Bjarke’s been busy lately — not just with edifying and exhibiting but also his day job as, you know, an architect. The Danish architect’s firm has unleashed a veritable blizzard of new projects this winter, with the scale and program of each varying significantly. Following on from the recent groundbreaking of their twisting TELUS Sky Tower in Calgary, we can now bring you news of 4 fresh projects — in ascending order of size — on BIG’s digital drawing board.
SMALL: House For Cars, Ålborg
Designed for a private client and his stellar collection of vintage automobiles, GUG Villa is conceived as a simple concrete spiral that transforms from snazzy showroom to light-filled living space as it ascends the hillside.
The building has a strong sculptural quality, with echoes of Toyo Ito’s White U House and Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum — with all those fast cars and expanses of glazing, though, Bjarke had better hope there are no accidents akin to the Ferrari fiasco in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…
MEDIUM: Sydhavns Recycling Center, Copenhagen
BIG’s proposal for a waste management and recycling center is driven by a desire to reinvent the industrial typology as an “attractive and lively urban space.” Unsurprisingly, this brief is from the same client who commissioned this extraordinary incinerator/ski-slope hybrid, currently under construction in the same city.
The facility is submerged beneath a park complete with fitness equipment, running tracks and picnic areas, while the "recycling square" transforms the waste sorting process into a form of public performance.
LARGE: Uppsala Power Plant, Uppsala
Continuing in their effort to upend public preconceptions about the design of utilities, BIG’s design for a biomass plant in the Swedish city of Uppsala is perhaps one of their most ambitious — and colorful — to date.
The plant is proposed as a place of exploration and education as well as a generator of electricity, harnessing OMA’s principles of cross-programming in a riotous melting pot of public activity. Then there is that dome: A rainbow-colored geodesic structure unites a series of disparate forms within, providing a light-filled enclosure akin to MVRDV’s ‘Book Mountain’ library in Rotterdam.
EXTRA LARGE: Middle East Media HQ
Bjarke’s most ambitious project is in a very different location from the previous three, in terms of both climate and culture. His competition entry for a vast media headquarters is dominated by a dramatic tensile canopy, which provides shade and dappled light across the public space between two pixelated towers.
The ‘fabric’ of the canopy is punctuated with a laced pattern influenced by traditional Arabic designs, and creates an environment with strong similarities to Jean Nouvel’s domed Louvre, currently under construction in Abu Dhabi.
Which project is your pick of the bunch?
The Angry Architect
All images via BIG