Bjarke Ingels Group, a Danish architecture firm, usually just goes by its initials: BIG. Which is fitting, because they’re famous for some pretty wild design proposals–including a glittering new design for the City Hall of Tallinn, Estonia and a beautiful museum in Mexico. But they’re actually astonishingly young–the founding partner, Bjarke Ingels is just 34. He’ll be speaking at TED Global this week. Which makes it a particularly good time to gawk at their biggest completed building to date, an apartment complex that sits on a massive manmade hill, in a fast-growing suburb of Copenhagen.
As Dwell reports in a great feature on the building, the design has a functional purpose: The building lot sits next to metro tracks, while zoning laws mandated that it include twice as much parking space as housing space. The natural thing would have been to build a huge parking garage that would have overshadowed the apartments–and leave everything open on one side to the roar of the trains whipping by. But BIG’s solution uses the car park to lift up the housing units, and thus shield them from all the environmental noise–and approach that one of the project architects calls “architectural alchemy” that transforms the lead of zoning requirements into gold. (If the aesethetic seems familiar, you’re right–Ingels cut his teeth working at OMA for Rem Koolhaas.)
Read the entire piece at Dwell.