Drone video offers sneak peek at BIGs LEGO House, set to open next month

August 29, 2017 by  
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After four years, the long-awaited LEGO House is set to open next month—and we can’t wait! Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group , this larger-than-life LEGO building is a treat for the eyes with its 21 interlocking LEGO-like parts and stunning keystone on top. Set to open to the public on September 28, the 130,000-square-foot building will offer free and paid “experiences” all centered around play and exploration in Billund, Denmark. LEGO’s drone video shot earlier this summer shows off the building near completion. The company recently carried out a “test visit” where LEGO employees and their families were invited to try out the building for the first time. Nicknamed ‘Home of the Brick,’ the museum is dedicate to LEGO-themed experiences in all aspects of the building including its many interactive exhibitions, three restaurants, conference space, store, and 22,000-square-foot public square . One of the biggest highlights is a 50-foot-tall, 20-ton “Tree of Creativity” made of over 6.3 million LEGO bricks. Related: BIG’s LEGO House tops out with opening date in September The Home of the Brick is expected to accommodate 250,000 visitors annually. To keep the center open to the community , the interior LEGO Square will be publicly accessible and select activities will be free to the public. Visitors with tickets can explore the four color-coded Experience Zones, each with larger-than-life interactive exhibits that embody the brand’s “Learning Through Play” philosophy. Advance tickets can be purchased on the LEGO House website . + LEGO House + BIG Via ArchDaily

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Drone video offers sneak peek at BIGs LEGO House, set to open next month

BIG hides an invisible museum beneath Denmarks sand dunes

July 14, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by these gentle sand dunes—hidden in the landscape is an “invisible museum.” Bjarke Ingels Group designed TIRPITZ, a recently opened museum embedded into Denmark’s protected Blåvand shorelines, also a historic war site. The TIRPITZ museum offers a unique experience within a building that skillfully camouflages into the dunes, providing a sharp contrast to its neighbor, a monolithic German WWII bunker . Developed by Varde Museums , TIRPITZ is a cultural complex comprising four exhibitions inside a renovated and expanded wartime bunker. The 2,800-square-meter “invisible museum” is mostly buried underground and looks nearly imperceptible from above until visitors draw close to the heavy bunker and see the walls cut into the dunes from all sides. An outdoor courtyard provides access to the four underground galleries—illuminated with a surprising abundance of natural light let in by 6-meter-tall glass panels—that connect to the historic bunker. “The architecture of the TIRPITZ is the antithesis to the WWII bunker,” said Bjarke Ingels , Founding Partner at BIG. “The heavy hermetic object is countered by the inviting lightness and openness of the new museum. The galleries are integrated into the dunes like an open oasis in the sand – a sharp contrast to the Nazi fortress’ concrete monolith. The surrounding heath-lined pathways cut into the dunes from all sides descending to meet in a central clearing, bringing daylight and air into the heart of the complex. The bunker remains the only landmark of a not so distant dark heritage that upon close inspection marks the entrance to a new cultural meeting place.” Related: Century-old WWI bunker is reborn as a contemporary alpine shelter Dutch agency Tinker Imagineers designed the exhibitions to showcase permanent and temporary themed experiences that adhere to a storyline, from the Hitler-related ‘Army of Concrete’ to the exhibition of amber in ‘Gold of the West Coast.’ The building is built mainly of concrete, steel, glass, and wood—all materials found in the existing structures and natural landscape. The groundbreaking museum is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors annually. + BIG Images by Mike Bink Photography, Laurian Ghinitoiu,  John Seymour, Rasmus Hjortshoj, Colin John Seymour, Rasmus Bendix

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BIG hides an invisible museum beneath Denmarks sand dunes

