BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

October 29, 2020 by  
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As part of its Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development , NASA has teamed up with architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group , advanced construction developer ICON and SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) to design Project Olympus, a system of space-based construction to support future exploration of the Moon. Developed with technology that ICON submitted to NASA’s 2018 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, the proposed lunar habitats would be 3D-printed using robotic, zero-waste construction for a reduced carbon footprint.  Bjarke Ingels Group is no stranger to extraterrestrial architecture — Project Olympus is the firm’s second project in outer space after its Mars Science City proposal, which is currently being turned into a prototype in Dubai. Much like the Mars building project, BIG’s Project Olympus proposal also addresses eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. According to the Artemis program, NASA plans to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 for lunar exploration and research, which will inform future missions to Mars. Related: NASA Mars Habitat Challenge winner is a 3D-printed pod made of biodegradable materials The ambitious Project Olympus will cover a wide array of architecture, from landing pads to habitats, that would be built with robust construction rather than metal or inflatable structures. The team will work in collaboration with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to test lunar soil simulant with ICON’s groundbreaking robotic technologies and develop prototype elements. The goal will be the creation of the first permanent structure on the Moon that’s not only capable of withstanding the hostile lunar environment but would also become a learning opportunity for creating more sustainable construction on Earth as well. “To explain the power of architecture, ‘formgiving’ is the Danish word for design, which literally means to give form to that which has not yet been given form,” Bjarke Ingels said. “This becomes fundamentally clear when we venture beyond Earth and begin to imagine how we are going to build and live on entirely new worlds. With ICON we are pioneering new frontiers — both materially, technologically and environmentally. The answers to our challenges on Earth very well might be found on the Moon.”  + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via Bjarke Ingels Group

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BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

BIG presents a sustainable living laboratory town in Japan for Toyota at CES

January 9, 2020 by  
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As part of CES 2020, Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled exciting designs for its first project in Japan — the Toyota Woven City, a sustainable “living laboratory” at the foothills of Mt. Fuji. Created in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation, the project will be the world’s first urban incubator dedicated to the advancement of all aspects of mobility with a focus on sustainability, from renewable energies to shared mobility. The futuristic prototype town will also be notable for its inclusion of Japanese craftsmanship, which will inform the design of the architecture built with mass timber construction. Located at a 175-acre former factory site in the city of Susono in Shizuoka, Toyota Woven City will provide a testing grounds for a futuristic smart city powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology. “Today the typical is mess — with everything and nothing happening everywhere,” said Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative director of BIG. “With the Woven City, we peel apart and then weave back together the three components of a typical road into a new urban fabric: a street optimized for automated vehicles, a promenade for micro-mobility and a linear park for pedestrians. The resulting pattern of porous 3-by-3 city blocks creates a multitude of different eco-niches for social life, culture and commerce.” Related: Toyota is testing a new Prius model that runs on solar power The Woven City’s flexible network of streets will cater to multi-modal transit and emphasize pedestrian-friendly connections. Roads will fall into three categories. The first is the primary street for fast-moving, autonomous vehicles, such as the self-driving Toyota e-Palette, with logistical traffic underneath. Then, there will be a recreational promenade open to pedestrians and low-speed, micro-mobility types such as bicycles, scooters and Toyota’s i-Walk. Finally, the project includes linear parks, or pedestrian-only pathways that serve as ecological corridors. The three street types will be woven into 3-by-3 city blocks, each framing a courtyard connected to a promenade or linear park. Mass timber construction built with robotic fabrication technology will be used for all of Woven City’s architecture, which will comprise a mix of housing, retail and business. The timber buildings will be topped with photovoltaic panels and punctuated with large windows to let in natural light and frame views of Mt. Fuji. Robotics and new innovative technology will also be woven into all parts of daily life, from sensor-based AI technology that helps with automatic grocery deliveries and trash disposal to robotic construction facilities housed in Toyota’s R&D spaces. The Toyota Woven City is expected to break ground in phases beginning in 2021. + BIG Images by Squint Opera and BIG

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BIG presents a sustainable living laboratory town in Japan for Toyota at CES

