One of the leading architectural and urban planning firms in Copenhagen, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s architectural processes are influenced by the detailed analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. Well known for their extra-ordinary concepts and out of the box thinking, this firm is responsible for the designing of various exceptional structures like VIA 57 West in New York, 8 House and Copenhill in Copenhagen, Audemars Piguet Museum in Switzerland, and many more. 

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Not only this, but they are also creating milestones into futuristic architecture with the Oceanix City, a 75-hectare floating community with a manmade ecosystem. Their main aim is to create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking, and shopping. 

Due to these remarkable ideologies, they have been felicitated with innumerable awards from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), AIA (American Institute of Architects), and many other well-known institutions. 

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1. The Mountain Dwelling

Location – Ørestad, Copenhagen
Type– Residence
Scale – 33000 sq. m.
Completed in – 2008

Awards– 2008 World Architecture Festival Award for Best Residential Building,2008 Forum AID Award for Best Building in Scandinavia in 2008, 2009 ULI Award for Excellence, and 2009 MIPIM Award for best residential development.

Parking is an essential element in any housing project. But in the Mountain Dwellings, one can observe that the program is 2/3 parking and 1/3 housing consisting of 80 penthouse apartments, situated on an artificial, South facing hill. Each apartment from the 1st floor to the 10th floor has a mesmerizing view of the surroundings, roof gardens facing towards the sunlight in an L shaped floor plan, and terrace. The parking garage contains space for 480 cars. It has up to 16 m high ceilings, and the underside of each level of apartments is covered in aluminum and painted in a distinctive color scheme, as a tribute to Danish furniture designer from the 1970s, Verner Panton. The northern and western sides of the garage are covered with aluminum panels tinted with a giant rasterized image of Mount Everest. It is perforated for better ventilation. 

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The Mountain – Aerial View ©Pinterest
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The Mountain – Parking ©Pinterest
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The Mountain – Schematic Section ©Architectour.net
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The Mountain – Terrace Garden ©ArchDaily

2. Sjakket Youth House

Location–Copenhagen, Denmark
Type– Community Building
Scale–2000 sq. m.
Completed in – 2007

Awards – 2008 Contract World Best Interior in Education, 2011 International Olympic Committee Silver Award. 

Formerly a factory, this structure is built as a base camp for immigrant youth. The structural walls and the exterior gables were kept untouched due to the rules of preservation. Hence the two vaults were connected by a container that was easily available in the surrounding harbor, which serves as a studio for Ghetto Noise Records. The valley in between functions as a sun deck. One of the vaults is converted into a vast sports hall, whereas the other has a more detailed program. The vault to the south opens up entirely to the courtyard through three large industrial-sized garage doors. The space between the vaults houses the kitchen, bathrooms, and sports equipment storage. The exterior windows display various color tones from red to blue. Overall, the building is an excellent example of a multi-functional area that could make a bright positive statement. 

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Sjakket Youth House – Colorful Windows ©archiweb.cz
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Sjakket Youth House – Ghetto Noise Recording Studio ©ArchDaily and Flickr
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Sjakket Youth House – Ghetto Noise Recording Studio ©ArchDaily and Flickr
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Sjakket Youth House – The Sun Deck ©big.dk

3. Lego House

Location–Billund, Denmark
Type–Exhibition and Cultural Center
Scale– 12000 sq. m.
Completed in – 2017

Awards – 2018 Good Design Award, 2018 INSIDE World Festival of Interiors Award, 2018 Architizer A+ Award for Concept and Branding, 2019 Frame Award for Best Use of Digital Technology, 2019 Civic Trust Award for Positive Local Impact, etc.

As the name suggests, the building resembles 21 giant LEGO blocks placed on one another with a facade covered in white glazed ceramic tiles that look like classic 2×4 LEGO bricks. The architect has focused on creating various skill development corners inside the building for the kids to learn along with the play. The first and second floors have four different play zones which are color-coded in Red, Blue Green, and Yellow that helps increase Creative, Cognitive, Social, and Emotional skills respectively. Two of the blocks seem to have been broken down or pixelated which creates an outdoor theatre for public performances. On the top of the colorful roofs, one can see the white Masterpiece Gallery with eight circular skylights housing some of the exhibits that demonstrate LEGO as an art form. This gallery offers a 360º panoramic view of the whole city. 

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LEGO House – Aerial View ©legohouse.com
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LEGO House – Conceptual View ©big.dk
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LEGO House – Exterior View ©Dezeen
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LEGO House – Interior of the Gallery ©big.dk
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LEGO House – Interior of the Red Area ©Arch2O
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LEGO House – Outdoor Theatre ©Flickr

4. Superkilen Park

Location–Nørrebro, Copenhagen
Type– Public Plaza for Urban Development
Scale– 33000 sq. m.
Completed in – 2012

Awards – 2012 IEDC Excellence Award, 2012 Architect Magazine Annual Design Review Award, 2013 Archdaily Building of the Year, 2013 Architizer A+ (Popular choice – Landscape and Gardens), 2013 Mies van der Rohe Award.

Superkilen is a 750-meter long urban space designed in one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark. The main objective of the Copenhagen Municipality of planning this park was to bring together people of various countries and backgrounds that have settled in the adjacent areas. The entire park is divided into three sections – a red square, a black market, and a green park. The red square has a color palette of red, orange, and pink, which is a recreational space symbolizing modern living. The black market is a classic square with fountains and palm trees from China. The green park is the rolling hills with areas dedicated to sports and picnics. There are many minimal elements like manhole covers and litter bins as well as huge sculptures and murals inspired or copied from various countries exhibited in the park.       

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Superkilen Park – Features of the Park ©big.dk
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Superkilen Park – Plan ©big.dk
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Superkilen Park – The Black Market ©Pinterest
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Superkilen Park – The Green Park ©Archiscapes
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Superkilen Park – The Red Square ©Arcspace

5. Audemars Piguet Hotel Des Horlogers

Location–Le Brassus, Switzerland
Type–Hospitality
Scale– 7000 sq. m.
Status – Under Construction

Situated near the Musee Atelier Audemars Piguet, this hotel is seamlessly integrated into the smooth topography of the scenic Vallee de Joux. This ski-hotel is defined by a zigzag pattern created by the room slabs that eventually merge into a gentle slope creating an exterior path to the museum and ski trips. The timber-cladded rooms offer a mesmerizing view of the Vallee de Joux, while the other amenities like restaurants, bars, conference rooms, and spa are integrated under the inclined slabs and oriented towards the light and the scenic beauty. The continuous sloping corridor in the interior connects the rooms and amenities, for visitor and service circulation.  

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Audemars Piguet Hotel Des Horlogers – External View ©big.dk
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Audemars Piguet Hotel Des Horlogers – The Process ©big.dk

REFERENCES

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Author

Richa Shah is a young architect who loves to explore various stories in architecture. She is very much engrossed in researching about different topics and thinks that architecture can be evolved through writing and communicating. She is a trained classical dancer, an experimental cook, and is obsessed with history, ruins, and civilizations and wishes to explore the countless tales that lie buried beneath them.

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