Look inside BIGs yin and yang-shaped Panda House in Copenhagen

November 12, 2019 by  
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With their cutest new inhabitants comfortably settled in, the Copenhagen Zoo and Bjarke Ingels Group have shared new pictures of the recently completed yin and yang-shaped Panda House, a new home for giant pandas Mao Sun and Xing Er. Designed to mimic the pandas’ natural habitat, the BIG-designed enclosure blurs the line between indoors and out so that visitors feel immersed in the habitat without encroaching on the pandas’ sense of safety. Created in collaboration with Schønherr Landscape Architects and consulting engineers from MOE, Panda House includes a variety of naturalistic landscapes informed by workshops with panda experts, zoologists and veterinarians. Introduced to Copenhagen Zoo from Chengdu, China earlier this spring, the pair of giant pandas can freely explore a state-of-the-art, 4,950-square-meter panda facility that includes both a dense, mist forest and a light, green bamboo forest. The designers have worked closely with Chinese specialists since 2010 to create the ideal conditions for mating, one of the major challenges for pandas in captivity. Per the solitary nature of giant pandas, the enclosure has been divided into two similar yet separate areas — organized in the shape of the yin and yang symbol — so that the pandas can stay apart outside of the mating season. Related: Sasaki designs Chengdu Panda Reserve to protect the giant panda To make the separation hardly noticeable by both pandas and guests, the architects elevated the enclosure and tucked the stables and other facilities partly underground to integrate them into the landscape. The lifted sections of earth at both ends of the yin and yang symbol give visitors direct views into the pandas’ habitat as they walk around the perimeter of the round enclosure. Visitors can also observe the pandas — and the elephants in the adjacent enclosure — from the ground-floor, French-Asian bistro PanPan, which is topped with an upper floor landscaped with native Nordic plants.  “We studied the social and behavioral needs of the giant pandas: apart from mating season, pandas are loners by nature — male and female pandas need to be separated from each other such that they can’t smell, hear or have physical contact,” said David Zahle, partner at BIG. “Taking the literal interpretation of the yin and yang symbol, we divided the circular site to create separate yet harmonious homes for the male and female pandas, which can be flexibly merged during dating season. Overall, the Panda House is designed to feel like humans are the visitors in the pandas’ home, rather than pandas being the exotic guests from faraway lands.” + BIG Photography by Rasmus Hjortshoj via BIG

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Look inside BIGs yin and yang-shaped Panda House in Copenhagen

Ski atop the worlds cleanest waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen

October 9, 2019 by  
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Six years after breaking ground, CopenHill — a waste-to-energy plant topped with a year-round ski slope — is officially open, marking a major milestone in Copenhagen’s journey to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. Bjarke Ingels Group , SLA, AKT, Lüchinger+Meyer, MOE and Rambøll designed the new architectural landmark that they describe as the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world. The building includes an environmental education hub as well as a landscaped roof for urban recreation including skiing, hiking and climbing. Designed to replace the neighboring 50-year-old waste-to-energy plant, the 41,000-square-meter CopenHill — also known as Amager Bakke — boasts state-of-the-art technologies in waste treatment and energy production. BIG, which won the 2011 international competition for the power plant, drew inspiration from the industrial waterfront of Amager that is now a hub for extreme sports. “CopenHill is a blatant architectural expression of something that would otherwise have remained invisible: that it is the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world,” says Bjarke Ingels in a press release. “As a power plant, CopenHill is so clean that we have been able to turn its building mass into the bedrock of the social life of the city — its façade is climbable, its roof is hikeable and its slopes are skiable. A crystal clear example of Hedonistic Sustainability — that a sustainable city is not only better for the environment — it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens.” Related: Are bioenergy facilities the solution to the growing garbage problem? In addition to the 9,000-square-meter ski terrain, visitors can enjoy hiking the building’s summit with the 490-meter-long hiking and running pathway landscaped with 7,000 bushes and 300 trees to mimic the look of a lush mountain trail. Soaring to a height of 85 meters, the 10,000-square-meter green roof also includes a rooftop bar, cross-fit area, climbing wall and observation area that can be reached via lift or glass elevator that provides views inside the 24-hour operations of the waste-to-energy plant that converts 440,000 tons of waste annually into enough clean energy to power 150,000 homes. The building also houses ten floors of administrative space for the ARC team and a 600-square-meter education center for academic tours, workshops and sustainability conferences. + BIG Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu, Aldo Amoretti, Dragoer Luftfoto, Rasmus Hjortshoj. and Soren Aagaard