Dramatic domino-effect facade wraps BIG-designed business school

April 29, 2019 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled images of the stunning Business Innovation Hub at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Designed in collaboration with Goody Clancy Architects , the recently completed 70,000-square-foot extension and partial renovation of the Isenberg School of Management not only delivers a dramatic appearance with a falling dominoes-like facade, but also high sustainability standards. Clad in low-maintenance copper, the Isenberg School of Management Business Innovation Hub expects to achieve LEED Silver certification. Prominently located on Haigis Mall near the entrance of campus, the Isenberg School of Management Business Innovation Hub extends the existing Isenberg building footprint to the north and then loops around east, creating a donut shape that connects back to the existing building to nearly double the school’s current space. At the center of the “donut” is a garden courtyard . The architects further articulated the curved facade by pulling out the northwest corner to emphasize the 5,000-square-foot Student Learning Commons at the entrance and by introducing a unique faceted geometry that mimics the appearance of dominoes falling in a line. “The new Business Innovation Hub at the Isenberg School of Management is conceived as an extension of both the building and the campus mall,” Bjarke Ingels explained. “The linear structure is bent to form a full loop framing an internal courtyard for the life of the students. The facade is pulled away in a domino effect to create a generous invitation from the Haigis Mall to the Learning Commons. The mall and the courtyard — inside and outside form a forum for the students, the faculty and the profession to meet, mingle and mix society and academia.” The new extension offers facilities for more than 150 staff and 5,000 students in undergraduate, master’s and PhD programs. In contrast to the dark copper facade, which will develop a natural patina over time, the interior is bright and spacious with natural light streaming in from the outdoors and the inner courtyard. The flexible interior spaces are designed to facilitate collaboration with student interactions and chance encounters in mind. + BIG + Goody Clancy Architects Photography by Max Touhey and Laurian Ghinitoiu via BIG

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BIG and WeWork design a nature-inspired school for kids in NYC

November 5, 2018 by  
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Creative co-working giant WeWork and acclaimed architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group have teamed up to reimagine education starting with the launch of WeGrow, a new school in the heart of New York City that encourages education through play. Designed for children between three and nine years of age, the light-filled learning landscape is a tactile environment filled with custom-made curved architecture and movable furnishings. The theme of nature runs throughout and can be seen everywhere from the woodsy palette of timber surfaces and shades of green to the Laufen-tiled vertical garden filled with leafy plants. Located in WeWork’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the first WeGrow school spans 10,000 square feet and boasts a variety of communal spaces, which make up more than half of the school’s footprint. Designed to foster “natural education” by promoting activities centered on discovery and collaboration, WeGrow hopes to “undo the compartmentalization found in traditional schools … by interweaving learning with playing spaces,” Bjarke Ingels Group said. “The school environment becomes a third teacher that unleashes the superpower of each child.” In addition to diverse playscapes, the school consists of four classrooms , flexible workshops, community space, a multipurpose studio, an art studio and a music room. Hard corners are eschewed in favor of round, organic forms, like the curved storage units built with three different shelving levels for each age group. Sound-absorbing “clouds” made from felt and decorated with nature-inspired patterns hang from the ceiling and are illuminated with Ketra bulbs that change in color and intensity depending on the time of day. Felt is also used in the lobby and in the lounge. Related: WeWork opens gorgeous WeLive co-living apartments on Wall Street “From the lobby to the classrooms, WeGrow is lit by Gople Lamp and Alphabet of Light — flexible lighting systems designed by BIG Ideas and manufactured by Artemide to create ambiance effects that form comfortable, natural lighting throughout the school day,” Bjarke Ingels Group said in a project statement. “Playful and transparent, yet homelike and structured, WeGrow nurtures the child’s education through introspection, exploration and discovery.” + BIG Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu and Dave Burk via BIG

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BIG completes low-income Homes for All project in Copenhagen

October 22, 2018 by  
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Beautiful yet affordable design-led apartments have been quickly completed in the northwest part of Copenhagen thanks to the power of prefabrication . Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group as part of the non-profit affordable housing association Lejerbo’s “Homes for All” mission, the Dortheavej Residence is a 6,800-square-meter curved building with 66 new homes for low-income clients. Clad in long wooden planks and stacked to create an attractive checkered pattern, the apartment modules feature soaring 3.5-meter ceilings and full-height glazing to let in plenty of natural light. Completed on a strict affordable housing budget of $9.8 million, the five-story Dortheavej Residence consists of apartments that range in size from 60 to 115 square meters. To keep costs low, a simple materials palette of concrete and wood was used. Since the new building is located in one of the city’s most diverse, low-income neighborhoods, the architects wanted to stress transparency and community. The full-height glazing, balconies and public spaces help achieve those goals. “Affordable housing is an architectural challenge due to the necessary budget restrictions,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner at BIG. “We have attempted to mobilize modular construction with modest materials to create generous living spaces at the urban as well as the residential scale. The prefabricated elements are stacked in a way that allows every second module an extra meter of room height, making the kitchen-living areas unusually spacious. By gently adjusting the modules , the living areas open more toward the courtyard while curving the linear block away from the street to expand the sidewalk into a public square. Economical constraints often lead to scarcity — at Dortheavej, we have managed to create added value for the individual as well as the community.” Related: Peek inside the BIG-designed garden village for one of the world’s best restaurants The curve of the building frames a street-facing public plaza on the south side that will be landscaped with cherry trees and bicycle parking spaces, while an enclosed green courtyard for recreational activities is located on the northern end. + Bjarke Ingels Group Images by Rasmus Hjortshoj

