised public park connecting them. Both towers, with the tallest at 80 meters high, are scheduled to be completed in 2024. A recently released new set of images showcases BIG’s development nearing completion.

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BIG Designs Immersive Set Design for the World Tour of WhoMadeWho

Architecture group BIG has unveiled the new stage design for the world tour of the Danish band WhoMadeWho. With visuals developed in collaboration with flora&faunavisions, EyeMix Studio, and Christopher Mulligan, the design features an inflatable sphere created to become a canvas for the three-dimensional video projections that contribute to the concert experience. The tour kicked off on November 2023 and will reach several cities around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Istanbul, New York City, Los Angeles, Santiago de Chile, London as well as the band’s hometown, Copenhagen.

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BIG Unveils Gelephu's 'Mindfulness City': Bridging Bhutan's Heritage and Future

BIG has just unveiled “Gelephu,” an envisioned master plan that draws from Bhutanese culture, Gross National Happiness principles, and spiritual heritage. During the 116th National Day of Bhutan, His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck introduced the plans for the prospective economic center in the country. Designed in collaboration with Arup and Cistri, the master plan is adhering to the sustainable standards of the world’s first official carbon-negative country, Bhutan.

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BIG’s Twisting One High Line Skyscrapers Near Completion in New York City

A new set of images showcases BIG's One High Line development nearing completion. Located on the ‘Architecture Row’ in New York, the coupled twisting towers share the Hudson River skyline with neighbors such as Frank Gehry’s IAC building, Renzo Piano’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and Jean Nouvel’s The Chelsea Nouvel ('100 Eleventh Avenue'), along with future works by Thomas Heatherwick and other renown architects. The two condominium towers designed by BIG are organized to define a central public courtyard, activating the public space with retail and commercial facilities. The towers’ exterior and the majority of the interior are completed, with the courtyard expected to be finished by early 2024.

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BIG Unveils Design for New Residential Development in Ellinikon, Europe’s Largest Urban Regeneration Project

Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed the design of Park Rise residences, a new development the Little Athens neighborhood of Ellinikon, featuring modern homes, greenspace, retail, office, and hospitality. The Ellinikon is an ambitious urban regeneration project that reimagines the grounds of Athens’ old international airport and transforms it into a 6.2 million-square meter smart city. Within this development, the Little Athens neighborhood aims to become an integrated part of Ellinikon’s smart urban ecosystem and bring over 1100 new residences to the northwestern coastline of the development.

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What Is Hedonistic Sustainability in Architecture?

If you follow BIG, you have probably already seen Bjarke Ingels talk about hedonistic sustainability and how this concept permeates the most daring projects of the Danish office.

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