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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 weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

August 16, 2018 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled designs for a massive mixed-use development that is elevated into the air on thin stilts. Located in the central Miami neighborhood of Allapattah, an industrial, working-class district mainly comprised of produce suppliers, the major complex will serve as a new landmark destination in the city. Dubbed Miami Produce, the project will activate the site with urban farming, restaurants, storefronts, co-working offices, co-living apartments and educational programming. Covering an area of 125,000 square meters, the Miami Produce development takes cues from its industrial surroundings, which can be seen in the buildings’ large industrial-sized floor plates that the architects say “provide maximum programmatic flexibility.” The first phase of the project will see the restoration of the existing produce warehouses, linear buildings that run the length of the site and will be renovated to house educational and commercial programs. A series of passages will be cut through the buildings to improve circulation and provide better access to the nearby metro station. The spaces between the buildings will be landscaped to create three different public spaces: campus, street and garden. To increase site density, the architects plan to add four linear warehouse -like buildings elevated on slim pillars and arranged on the perimeter of the site, creating a large open courtyard in the center. The structures will include two volumes for residential, one for offices and another for hotel. Each building will be topped with unique green roofs that offer recreational opportunities. Related: Foster + Partners unveil plans for a pair of hurricane-resistant high rises in Miami Four more buildings will be stacked in a staggered formation atop the elevated structures. “[These] buildings float above the roofs’ capes and span over the openings below, creating gateways that open up to the surrounding neighborhood while providing light and air to the rooftops,” Bjarke Ingels Group said. “The buildings function as a three dimensional urban framework designed to activate the neighborhood with varying programs and environments.” + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via BIG

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BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

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

Bjarke Ingels is joining forces with WeWork as Chief Architect

May 8, 2018 by  
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WeWork is synonymous with coworking, but the company isn’t content just to change the way we work in office spaces. As it sets its sights on schools and neighborhoods, the innovative design group has announced that Bjarke Ingels will be furthering its vision as Chief Architect. Together, Ingels and WeWork will expand WeWork’s “community-oriented vision to ground-up buildings and urban neighborhoods” across the globe. Bjarke Ingels is the founder of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) , which is known for its visionary, sustainable designs. “Bjarke caught my attention because he’s changing the way we think about architecture. His designs inspire as much as they surprise. When we started WeWork eight years ago, we knew the world didn’t need another office building, it needed spaces where people could collaborate on projects, connect and create together, and potentially change the world. As WeWork’s Chief Architect, Bjarke Ingels will help us reimagine and reshape the future of our spaces, our company and ultimately our cities,” said Adam Neumann, Co-Founder and CEO of WeWork. Related: BIG and WeWork reveal plans for interactive WeGrow kindergarten in New York City WeWork and BIG are currently working on a kindergarten in New York City that will focus on innovation, exploration and discovery. Ingels plans to maintain his current role with BIG, while adding his vision as WeWork expands its vision globally. “WeWork was founded at the exact same time as when I had arrived to New York. In that short amount of time…they have accomplished incredible things and they are committed to continuing their trajectory to places we can only imagine. WeWork’s commitment to community and culturally-driven development is perfectly aligned with our active, social and environmental agendas. As WeWork takes on larger and more holistic urban and architectural challenges, I am very excited to contribute with my insights and ideas to extend their community-oriented vision to ground-up buildings and urban neighborhoods,” said Ingels. + BIG + WeWork Images via WeWork

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Bjarke Ingels is joining forces with WeWork as Chief Architect

Bjarke Ingels Group unveils plans for massive solar-powered sports complex in Austin