BIG reveals new yin yang-shaped Panda House for Copenhagen Zoo

March 28, 2017 by  
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The Copenhagen Zoo is giving the starchitect treatment to the home of its most anticipated new tenants. Bjarke Ingels Group unveiled designs for a beautiful yin and yang-shaped enclosure that will be completed just in time for the arrival of two giant pandas from Chengdu. The new Panda House will feature a circular habitat divided into two lushly landscaped halves that mimic the panda’s natural habitat and the Taoist symbol for balance. Created in collaboration with Schønherr Landscape Architects and MOE, BIG’s Panda House circular shape slots in between the existing buildings at the intersection of multiple walkways and is split into two yin and yang -shaped halves. The division of the 2,450-square-meter enclosure serves the practical purpose of separating the males from the females—an essential feature given the animals’ unique solitary nature and to increase the probability of mating since the pandas should not be able to see, hear, or even smell each other for most of the year. The separation, however, is visually unnoticeable and the two halves appear to blend seamlessly together. “Architecture is like portraiture,” said Bjarke Ingels. “To design a home for someone is like capturing their essence, their character and personality in built form. In the case of the two great Pandas, their unique solitary nature requires two similar but separate habitats – one for her and one for him. The habitat is formed like a giant yin and yang symbol, two halves: the male and the female, complete each other to form a single circular whole. The curvy lines are undulating in section to create the necessary separation between him and her – as well as between them and us. Located at the heart of the park, we have made the entire enclosure accessible from 360 degrees, turning the two pandas into the new rotation point for Copenhagen Zoo.” Related: Zootopia: BIG Unveils Bold Plan to Build the World’s Most Animal-Friendly Zoo The Panda House comprises a 1,250-square-meter indoor site and a 1,200-square-meter outdoor area spread across two floors. The bottom parts of the yin and yang shapes are lifted upwards to create underground space for stables and a restaurant. The resulting sloped terrain also allows direct views into the panda habitats from the ground floor and from the visitor’s main circulation loop above. The vegetation and hilly landscape mimics the panda’s natural habitat in western China, from dense mist forests to light green bamboo forests , and offer “the freest and most naturalistic possible environment for [the pandas] and relationship with each other.” The new Panda House is scheduled to open in 2018. + Bjarke Ingels Group

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BIG reveals new yin yang-shaped Panda House for Copenhagen Zoo

Bjarke Ingels and other outstanding designers star in a new Netflix series called ‘Absract’

January 24, 2017 by  
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Design lovers: pull up a sofa and get ready for a serious Netflix binge sesh. On February 10, Netflix is revealing a show called Abstract: The Art of Design that features conversations about the revolutionary impetus of design. The series features rock star architect and BIG founder Bjarke Ingels, graphic designer Paula Scher, automotive designer Ralph Gilles and interior designer Ilse Crawford, among others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=63&v=DYaq2sWTWAA Netflix just released a preview of the show, which will be released in its entirety on February 10th. It shows Bjarke Ingels flying through the air like Superman, which is apt, since Ingels promises to be a superhero of a star for a show about design. The gregarious architect routinely garners massive audiences for his TED talks and he has been featured in numerous major magazines. Related: 10 Must-See Documentaries You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now Other designers on the show may be slightly less well known, but they are massively important in their own fields. Ilse Crawford has changed the way interior design impacts the way we live, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield oversees Nike’s Innovation Kitchen and photographer Platon has helped us see world leaders in a way we never have before. The show is produced by Wired Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich. “Abstract is an eight-episode documentary series about creativity, about visionary designers who shape the world around us—from architecture to illustration, cars to typography,” said Dadich. Via Architizer

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Bjarke Ingels and other outstanding designers star in a new Netflix series called ‘Absract’

BIGs battleship-inspired LEED Gold office opens in Philadelphia

November 4, 2016 by  
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Located at the Navy Yard Corporate Center, the four-story office building design was shaped by Robert Stern’s 1,200-acre Navy Yard master plan of rectangular city blocks and James Corner Field Operations’ award-winning circular Central Green Park . The building’s double-curved facade bows inward on two sides in reference to the docked battleships nearby and to respond to the “shock wave” of the park’s circular running track. In addition to the maritime-inspired facade, a functioning periscope is inserted in the heart of the building to project views of the Navy Yard basin into the center of the elevator lobby and to bring in additional natural light. Related: James Corner Field Operations designs an iconic circular park for the Philadelphia Navy Yard “In many cases, architects design big, boxy buildings that could be placed anywhere and don’t connect directly to the site,” said Kai-Uwe Bergmann, AIA, RIBA, Partner, BIG. “You would really be hard-pressed to place 1200 Intrepid anywhere else, due to how it connects with its surroundings. Our commission involved creating a speculative office building, for which no tenants were committed. The key challenge here was to create a reason for tenants to be here with the constraint of a stringent budget.” Liberty Property Trust developed the 92,000-square-foot LEED Gold building. Precast concrete panels of varying sizes clad the exterior in a basket-weave pattern. The panels were locally manufactured using locally sourced materials that include recycled and recyclable content to reduce construction waste. + Bjarke Ingel Group Images via Bjarke Ingel Group

