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The starchitect of 2016

Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group
Image credit: Dezeen At just 41, Bjarke Ingels is arguably a little young to be named on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential list. Yes, the list does include people much younger than the Danish creator (Nicki Minaj, for example) but any other architect of his age might be considered inexperienced: Canadian American legend Frank Gehry was 50 when he completed his famous Gehry Residence; our recently departed Zaha Hadid was 44 when her first project, The Vitra Fire Station, was realised; and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe completed his famous Modernist masterpiece, the Barcelona Pavilion, at about the same age as Ingels is now. But at only 41, Bjarke Ingels has already conceptualised 50 plus architectural projects, each representing a new kind of architecture, one that’s exciting, contemporary and that breaks the mould of the ever-popular Modernist era. It’s difficult not to be blown away by each and every one of Ingels’ powerful creations, so we’ve rounded up 10 buildings that show why the young, dynamic visionary made the list that everyone wants to be on.

8 House

8HOUSE Source: dezeen.com

WHEN 2008 WHERE Copenhagen, Denmark WHAT When seen from above, this mixed-use development forms a figure eight. For the architect ‘by mixing traditional ingredients, retail, row houses and apartments, in untraditional ways, you create added value, if not gold.’ The building's parts, which include shops, a primary school, housing and commercial space, are all connected to a shared courtyard by sloping walkways and cycle routes.

Danish National Maritime Museum 

DanishMaritime Image credit: image © rasmus hjortshøj

WHEN 2013 WHERE Helsingør, Denmark WHAT Rather than filling an old dry port and building on the surface, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in collaboration with Kossmann Dejong, Rambøll, Freddy Madsen and KiBiSi, decided to repurpose it, placing Denmark’s dedication to maritime history underground inside the dock. The network of galleries and historical tributes are interconnected with clever walkways that pierce the 60-year-old-walls, perfectly bridging the gap between old and new.

M2 Hill House

M2 Image credit: Ulrik Reeh

WHEN 2006 WHERE Denmark WHAT Bjarke Ingels took the concept of housing ‘disappearing into the landscape’ to the next level with this project. The Hill House is literally blanketed in a thick coat of grass in an effort that ‘sets a new standard for sustainable design and construction’.

VM Houses

VM Image credit: Johan Fowelin

WHEN 2005 WHERE Copenhagen, Denmark WHAT Shaped into the letters V and M, these two residential blocks were built to maximise views and light. Almost 80 apartment types means the individual living spaces are tailored to a multitude of lifestyles. Triangular balconies, like spikes, protrude from the façade and allow light to reach every single apartment.

Serpentine Pavilion

serp Image credit: Courtesy of BIG

WHEN 2016 WHERE London WHAT For this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, Ingels and his team decided to unzip a wall, turning a 2D structure into an engaging 3D concept. For Ingels the pavilion represents multiple facets that might be perceived as opposites: ‘A structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob.’

LEGO House

LEG) Image credit: Courtesy of BIG

WHEN To be completed mid-2017 WHERE Billund, Denmark WHAT ‘An old African saying says, "It takes a village to raise a child",’ says the team at BIG. ‘The LEGO House could be conceived as a village for playing and learning – an urban space as much as architecture.’ The stacked boxed structure, which is currently under construction, is being built to offer a unique LEGO experience and will house a restaurant, café and LEGO store.

La Maison Des Fondateurs

lamaison Image credit: Courtesy of BIG

WHEN Started 2014 WHERE Le Brassus, Switzerland WHAT Coiling out of the earth, La Maison Des Fondateurs reflects a chronograph mechanism in its design. Like a mash-up between Hill House and the Danish Maritime Museum, the headquarters of Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet is a partially underground glass and concrete, stone and timber structure that houses gallery and event spaces over a long undulating platform.

NYPD 40th Precinct

nypd Image Credit: Courtesy of BIG

WHEN Started 2016 WHERE Bronx, NY WHAT When you think about what the revamped interior of a New York Police Department in the heart of the Bronx might look like, you’re probably envisioning exposed brick and urban grit. In the hands of Ingels and his team, the building will look far more sleek and modern than this, while also throwing back to its history. Stacked concrete boxes, which look thoroughly contemporary, are inspired by the rusticated bases of early police stations. The design hopes to invite the community to be involved with the PD.

Via 57 West

VIA Image credit: Courtesy of BIG & Glessner

WHEN 2016 WHERE Manhattan, New York WHAT A bold contemporary housing development in bustling Manhattan, VIA is a ‘courtscraper’ build that offers inner city living in a pyramid like structure. ‘It's a combination of a skyscraper and a courtyard building. One side is the height of a handrail and the other side is the height of a high-rise,’ Ingels told Dezeen.

2 World Trade Centre

WTC WHEN Expected to be complete 2020 WHERE New York WHAT The fourth and final World Trade Centre to go up may be the most exciting. The difficulty with conceptualising the towers, reports WIRED, is producing a blueprint that is respectful of the towers’ history, while giving it a fresh, elevated look. ‘On one hand it’s about being respectful and about completing the frame around the memorial,’ Ingels told WIRED, ‘and on the other hand it’s about revitalising downtown Manhattan and making it a lively place to live and work.’ But don’t take it from us, enjoy a tour of the incredibly designed, multifaceted building here… 2 World Trade Center in New York City, a BIG design, Squint/Opera production from BIG on Vimeo.