BIG, or Bjarke Ingels Group, is a Copenhagen and New York-based group of architects, designers, and builders primarily engaging in the domains of architecture, urbanism, research, and development. Currently, the office is working on a variety of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East. Bjarke Ingels’ approach to design is to experiment with space in order to develop buildings that solve existing concerns. His architecture is a blend of living, pleasure, and labor, all of which are used to test the balance of programmatic combinations on the triple bottom line. 

The Copenhagen-based architect is not hesitant of grand visions. He rejects uniformity in favor of adaptable urban landscapes, which he believes is critical in an ever-changing society. More than simply an architect, Ingels is a place-maker in its broadest sense. Having coined the term ‘hedonistic sustainability‘, he blends fun with deeply rooted sustainable principles.They have received numerous accolades from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), AIA (American Institute of Architects), and other prestigious organizations as a result of their outstanding ideology.

1. Superkilen Park

Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Type: Public plaza for urban development
Area: 27000
Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group, Superflex;
Landscape Architects: Topotek 1
Year: 2012

Superkilen is a park that encourages and promotes diversity. It is an international exhibition of furniture and daily objects from all over the world, such as benches, lampposts, trash cans, and plants — necessities that every contemporary park should have and that future park visitors helped to choose. The main idea was to unify the people from different ethnicities residing in the adjacent neighborhoods. The project is divided into three zones and hues – green, black, and red. The various materials and colors are combined to create new, dynamic environments for everyday goods.

Green Park: The activities of the Green Park, with its gentle hills and surfaces, appeal to children, young people, and families. A verdant environment and a playground where families with children may gather for picnics, sunbathing, and grass breaks, as well as hockey competitions, badminton games, and hill workouts.

Black zone: The square can be distinguished by the big, dentist neon sign from Doha, Qatar, Brazilian bar chairs under the Chinese palm trees, Japanese octopus playground next to the long row of Bulgarian picnic tables and Argentinean BBQ’s, Belgian benches around the cherry trees, UV (blacklight) light highlighting all white from the American shower lamp, Norwegian bike rack with a bike pump, Liberian cedar trees.

Red zone: As an extension of the Norrebrohall’s sports and cultural activities, the Red Square is envisioned as an urban extension of the hall’s interior life. A variety of recreational opportunities, as well as the big center plaza, enabling local inhabitants to interact with one another via physical exercise and games. The colorful surface is color and material integrated with the Nrrebrohall and its new main entrance, where the surface integrates inside and outdoors in the new foyer.

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Red Zone_©Iwaan Baan
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Superkilen Park_©Iwaan Baan
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Public Zone_©Iwaan Baan
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superkilen_©Iwaan Baan

2. BQ park

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Type: Urbanism
Status: In Progress (Concept Proposal)
Size in m2: 50000
Collaborators: Regional Plan Association, Arcadis

Background: The Brooklyn Queens Expressway, or BQE, was built by Robert Moses in the 1950s and has served as a vital element of New York City’s infrastructure for more than 60 years. As the triple-cantilever construction along Brooklyn Heights corrodes and deteriorates, New York City has taken on the task of restoring the highway, which stretches from Sands Street in DUMBO to Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill.

Concept: The idea was to turn the BQ-Expressway into a BQ-Park, while still accommodating significant vehicle flows along the route. The first stage in the BIG plan is to build an at-grade highway along Furman Street and Brooklyn Bridge Park that will be covered by basic deck construction. The deck serves as a foundation for adding considerable additional parkland along the underutilized corridor, while also linking Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park with a network of crisscrossing rampways, vegetation, and park facilities. A meandering parkway provides access to local parks, while space is made available for a future spur of the adjacent light-rail line. The deck also continues south to Atlantic Avenue, forming a new crossing and urban junction that acts as a gateway to the linear park.

As a result, the situation is more akin to the historical conditions in Brooklyn Heights, when the city and river intertwined smoothly before the building of the highway.

