While Bjarke Ingels’ TED talk doesn’t exhibit any work that will be ‘new’ to AMNP readers, I find this ninja incredibly entertaining – this video is definitely a good watch. I particularly enjoyed the beginning of the talk, where he discussed the idea that evolution is more important [to him, at least] than revolution in architecture – that we should improvise and adapt to changes as they occur. This then serves as the basis for his explanation of BIG’s design process, and the individual projects that he shows towards the end of the video.
Bjarke Ingels is principal of BIG, based in Copenhagen. An alumnus of Rem Koolhaas’ OMA practice, Ingels takes a similar approach: experimenting with pure space, but never losing sight of the building as a solution to a real-world problem. His manifesto “Yes Is More” takes the form of a giant cartoon strip, 130 meters long, that reminds people to keep thinking big — to see all our modern problems as challenges that inspire us. (The manifesto is now available in comic-book form.)
His deeply-thought-out and often rather large works — including several skyscrapers and mixed-use projects in a developing section of Copenhagen, plus a project for a new commercial harbor-island — work to bring coherence to the urban fabric and to help their occupants and users lead better lives. Coming up, he’s designing the Danish Pavilion for Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The pavilion is described as “a loop, a velodrome and an interactive fairytale,”and — not surprisingly for a Dane — comes with 1,500 bikes that Expo visitors can borrow.
“We come under the impression that clash of opposites doesn’t bother you. On the contrary, you like to compromise them.”
~ WhATA.org interview with Bjarke Ingels
::thanks to our ninja Kai-Uwe over at BIG for hitting me with the link::
::Video Sundays, or VS, is a weekly feature here on AMNP. For more architecture-related videos, click on any Sunday in the sidebar calendar, or on the ?videos? category in the ?archjutsu?section. And don?t hesitate to submit suggestions for video features to architecture[at]myninjaplease[dot]com::
[click images for larger view]
Our ninjas over at BIG [in a collaboration with ARUP and Transsolar] have been awarded first prize in yet another international design competition – this time to design the new headquarters for the Shenzhen Energy Company [dubbed the ‘Shenzhen International Energy Mansion’]. The goal of the competition was to find a sustainable and energy efficient solution to the Shezhen Energy Company’s need for a new HQ – specifically dealing with the tropical climate of the region, and integrating the 96,000 square foot project with the surrounding environment.
“We propose to make the Shenzhen Energy Mansion the first specimen of a new species of office buildings that exploits the buildings interface with the external elements – sun, daylight, humidity, wind as a source to create maximum comfort and quality inside. The Shenzhen Energy Mansion will appear as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper ? a natural evolution rather than a desperate revolution.”
~ Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG
The towers [the taller of which reaches 200 meters] utilize “practical and efficient” floor plates, and get creative in the facade – which is envisioned as a folded, origami-like skin which both shades the interior spaces from the harshest sunlight while integrating solar thermal panels to reduce the structure’s energy consumption. While protecting the interior from the South/West solar exposure [click for diagram], this ‘folding’ facade opens view to the Northwest [click for diagram] – and allow for indirect natural light to penetrate into some of the interior.
“By folding the facade in an origami like shape we achieve a structure with closed and open parts. The closed parts provide a highly-insulated facade, while blocking the direct sunlight. On the outside the closed parts are fitted with solar thermal heat panels that power the air conditioning and provide dehumidification for the working spaces.
The folded wall provides a free view through clear glass in one direction creating a condition with plenty of diffused daylight by reflecting the direct sunlight between the interior panels. Even with direct sun from east or west, the majority of the solar rays reflect off the glass, due to the flat angle of the window. The reflected rays increase the efficiency of solar thermal energy panels. The combination of minimal passive solar heating and active solar panels reduce the energy consumption by more than 60%.”
Most noticeably ‘unique’ about the design [at first glance] seems to be the subtle bend in the curtain wall, created by floor plates that push out from the facade [seen in the model images, above]. I can only assume that those are some kind of public or lobby spaces – that, or some people are getting some ridiculously dope office space.
::all images, info, + quoted text courtesy of BIG::
[click images for larger view]
We can always count on the ninjas over at BIG to never hold back.
