Bjarke Ingels Group Copenhagen Experiments
Storefront for Art & Architecture
New York, New York, USA
On view: October 02, 2007 - November 24, 2007
If people are different, why are all apartments the same?
The exhibition presents projects that are all specific urban
experiments conducted in Copenhagen since January 2001 by Bjarke
Ingels Group (BIG).
At different stages of realization they portray a new breed of urban life forms, both locally specific and generally applicable, introducing residential diversity, programmatic alchemy, urban ascension, modular mania and political pro-action into the architectural species of the Danish welfare state.
The projects represents 5 specific takes on human accommodation
and shows how the potent urban mix of different functions, public
and private, can be infused directly into architecture
Each project's effect and reception is showcased dependant on to what extent it is already manifest in the public realm, ranging from images of life in the VM houses post-occupation, through the 250.000 piece LEGO model inhabited by 1000 LEGO people, to the excessive political debate about Kløverkarreen.
The VM Houses compile 85 different housing types into a 225 unit complex, providing the residential diversity of an entire neighbourhood in to a single block.
Can you combine the splendours of a suburban lifestyle with the convenience of urban density?
By placing a 100 unit residential slab on top of a block of
parking, the architects create a new hybrid typology half villas
half urban block. The result is 11 stories of terraced residences
with generous garden courtyards, nested on top of a south facing
slope of parking. In a country flat as a pancake, the only way to
get a south facing hillside, is to do it yourself.
Copenhagen used to be the city of towers, but in a post-modern disappointment with the urban residue of modernism the city has grown agoraphobic. Towers are seen as urban aliens that invest all their efforts in the skyline, rather than in the urban space. The Scala Tower focuses all its qualities from the waist down. A slim simple tower, that melts towards the city, merging with neighbouring blocks and public squares. The stepped and twisted volume allows the public to
invade the facades, extending the public realm to the Copenhagen skyline.
The last 50 years the Danish building industry has been exclusively devoted to prefabrication.
Denmark has become a country built from LEGO bricks. Rather than
seeing the modular mania as a straightjacket, this project is a
homage to Danish building industry. By turning the site in to a
modular matrix of 12 x 12 feet BIG created an elastic field of
peaks and valleys. A thousand plateaus ascending and descending,
separating and merging to form a fluid space of private and public
Combining the rigorous and the adventurous. The box and the blob.
Architects always wait for the phone to ring or someone to announce a competition. As a profession we are always the last to get involved, and then only to "make it nice". When the social democratic mayor of Copenhagen announced a plan to provide 5000 affordable homes in Copenhagen, we saw an opening for short circuiting the good old dilemma between development and preservation. Copenhagen's former airfield, now home to 40 football fields, turned into the gargantuan courtyard of a 3 kilometer long building block, would accommodate 2000 people without sacrificing a single football field./Bjarke Ingels
Rather than choosing between football or affordable homes . . . this project provides both.
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is a Copenhagen based group of 80
architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the
fields of architecture, urbanism, research and development.
The opening at Storefront for Art & Architecture.
Last updated: December 10, 2012