The Smile has received two national US Design Awards – the ARCHITECT Magazine Residential Architect Design Awards, Multifamily Housing category; and an Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award, Multi-Unit Category.
As reported by The Real Deal, BIG and Two Trees’ River Ring project has officially received City approval to move forward into development. The milestone wraps up a breakneck land use review whereby the teams steered the project through the community board, borough president, City Planning Commission and City Council in just four months, which is “about as fast as it has ever been done.”
“With the River Ring we close one of the last remaining gaps in the continuous transformation of the Williamsburg waterfront into a post-industrial urban park scape. Rather than stopping at the hard edge of the old dock, Metropolitan avenue is split into a pedestrian loop extending all the way into the river, connecting the dots of the concrete caissons to form an urban archipelago of recreative islands while protecting a beach with tidal pools and wetlands,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner & Creative Director. “The radical transformation of Copenhagen’s port into a swimmable extension of the public space that we helped pioneer two decades ago, now seems to be knocking at the door in Williamsburg and the entire East River. The River Ring will be the first of many invitations for New Yorkers to dip their toes in the water.
Nabr’s first apartment building is officially public! Co-founded by Bjarke Ingels, Roni Bahar, and Nick Chim – and designed by BIG – Nabr applies technology and productization to increase the production of apartments available for sale in major cities, starting with San Jose. SoFA One brings much-needed housing to the heart of San Jose, and will break ground in 2022. “Our goal is to pioneer a new sustainable urban lifestyle. At SoFA One, residents have access to a Scandinavian-standard of quality of life, yet they are still in the hub of Silicon Valley, America’s greatest innovation ecosystem. Residents get the best of both worlds,” Bjarke Ingels.
BIG’s CopenHill Amager Bakke project has been named as World Building Of The Year at the World Architecture Festival- marking the first time a Danish (and a power plant) project has won this category. Topped with a ski slope, hiking trail and climbing wall, CopenHill embodies the notion of hedonistic sustainability while aligning with Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025.
New York Times architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman investigates the process of creating and implementing a protection plan that will protect residents from future climate events, and how The BIG U – a coastal resiliency project developed by BIG, One Architecture & Urbanism, Starr Whitehouse, James Lima, Arcadis, and many others for the Rebuild for Design initiative – relies equally on architects, urban planners, and the local community to implement a solution.
BIG has been named on Architectural Digest’s AD100 2022 list for the sixth consecutive year.
Anchored in the City of Oslo’s 2019 “Strategy for the Development of the Knowledge Capital”, the new 1.4 million m2 Oslo Science City will create a physical framework for Norway’s innovation environment of estimated 150,000 scientists, students, entrepreneurs, and contribute to the country’s transition to renewable energy. The yearlong feasibility study is developed by BIG, A-lab, mobility experts CIVITAS, design community COMTE BUREAU and advisors Dr. Tim Moonen/THE BUSINESS OF CITIES and Leo Grünfeld/MENON ECONOMICS. The innovation district aims to be a net zero emission area that builds on renewable energy, energy efficiency, circular economic principles and zero emission solutions during development and operation.
NOV 29TH, 2021 - BIG Unveils ESET Campus, a New Central European AI and Cybersecurity Hub in Bratislava, Slovakia
The new 55,000 m2 tech neighborhood will create a strong electricity-powered cybersecurity, AI and innovation ecosystem in the heart of Europe. The campus is expected to break ground in 2024, with a planned opening in 2027.
This week marked the official opening of A Place To Hotel in the coastal town of Esbjerg, Denmark. The hotel will accommodate the city’s many first-time and repeat visitors, who will enjoy outdoor spaces and generous views over the North Sea from each room and be immersed in local culture being surrounded by 400+ co-living student residences.
IQON Residences – BIG’s first project in South America, and Quito’s now tallest building – has topped out. The building is made up of concrete boxes that are stacked 33 floors tall, with each box rotated to provide the best possible views and create outdoor terraces for each apartment. IQON aims compress the unique experience of Quito into a single building to create a vertical community: La Carolina Park climbing all the way up to the penthouse. IQON’s construction is set to complete in early 2022.