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BQ Park arial view_©https://big.dk/#projects
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BQ Park sectionall view_©https://big.dk/#projects
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BQ Park section_©https://big.dk/#projects

3. Times Square Valentina

Location: New York, USA
Type: Placemaking Urbanism
Status: Completed
Collaborators: Times Square Alliance,  Flatcut, Local Projects, and Zumtobel Lightings

Background: The Times Square Alliance has sponsored an annual public art sculpture to commemorate Valentine’s Day for several years. In the year 2012, BIG architects were commissioned with the design of the sculpture.

Concept and Design: A sensory approach was taken to design the sculpture. The installation is a 10-foot-tall heart that pulsates as 400 transparent, LED-lit acrylic tubes sway in the breeze. When visitors touch the heart-shaped sensor, the light brightens and the pulse accelerates. Joining hands with other people will enhance the heart’s intensity.

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BIG loves Times Square_©Ho kyeong Lee
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BIG loves Times Square_©Ho kyeong Lee
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BIG loves Times Square_©Ho kyeong Lee

4. Västeras Travel Center

Location: Västeras, Seden
Type: Transport infrastructure
Status: ongoing

Collaborators: Tyrens (Structure, geotechnics), Kragh & Berglund (Landscape), Rambøll (Projektering Ledelse), Rambøll (sustainability coordination), Sweco Architects AB (local architect), VAP (Traffic Planner), Afry (El.), Brand Projektering AB (Fire), Kadesjös (Ventilation), PQ Projektledning AB (cable management coordination), Structor Riskbyrån AB (risk management), WSP (cost estimation)

Concept and Design: BIG’s concept for Västers Travel Center brings together a number of transportation-related services and activities under a single brand. A bus terminal, transport services, a bicycle garage, outdoor bicycle parking, taxi zones, commercial areas, restaurants, offices, event spaces, and exhibition spaces are all part of the project that spans across the railway lines. A light, undulating roofscape unfolds across the numerous dynamic elements of the program that make up the urban node, becoming a new landmark for one of Sweden’s major cities.

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Curvilinear timber roof of vasteras Travel centre_©Dezeen.com
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Curvilinear timber roof of vasteras Travel centre_©Dezeen.com
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Arialof vasteras Travel centre_©Arch2O.com

5. The Big U

Location: Lower Manhattan, New York, USA
Type: Coastal infrastructure
Status: ongoing- conceptual

Background: Lower Manhattan’s low-lying landscape, stretching from West 57th Street to The Battery and up to East 42nd Street, is home to about 220,000 people and the hub of a $500 billion corporate sector that impacts the global economy. Not only did Hurricane Sandy wreak havoc on the Financial District, but also on the city’s 95,000 low-income, elderly, and handicapped inhabitants. Infrastructure within a 10-mile radius was damaged or destroyed, transportation and communication were disrupted, and thousands of people were left without power or running water.

Concept: The idea was envisioned as ten continuous miles of security customized to each and every neighborhood type as well as community-desired features. The plan divides the region into three sections: East River Park, Two Bridges and Chinatown, and Brooklyn Bridge to The Battery. Each, like a ship’s hull, can provide a flood-protection zone, affording distinct chances for integrated social and community planning processes. Each compartment has a physically distinct flood-protection zone that is protected from flooding in the other zones, but it also serves as a field for integrated social and community development. The compartments work together to preserve and improve the city, but each compartment’s plan is intended to stand alone.

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The Big U Project_©Archdaily.com
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The Big U Project_©dezeen.com
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The Big U Project Master plan_©Archdaily.com

6. Islais hyper-creek

Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Type: Coastal infrastructure
Size: 2,500,000 m2
Collaborators: ONE Architecture, Sherwood Design Engineers, Nelson Nygaard, Strategic Economics, Moffat & Nichol, The Dutra Group, Stanford University Research Team
Status: conceptual stage

Background: Islais Hyper-Creek lies at the junction of several distinct neighbourhoods, including Bayview-Hunters Point, Dogpatch, and Potrero Hill. Notably, the region is a hub for working-class industrial employment, as well as food delivery, art-making, handicraft, manufacturing, and other activities. Islais Stream is currently more of a canal than a creek, albeit its low-lying surroundings were originally marshland, now filled in with debris and at risk of liquefaction. The area is also vulnerable to rainwater and sewage floods, as well as recurrent coastal flooding.