December 7, 2017 by  
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They say everything is bigger in Texas, but the state’s newest sports arena is going to be really BIG. Bjarke Ingels Group just unveiled plans for the new East Austin District, a solar-powered sports and entertainment center that will include the city’s first pro sports stadium and large-scale music arena. The modern complex will be topped with a series of red photovoltaic roofs in a checkerboard layout. The massive 1.3 million-square-foot complex will be located east of downtown Austin, at the current site of Rodeo Austin. Once complete, the space will host various sporting and musical events at the 40,000-seat pro-sports stadium and 15,000-seat arena. Additionally on site will be work spaces, youth centers, medical facilities, convention space and an abundance of hospitality amenities across the entire campus. Related: BIG’s looping station design in Paris turns bridge into public space The general design of the buildings is inspired by local cultural roots of Texas and Austin. Using a Jefferson Grid-style approach, the individual buildings will be arranged in a checkerboard layout, creating latticed rooftop appearance from above. Each individual roof will designate distinct functions of the space below. The rooftop will be equipped with red photovoltaic panels to provide clean energy to the complex and potentially provide energy to the city of Austin as well. BIG, who will be working in collaboration with Austin-based architects STG Design , designed the complex to be a vibrant modern space that blends into the city’s unique urban character, “Like a collective campus rather than a monolithic stadium, the East Austin District unifies all the elements of rodeo and soccer into a village of courtyards and canopies. Embracing Austin’s local character and culture, the East Austin District is a single destination composed of many smaller structures under one roof. Part architecture, part urbanism, part landscape – the East Austin District is the architectural manifestation of collective intimacy – a complex capable of making tens of thousands of fans come together and enjoy the best Austin has to offer inside and between its buildings.” explains Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG. + Bjarke Ingels Group Images by Bjarke Ingels Group

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Build your own BIG-designed LEGO House with LEGO Architectures newest kit

August 30, 2017 by  
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As if playing in a LEGO wonderland wasn’t enough, we just got wind of another reason to get excited over the BIG-designed LEGO House’s grand opening next month. The iconic toy company just unveiled official images of a new LEGO Architecture kit that’ll let you build your very own LEGO experience center at home. The 774-piece model replica of the nearly complete LEGO House in Billund, Denmark will be sold exclusively at the center when it opens on September 28. The new LEGO House, also known as the “House of the Brick,” will be an experience center where fans can learn about the history of the company, the philosophy of LEGO play, and interact with LEGO through a wide variety of hands-on experiences. Starchitect Bjarke Ingels , an enthusiastic LEGO fan, was tapped to design the LEGO House project and drew inspiration from the modularity of the toy brick. Related: BIG’s LEGO House tops out with opening date in September The nearly completed LEGO House was created as “a cloud of interlocking LEGO bricks…a literal manifestation of the infinite possibilities of the LEGO brick,” said Ingels. The 774-piece LEGO Architecture kit is a small-scale replica of the stunning building that, when assembled, will form 21 stacked white bricks complete with the classic eight-knob LEGO brick-shaped Keystone, colorful surfaces, glazing in the form of translucent bricks, and an interior public square. The kit takes 197 steps to complete. Full instructions and product description can be found here . + LEGO Architecture Via ArchDaily

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BIG and Silvio d’Ascia’s loopy design wins Paris metro station competition

November 10, 2016 by  
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Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group together with French studio Silvio d’Ascia Architecture won the design competition for a unique project in Paris, which will contribute a looping metro station to the expansion of the existing transportation system . BIG and Silvio d’Ascia designed the Pont de Bondy station as part of the Grand Paris Express, a stretch which will add 124 miles to the Paris metro system. The station looks like a giant P-shaped loop-de-loop with a pedestrian overpass spanning across a pool of water, running parallel to a vehicular bridge. The Pont de Bondy station is planned for Paris’ Line 15, a suburban route that circles the city’s periphery. BIG and Silvio d’Ascia Architecture designed the station in deep terracotta, with a central loop housing a covered concourse. Two wings extend outward from the concourse, forming a right angle, with one stretching out under a flyover and the other holding a pedestrian walkway over a pool of water. Pont de Bondy will be among nine “emblematic stations” on the expanded metro network that elevates public transportation to an art with elaborate modern architecture and sculptural designs. Related: Kengo Kuma wins design competition for new Paris metro station Elsewhere in the Paris metro expansion, 10 more new stations are planned and city leaders have so far named six other architects to design those stations; all of that is just for Line 15. In total, there are now 37 teams of architects working on 68 new stations for the Grand Paris Express, marking an epic investment in city infrastructure. The entire Grand Paris Express project, including all new stations and lines, are expected to be up and running by 2030. Via Dezeen Images via BIG and Wikipedia

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