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BIG completes LEED Gold-seeking luxury condos in Miami

August 16, 2016 by  
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Located on South Bayshore Drive, the 98-unit Grove at Grand Bay condominium overlooks views of Biscayne Bay to downtown Miami. Despite Miami’s reputation as a car-centric city, the Grove at Grand Bay’s surrounding area is highly walkable and close to some of the city’s most popular cafes, lounges, bookstores, and boutiques. The pedestrian-friendly luxury condominium also includes two rooftop pools, a five-star spa and fitness center, full-time concierge and butler service, and even a pet spa. Residences range between 1,300 square feet in size to a 10,000-square-foot full-floor penthouse. All units come with 12-foot-high ceilings and glass doors. The design of the twisting glass buildings draws inspiration from the organic shapes found in nearby bodies of water and dense tropical foliage. The buildings are complemented with a stunning and lush landscape design created by acclaimed Miami landscape architect Raymond Jungles . The planting plan includes nearly 500 trees, over 15,000 plants, and many water features, and will help the project achieve LEED Gold status. Related: Brickell Flatiron takes Miami one step closer to a denser and more pedestrian-friendly downtown “Coconut Grove is one of Miami’s most storied neighborhoods and Grove at Grand Bay represents another chapter in that story,” says Terra President David Martin, who co-developed the project alongside his father Terra CEO Pedro Martin. “A sanctuary for artists, writers and unconventional thinkers, the Grove has a long history of challenging the status quo – much the same way Grove at Grand Bay is changing the way Miami thinks about design. We planned and developed this building with the goal of adding value to our neighborhood, so we’re proud that Coconut Grove is enjoying a resurgence while remaining mindful of its colorful past.” + Bjarke Ingels Group + Raymond Jungles Images via Grove at Grand Bay

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Google is going to get its fancy headquarters after all thanks to LinkedIn deal

July 14, 2016 by  
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Tech giant Google  will be able to build its massive canopied greenhouse headquarters designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio after all. When the Mountain View City Council gave most of the land Google needed for the new HQ design to LinkedIn last year, most people thought Google wouldn’t get to build the ambitious project after all. Heatherwick and BIG even a revealed scaled-down design  in the hopes of making things work. But after cutting a three million square feet land deal with LinkedIn, Google can now have the original design  it always wanted. The land deal includes 2.4 million square feet of real estate that’s not yet developed, and 1 million square feet of developed land, which includes LinkedIn’s present HQ. The swap will allow Google to pursue their original designs, and LinkedIn will be able to construct a new cohesive HQ. Related: BIG and Heatherwick unveil scaled-down designs for Google’s Mountain View HQ It seems like the city of Mountain View is pleased with the deal as well. Mountain View Director of Community Development Randy Tsuda told the Silicon Valley Business Journal, “This actually works out well for both parties, and the city of Mountain View.” Mountain View Mayor Pat Showalter said the city “look[s] forward to continuing our relationships with these active corporate citizens.” Some of Google’s plans will still have to go through the Mountain View City Council, such as the tech giant’s dream of constructing housing on one of the sites where LinkedIn had once planned to put their new HQ, Shoreline Commons. LinkedIn’s plans had included retail stores and restaurants, and Mountain View officials have expressed a desire to see some of those plans go through. Syufy owns around 15 acres of Shoreline Commons and planned to build a health club and movie theater there, and Google VP of Real Estate and Workplace Services, Northern California Mark Golan said Google is “generally supportive” of some of those ideas. Golan said, “It’s almost serendipity in terms of the holdings both parties had. It’s a very creative solution we think led to a win for everyone.” Via ArchDaily and the Silicon Valley Business Journal Images © Google/BIG/Heatherwick Studio

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BIG unveils green-roofed master plan for Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill district

November 19, 2015 by  
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BIG completes solar-powered holiday house in Taiwan with a jagged green roof

November 6, 2015 by  
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President Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline citing concerns about climate change

November 6, 2015 by  
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After much ongoing debate, President Barack Obama vetoed legislation to approve further construction on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline .  What makes the announcement particularly exciting is that Obama cited environmental concerns, and particularly concerns about climate change, as his reason for issuing the veto. With the move, the President is proving himself to be a leader when it comes to taking action against global  climate change. Read the rest of President Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline citing concerns about climate change

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