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Peek inside the BIG-designed garden village for one of the world’s best restaurants

September 24, 2018 by  
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After over three years of planning, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has completed the new home for Noma, an award-winning, Michelin-star restaurant that was named four times as the best in the world by the ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ rankings. Opened February 2018, Noma’s new restaurant location is just outside of Copenhagen’s city center on a lakefront site near the Christiania neighborhood. The 14,000-square-foot building is modeled after a garden village that consists of 11 single-story pavilions, each specially designed to realize chef René Redzepi’s vision for seasonal and local New Nordic cuisine. Last year, chef René Redzepi closed his original two-Michelin-starred Noma after 14 years of operation in a 16th century harborside warehouse. During the one-year closure of his restaurant, Redzepi worked together with architect Bjarke Ingels to sensitively reimagine a new property and an existing ex-military warehouse into “an intimate garden village” made up of a series of interconnected, agrarian-inspired structures centered around the restaurant’s heart: the 600-square-foot kitchen. “The new noma dissolves the traditional idea of a restaurant into its constituent parts and reassembles them in a way that puts the chefs at the heart of it all,” Bjarke Ingels explained. “Every part of the restaurant experience — the arrival, the lounge, the barbecue, the wine selection and the private company — is all clustered around the chefs. From their central position, they have a perfect overview to every corner of the restaurant while allowing every single guest to follow what would traditionally happen behind-the-scenes. Each ‘building within the building’ is connected by glass-covered paths that allow chefs and guests to follow the changes in weather, daylight and seasons — making the natural environment an integral part of the culinary experience.” Related: “The world’s best restaurant,” Noma, to close and reopen as an urban farm The historic, 100-meter-long concrete warehouse was renovated to house all of the restaurant’s back-of-house functions, including the prep kitchen, fermentation labs, fish tanks, terrarium, ant farm and breakout areas for staff. Three of the new structures are built of glass, with one serving as a greenhouse, another as a bakery and the last as the test kitchen. The dining spaces are located in other buildings constructed from a minimalist and natural materials palette that includes oak and brick. + BIG + Noma Images © Rasmus Hjortshoj

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Peek inside the BIG-designed garden village for one of the world’s best restaurants

BIG completes an energy-efficient sculptural skyscraper in Shenzhen

August 9, 2018 by  
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Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group , the new home for the Shenzhen Energy Company has just reached completion in the business center of Shenzhen , China. Conceived as a new social and sustainable landmark in the heart of the city, the striking office development comprises two towers — one rising 220 meters to the north and the other to a height of 120 meters in the south — both of which are linked by a 34-meter-tall podium. Dubbed the Shenzhen Energy Mansion, the skyscraper is wrapped in an undulating facade that optimizes solar orientation while minimizing energy consumption. Created in collaboration with ARUP and Transsolar, BIG’s Shenzhen Energy Mansion design was selected the winner of an international design competition in 2009. Spanning an area of 96,000 square meters, this new headquarters for the Shenzhen Energy Company includes a pair of office towers and a mixed-use podium comprising the main lobbies, a conference center, a cafeteria and exhibition space. Circulation for visitors and workers are divided; the commercial spaces can be accessed through sliding glass walls on the north and south ends of the buildings while office workers enter from the front plaza to the lobby. Instead of the traditional glass curtain wall, BIG designed a pleated building envelope specially engineered to reduce solar loads and glare. Site studies and passive solar principles optimize the building’s orientation, which includes maximized north-facing openings for natural light and minimized exposure on the sunnier sides. Green roofs top the building. Related: BIG unveils designs for LEED-certified skyscraper in NYC “Shenzhen Energy Mansion is our first realized example of ‘engineering without engines’ — the idea that we can engineer the dependence on machinery out of our buildings and let architecture fulfill the performance,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner at BIG. “Shenzhen Energy Mansion appears as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper and exploits the building’s interface with the external elements: sun, daylight, humidity and wind to create maximum comfort and quality inside. A natural evolution that looks different because it performs differently.” + BIG Images by Chao Zhang

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BIG completes an energy-efficient sculptural skyscraper in Shenzhen