Concept: The project focuses on the value of adaptive scalar thinking in creating an egalitarian, climate-responsive, and useful sequence of public spaces and interventions that account for both current threats and long-term plans. With Islais Hyper-Creek, the team offers a strategy that combines coastal protection and adaptation with ecological restoration and economic growth that extends across the creek basin, as well as fostering social resiliency and training programs farther upland.

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Islais hyper-creek_©88designbox.com
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Islais hyper-creek_©The frisc

7. Pont de Bondy Metro station

Location: Bondy, Bobigny and Noisy-le-Sec
Type: Transport infrastructure
Size: 10000 Sq m
Collaboration: French studio Silvio d’Ascia Architecture
Status: ongoing

Background: The Pont de Bondy station is part of the Grand Paris Express, a new network of lines that would expand the existing Bondy metro system by 200 

Concept: The Parisian characteristic of using bridges as social places is incorporated in the design. The station will be part of “line 15,” which will run around the suburbs of Paris. It is made up of a brown structure with a shaded corridor and two right-angled additions. Both expansions have distinct characteristics since one goes beneath a bridge and the other crosses a body of water. In plan, the station would be an inclusive loop that would unite all the three surrounding neighborhoods.

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Pont de Bondy Metro station_©Archdaily.com
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Pont de Bondy Metro station_©Archdaily.com
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Pont de Bondy Metro station_©Archdaily.com

8. East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

Location:  Manhattan, New York, USA
Type: Coastal infrastructure
Status: ongoing 

Background: The East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project is a coastal protection program financed jointly by the City of New York and the federal government that aims to reduce flood danger on Manhattan’s East Side from East 25th Street to Montgomery Street due to coastal storms and sea-level rise. The project’s limits correlate to the natural “pinch-points” in the 100-year floodplain.

Concept: The project’s many components for coastal resiliency include elevated parks, floodwalls, floodgates, and infrastructure upgrades that will be incorporated into the urban design fabric and will increase access to the coastline while providing long-term flood protection.

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East side coastal Resiliency_©www1.nyc.gov/site/escr
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East side coastal Resiliency_©www1.nyc.gov/site/escr
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East side coastal Resiliency_©www1.nyc.gov/site/escr

9. Skum Pavillion

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Type: Placemaking and recreational Urbanism
Status: Completed
Size: 180 sqm
Collaborators:  àrea cúbica

The pavilion, which debuted as the Tuborg VIP bar at Roskilde Festival 2016, includes a 120 square meter umbrella for guests to rest under. Its low-impact design provides optimum visibility while leaving a little environmental legacy. During the nights, color-changing LED lights are set to illuminate the pavilion, creating the comforting glow of a massive nightlight on the festival and museum grounds.

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Scum Pavillion_©Pinterest
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Scum Pavillion_©Pinterest

10. Zira Island Master Plan

Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Type: Master Plan
Status: Concept
Size: 10000 sqm
Collaborators:  Ramboll, Phil

The proposal for Zira Island is an architectural landscape based on the natural landscape of Azerbaijan. This new architecture not only recreates the iconic silhouettes of the seven peaks, but more importantly creates an autonomous ecosystem where the flow of air, water, heat and energy are channeled in almost natural ways. A mountain creates biotopes and eco-niches, it channels water and stores heat, it provides viewpoints and valleys, access and shelter. The Seven Peaks of Azerbaijan are not only metaphors but actual living models of the mountainous ecosystems of Azerbaijan.

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Zira Island_©Archdaily.com
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Zira Island_©Archdaily.com
Zira Island_©Archdaily.com

Reference:

Author

Srishti Dasgupta is currently pursuing Architecture from Mumbai University. Her passion for art initiated her interest in Architecture.The creative field also inspired her to explore various aspects of art and culture. She intends to keep capturing the rationalities of everyday world, integrated with the creative world through different mediums.

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