“Architecture is about creating a man-made ecosystem, it’s not just about a pretty building.”

-Bjarke Ingels 

Bjarke Ingels Group or BIG founded by Bjarke Ingels in 2005, is famous for its unconventional approach to design. The group is known for breaking several benchmarks and stereotypes of architecture with a careful analysis of the evolution and changes in the contemporary lifestyle. Following the philosophy of ‘Yes is More’, they have designed remarkable structures contributing to the skylines of major cities like New York, Copenhagen, Miami, and London. BIG puts to a great extent the thought process for the conceptual designing of any project and represents the evolution of design as per the surrounding context and climate throughout beautiful and explanative 3D models. 

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Bjarke Ingels ©theculturetrip.com

Bjarke explains his designed structures with a series of striking diagrammatic approaches borrowed from his mentor Rem Koolhas. He is one of the most talked and sought-after architects of this generation for his playful yet practical approach towards work. Let’s have a look at how Bjarke Ingels reached the top of his game. 

1. Being Cost-Effective

One of the very first projects by Bjarke, VM House, Copenhagen is an upgraded and reinterpreted version of United’ Habitation by Le Corbusier. These residential blocks have been imaged in the shapes of V and M to offer daylight, privacy, and views while remaining cost-effective. The cost for construction has been significantly reduced by providing a small central core having staircase and lift accessible by a narrow halfway at every third floor due to the double-height apartments offering panoramic views.


Image Sources: Image 2 – VM House © www.archdaily.com

2. Connecting with locals

Copen Hill also known as Amager Bakke breaks all the stereotypes of a standard energy plant. The architectural landmark has been conceived as an opportunity to provide locals with a chance to experience a 9000 sq.m. ski slope, hiking trail, and climbing wall on the building roof in an otherwise flat country. A glass elevator offers a peek to the operations of a waste incinerator. A biodiverse landscape that has been created on the 85m high man-made mountain is a major attraction. 

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Cophen Hill ©www.dezeen.com
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Cophen Hill ©www.dezeen.com
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Cophen Hill ©www.dezeen.com

3. Being Sensitive to the existing land use and structures

King Toronto is located in a transitional area in Toronto created as a union of the old and new architecture styles depicting the rapid development of Toronto. Rather than demolishing the existing heritage buildings are treated to play a central role within the development. The building envelope has been designed as a traditional perimeter block with a central public plaza. The condo apartments perceived as pixels rotated at 45degrees to allow better sunlight and air rises with a distinct undulating façade to incorporate green spaces in the development. 

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King Toronto ©www.archdaily.com
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King Toronto ©www.archdaily.com
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King Toronto ©www.archdaily.com

4. Bringing the WOW Factor 

The eye-catching structure of the Maison des Fondateurs is a museum cum workshop designed for the Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet. The built mass is a perfect blend of the geometry, performance, form, function, and structure with the interior and exterior spaces that blends perfectly with the surrounding landscape. An unobstructed linear space is required for an exhibition that has been conceived as a spiral form connecting the museum. This spiral has been lifted and suppressed to allow light and views into the structure. 

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8 House ©www.archdaily.com
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8 House ©www.archdaily.com
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8 House ©www.archdaily.com

5. Giving an unusual experience 

8 House, Copenhagen offers an unusual experience of cycling from the street to the 10th-floor penthouse along beautifully landscaped gardens. This design element sparks spontaneous encounters with neighbors which are generally restricted to the ground floor houses. The bowtie shaped mixed-used structure provides residential, commercial, and retail spaces that have been meticulously divided among different levels. The shape creates two intimidating interior courtyards with recreational facilities provided at the center of the cross. 

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The Spiral ©www.dezeen.com
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The Spiral ©www.dezeen.com
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The Spiral ©www.dezeen.com

6. Out of the box Design Approach 

The Spiral, Manhattan echoes the architecture of Rockefeller Center while having a contemporary high-rise design that would stand out amongst the Manhattan skyline. The high-rise has been imaged as a vertical volume decreasing in its floorplate with height along with a spiral double height landscaped terrace. This terrace breaks the stereotypical workspace design and promotes interaction between the employees. 

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Lego House © www.designboom.com
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Lego House © www.designboom.com
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Lego House © www.designboom.com

7. Being relatable to both client and user

Lego House, Billund promises to deliver the ultimate Lego experience for all age groups. The structure itself seems to be a composition made by lego bricks when viewed from the top. It has been designed with 21 white bricks stacked on top of each other with the 2*4 lego blocks called the keystone at the top keeping all bricks in place. Each gallery and roof has been painted with the primary colors of Lego blocks. 

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Grove at Grand Bay ©www.archdaily.com
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Grove at Grand Bay © www.archdaily.com
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Grove at Grand Bay © www.archdaily.com

8. Incorporating local concepts 

Grove at Grand Bay has been inspired by the vernacular residences of Miami having Brise-Soleil style balconies with floor to ceiling windows. The two buildings swirl up to offer the best panoramic views of Miami skylines and sailboat bays. The landscape has been designed to re-grove with the heart of Coconut Grove, which is often related to its untamed jungle-like vegetation. The podium level and amenity spaces are adorned with the lush landscape of plant life blankets. 


Radhika Dube is an adaptive, hardworking and determined architect. She loves travelling, baking and reading. She believes in bringing the building and structures to life with the help of her writings. She has the confidence to learn and achieve anything around her.

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