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Bjarke Ingels Group Copenhagen Experiments

October 08, 2007 /

Storefront for Art & Architecture
New York, New York, USA
On view: October 02, 2007 - November 24, 2007

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Photo courtesy Storefront for Art & ArchitectureLEGO Houses model made of 250,000 LEGO blocks

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 itself.

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.

VM Houses
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.

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Photo: arcspace
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Storefront for Art & Architecture

Mountain Dwellings
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.

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Photo: arcspace
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Storefront for Art & Architecture

SCALA Tower
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.

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Storefront for Art & Architecture
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Storefront for Art & Architecture

LEGO Houses
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 plateaus.
Combining the rigorous and the adventurous. The box and the blob.

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Storefront for Art & Architecture
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Storefront for Art & Architecture

KLM Houses

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.

Rather than choosing between football or affordable homes . . . this project provides both.
/Bjarke Ingels


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Storefront for Art & Architecture

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.

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Photo Joseph GrimaBjarke Ingels at the opening.

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Photo: Alan R. TanseyThe crowd at the Storefront for Art & Architecture

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Photo: Alan R. TanseyStorefront for Art & Architecture

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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