HW-Studio transforms a warehouse into a food market in Mexico

August 9, 2018 by  
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When local architecture practice HW-Studio was tapped to redevelop an abandoned warehouse into a food market in the Mexican city of Morelia, the firm looked to the site’s extant conditions and the surroundings for inspiration. HW-Studio founder and lead project architect Rogelio Vallejo Bores was born and raised in the city and loved the site’s sense of solitude — a quality that he says is uncommon in the downtown of any Mexican city. As a result, he and his team used a minimalist design and material palette to create a food market, named the Mercado ‘Cantera’ (also known as the Morelia Market), that would defer to its surroundings. Completed this year on a budget of approximately $80,000 USD, the new food market in Morelia spans an area of 3,444 square feet. Before the architects began work on the design, they studied the perimeter and found it was located two blocks from one of the country’s most important music schools — a former convent of XCI Century Dominican nuns of Santa Catalina de Siena — as well as one of the most beloved and popular city squares, Las Rosas. Then the architects mapped out the most popular food spots in the area and found that people congregated in the public squares to eat. As a result, the guiding principles of the food market are borrowed from the design of public squares, from the use of natural materials, axial routes and sense of openness and connection with nature. “We thought that the place had lost its soul,” said the architects of the warehouse due to its numerous renovations. “Everything antique with architectural value would be rescued, and the new would formally and materially have a different nature: a white and defined nature that would demonstrate its own presence and its own historical and conceptual moment. With this, we would try to achieve a balance between the new and the old.” Related: Grain silo transformed into a community food hall in the Netherlands In contrast to the stone walls and other antique details that were preserved, the architects inserted minimalist and modern white volumes to house the food vendors. They also added a new tree-lined central corridor between the new volumes to emphasize the open-air market’s connection with the outdoors. The eating areas are located on the top of the stalls. The architects noted, “Its most important function is to frame, without exclusion, the different layers of architectural history left over the centuries.” + HW-Studio Via Dezeen Images by Bruno Gómez de la Cueva

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HW-Studio transforms a warehouse into a food market in Mexico

BIG unveils designs for LEED-certified skyscraper in NYC

April 4, 2018 by  
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A new LEED -seeking glass skyscraper is set to rise in Midtown Manhattan, with designs courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group . New York YIMBY got the scoop on the first renderings, showing an immense office tower wrapped in glass curtain wall and landscaped terraces. Located on 3 West 29th Street, the building has been dubbed “29th and 5th” and will replace the old Bancroft Bank Building that was demolished a few years ago. As reported by New York YIMBY, the “29th and 5th” project will target LEED certification and offer generous amenities for office workers. Although the September 2017 Department of Buildings application for the project reportedly specified a 551-foot envelope with 34 stories, the renderings look nearly double that size. Related: BIG unveils designs for bow tie-shaped National Theater of Albania “The building will incorporate a LEED certified design and highly amenitized offering package promoting employee connectivity, communal workspaces, and fitness options that will pioneer a new frontier of wellness and sustainability within the workplace,” says a 29th and 5th project description. “The building is designed with smaller 13,400 square foot floorplates that will attract an underserved market while leaving ample lot area to design a vibrant park surrounding the building.” + Bjarke Ingels Group Via New York YIMBY Images via New York YIMBY , by Bjarke Ingels Group

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BIG unveils designs for bow tie-shaped National Theater of Albania

March 15, 2018 by  
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Albania’s capital of Tirana is undergoing exciting changes—including a new National Theater of Albania designed by Bjarke Ingels Group . The proposed bow tie-shaped theater is an extension of the government’s ongoing efforts for turning the city into a greener, more pedestrian-friendly place to live, work, and travel. Designed to replace the existing theater, the 9,300-square-meter contemporary complex will be located in downtown Tirana and host local and touring theater companies within a 3-in-1 cultural venue. Located on Tirana’s cultural axis in a mostly pedestrian area, the new National Theater of Albania is envisioned by Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj as the “crown-jewel” in the capital’s urban revitalization plans that include the addition of 2 million trees, increased pedestrian-friendly areas, and more playgrounds . “The “bow tie” will tie together artists, dreamers, talents and the aspirations of a city going on fifth gear yearning for constant change and place-making,” said the Mayor. The theater’s bow tie shape is informed by the program organization, which sandwiches the main auditorium in the middle between the south-facing front-of-house activities, like the foyer and restaurant, and the back-of-house activities in the north. By compressing and lifting the building’s middle, the architects create opportunities for passersby to enjoy glimpses of the theater at all hours. In addition to an upgraded theater space, the new cultural center will include three new indoor performance spaces, a rooftop theater with amphitheater-style seating, and a covered public space in the building arch. Related: Mosque for All: BIG Wins Competition To Design Inside-Out Albanian Cultural Center “Our design for the new National Theatre of Albania will continue the city’s efforts for making Tirana’s public spaces more inviting and its public institutions more transparent,” said Bjarke Ingels. “The theater is conceived as two buildings connected by the main auditorium: one for the audience and one for the performers. Underneath, the theatre arches up from the ground creating an entrance canopy for the audience as well as for the performers, while opening a gateway to the new urban arcade beyond. Above, the roof mirrors the archway, forming an open-air amphitheater with a backdrop to the city’s skyline.“ + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via Bjarke Ingels Group

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