According to new data provided by the Department of Transportation (DOT), cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge has almost doubled since the city opened the new dedicated bike lane. Conceptualized by BIG and WXY architecture + urban design, the new bike lane has reversed a years-long trend of declining bike ridership on the Brooklyn Bridge, which saw decreases in both months in 2020 compared to 2019, despite a bike boom across the city during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winners of the AFBC Architectural Awards of Excellence—the highest level of architectural awards in British Columbia—were announced on November 3, 2021, at the Polygon Gallery, with Vancouver House receiving an award for Design Excellence, in addition to being one of four projects to receive the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture.
Celebrated multi-family building, VIA – designed by BIG and developed by The Durst Organization – has won the 2021 Urban Land Institude NY Award of Excellence in Market-Rate Housing. Through its Global Awards for Excellence, the ULI’s prestigious awards program honors best-in-class developments that reflect the responsible land use practice and creation of sustainable, thriving communities. ULI NY has noted VIA’s unique form – the “courtscraper” – that combines the compactness, density, and intimacy of a classic courtyard building, with the airiness and the expansive views of a skyscraper.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded BIG’s CopenHill ski slope with a Gold Distinction for exemplary sports and leisure architecture- one of the world’s most sought-after prizes for sports, leisure and recreational facilities. This marks BIG’s fourth IOC accolade after previous wins for Superkilen, Sjakket Community Buildings, and Copenhagen Harbor Bath. Congratulations to all involved!
OCT 26TH, 2021 - BIG to Co-Design World’s Largest Neighborhood of 3-D Printed Homes with ICON & Lennar
The world’s largest neighborhood of 3-D printed homes to date is set to break ground in the Austin area in 2022. The 100-home community, codesigned by BIG, will be realized by ICON’s innovative robotics, software, and advanced materials, and finished by Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders.
OCT 26TH, 2021 - BIG’s 120 Fleet Street Reaches Major Milestone: Granted Planning Permission by City of London
The proposed redevelopment of the BIG-designed 120 Fleet Street has been granted planning permission by the City of London’s Planning and Transportation Committee. In addition to the redevelopment providing public access to the iconic building’s art deco foyer for the first time, 120 Fleet Street will meet strong sustainability standards and will emphasize workplace wellbeing – a significant upgrade to the existing building, which has inflexible floorplates and low environmental performance. To reduce the impact of redevelopment, two basement levels of the existing building will be retained and reused.
Bjarke sat down with The UN’s Global Resiliency Podcast to chat about climate-resilient architecture, and how BIG’s sustainability-driven projects – such as Oceanix, CopenHill, and BiodiverCity – exemplify creative and practical solutions to solving the world’s climate issues.
OCT 22ND, 2021 - BIG’s Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Action Plan in Bloomberg: A Neighborhood Network of Dutch-style Shared Streets
Bloomberg reports on the Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Action plan – “one of the more ambitious ideas for remaking an American city” – and how BIG’s shared proposal for a neighborhood network of “Dutch-style shared streets” is even more relevant in the post-COVID-19 world.
We’re proud to share that The Smile has won a 2021 ULI Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. Developed by Blumenfeld Development Group, the 260,000 square foot East Harlem residential building’s facade gently slopes inwards liked a draped curtain, deviating from the hard, linear street edge in an elegant gesture and forming its namesake curved “smile” in bird’s eye view. Upon entering The Smile, residents are immersed in an explosion of reds, blues, greens, and yellows, inspired by Harlem’s Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture and history.
OCT 19TH, 2021 - Frieze London’s Art:Live | Bjarke Ingels’ Vision for a More Sustainable Urban Landscape
To coincide with Frieze London, Bjarke sat down with Art:LIVE – a series that profiles creative trailblazers for their insights into contemporary art and culture. For their ‘New World’ episode, Bjarke shares his vision for the future of sustainable urban landscapes, BIG’s sustainability-centric projects, and why architects can help solve some of the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet today.
BIG is a Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona based group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers and inventors. The office is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. Not least due to the influence from multicultural exchange, global economical flows and communication technologies, that all together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. We believe that in order to deal with today’s challenges, architecture can profitably move into a field that has been largely unexplored. A pragmatic utopian architecture that steers clear of the petrifying pragmatism of boring boxes and the naïve utopian ideas of digital formalism. Like a form of programmatic alchemy, we create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. By hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms.