BIG [The Bjarke Ingels Group] has won a limited invitation international competition to design Kazakhstan’s new National Library in the nation’s capital, Astana. Slated to encompass an estimated 30,000 square meters, BIG’s proposal was selected by a jury including the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and a panel of architects.
Much like some other projects we’ve seen proposed for the country, Kazakhstan is once again going ‘all-out’ – selecting a proposal whose form is based on the Mobius strip, and whose design is dope and equally outlandish. The design will integrate some public/civic functions within the library – surrounding a ‘continuous loop’ of stacks that spirals through the Mobius strip shape. The form will be simplified, internally, into stacking and stepping volumes that are then wrapped in a facade treatment that will give the library its twisting shape – creating, at the same time, what look to be some interesting interior public/open spaces.
Part of the project’s purpose is to serve as a representation of Kazakhstan’s growth, and the future of the country as a major influence in Central Asia. This eye-popping and I’m sure to be iconic design will therefore serve both as a cultural institution within Kazakhstan itself, and as a cultural and economic symbol of Kazakhstan internationally.
The following quoted text is the press release, from BIG:
The design of the National Library combines four universal archetypes across space and time into a new national symbol: the circle, the rotunda, the arch and the yurt are merged into the form of a Moebius strip. The clarity of the circle, the courtyard of the rotunda, the gateway of the arch and the soft silhouette of the yurt are combined to create a new national monument appearing local and universal, contemporary and timeless, unique and archetypal at the same time.
~ Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner on the Astana National Library 2009
Being one of the future cornerstones of Kazakh nation building, and a leading institution representing the Kazakh national identity, designing the library went beyond a mere architectural challenge. The new National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan’s new capital since 1997, shall not only accumulate history but also provide a foundation for new futures for the nation and its new capital. It will serve as an intellectual, multifunctional and cultural center, with a primary goal of reflecting the establishment and development of a sovereign Kazakhstan, its political history, and the Head of the State’s activities and role in the development of the country.
The National Library will be the place where the citizens of Astana, the people of Kazakhstan as well as international visitors can come to explore the country’s history, its diverse cultures, its new capital and its first president. The Library will accommodate and communicate with all segments of the population: civil servants, politicians, researchers, students, museum historians and staff. The Library is conceived as a symbiosis of urbanity and nature. Like Astana, which is located in the heart of the Kazakh mainland, it will be integrated into the heart of a re-created Kazakh landscape. The park around the library is designed like a living library of trees, plants, minerals and rocks allowing visitors to experience a cross section of Kazakhstan’s natural landscape, and personally experience the capital’s transition across the country from Almaty to Astana.
What is a library but an efficient archive of books and a path for the public to reach them.
~ Thomas Christoffersen, the Project Leader on the National Library
In the library they will be able to study the history of the Kazakh culture and language present in the massive collection of books, magazines, film and other media. The archive is organized as a circular loop of knowledge, surrounded by light and air on both sides. On the periphery a 360 degree panorama of Astana – at the heart of the building a contemplative courtyard domed by the heavenly light blue of the celestial vault. The simplicity and perfection of the infinite circle allows for a crystal clear and intuitive orientation in the vast and growing collection that will populate the shelves of the National Library. The ideal addition to the perfect circle will be a series of public programs that simultaneously wraps the library on the outside as well as the inside, above as well as below. Twisting the public program into a continuous spiraling path tracing the library on all sides, creates an architectural organization that combines the virtues of all 4 complimenting models. Like a Mobius strip, the public programs move seamlessly from the inside to the outside and from ground to the sky providing spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and growing city skyline.
The 2 interlocking structures: the perfect circle and the public spiral, create a building that transforms from a horizontal organization where library museum and support functions are placed next to each other, to a vertical organization where they are stacked on top of each other through a diagonal organization combining vertical hierarchy, horizontal connectivity and diagonal view lines. By wrapping the transforming composition of spaces with a continuous skin we create a Mobius strip volume where the facades move from inside to outside and back again.
The envelope of The National Library transcends the traditional architectural categories such as wall and roof. Like a yurt the wall becomes the roof, which becomes floor, which becomes the wall again.
~ Thomas Christoffersen, the Project Leader on the National Library
::click images for larger view – additional images at AMNP’s flickr page::
[note: Does this mean that the ‘architecture of excess’ isn’t dead? Because this project is CRAZY.]