BIG is led by a global group of Partners: Bjarke Ingels, Sheela Maini Søgaard, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Thomas Christoffersen, Finn Nørkjær, David Zahle, Jakob Lange, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Daniel Sundlin, Jakob Sand, Brian Yang, Beat Schenk, Agustin Perez-Torres, Martin Voelkle, Leon Rost, Catherine Huang, Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Andy Young, Lorenzo Boddi, João Albuquerque, Douglass Alligood, Lars Larsen, Giulia Frittoli, and Daria Pahhota.
Associates: Ziad Shehab, Sören Grünert, Jeremy Alain Siegel, Andreas Buettner, Michelle Stromsta, Linus Saavedra, Aran Coakley, Kristian Hindsberg, Elizabeth McDonald, Blake Smith, Alana Goldweit, Agla Egilsdottir, Dominyka Voelkle, Jason Wu, Julie Kaufman, Kate Cella, Lawrence-Oliver Mahadoo, Lorenz Krisai, Margaret Tyrpa, Otilia Pupezeanu, Pauline Lavie-Luong, Sebastian Claussnitzer, Simon Scheller, Yu Inamoto (NYC) Frederik Lyng, Matthew Oravec, Nanna Gyldholm Møller, Eva Seo-Andersen, Per Bo Madsen, Snorre Nash, Enea Michelesio, Kekoa Charlot, Andrea Hektor, Hung Kai Liao, Jinho Lee, Laurent de Carniere, Lucas Carriere, Marie Lancon, ‘Molly’ Hsiao Rou Huang, Robert Grimm, Sarkis Sarkisyan, Shane Dalke, Søren Martinussen, Vinish Sethi, Jakob Henke, Jelena Vucic (CPH) Alexandru Malaescu, Chris Falla, Isabel da Silva, Jason Chee Han Chia, Lauren Connell Falla, Ryohei Koike (LON) Maria Sole Bravo, Hanna Johansson and Ángel Barreno Gutiérrez (BCN).
Directors: Anne Brown Frandsen (CFO), Alexander Bøegh (CTO), Allison Wicks, Nathan Smith, (Business Development), Eric Li (BIG Asia), Jan Leenknegt, Jens Majdal Kaarsholm (BIM), Jeffrey Shumaker (Urban Planning), Francesca Portesine (Interiors), Florencia Kratsman (Space Planning), Ricardo Candel and Andrea Hektor (Engineering), Stine Sandstrøm Christensen, Richard Ebert (Legal), Nicolas Kastbjerg, Sean Franklin, Henriette Helstrup, German de la Torre (Managing Directors), Kristian Palsmar (IT).
Bjarke Ingels founded BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Bjarke defines architecture as the art and science of making sure our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives. Through careful analysis of various parameters from local culture and climate, ever-changing patterns of contemporary life, to the ebbs and flows of the global economy, Bjarke believes in the idea of information-driven-design as the driving force for his design process. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine in 2016, Bjarke has designed and completed award-winning buildings globally.
Bjarke was appointed Knight of the French Order Arts et Lettres and the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Dannebrog in 2019 and 2018, respectively. He was named an Honorary Fellow by the AIA in 2020, the RIBA in 2015 and the RAIC in 2014. The Wall Street Journal recognized Bjarke as Innovator of the Year in 2011, the same year he received the Danish Crown Prince’s Culture Prize. Bjarke was also awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004 and the ULI Award for Excellence in 2009. Alongside his architectural practice, Bjarke has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. He is a frequent public speaker and continues to hold lectures in venues such as TED, WIRED, AMCHAM, 10 Downing Street, the World Economic Forum and many more.
As Chief Executive Officer and Partner, Sheela Maini Søgaard manages the overall health and growth of the studio’s 500+ designers and support functions globally. Sheela oversees BIG’s finances, operations and business development, and is responsible for optimizing cash flow, developing the organization and executing strategic priorities. Prior to joining BIG as Chief Financial Officer in 2008, Sheela led Business Development efforts for Danish culinary entrepreneur and NOMA co-founder Claus Meyer and before that, she developed strategic solutions at McKinsey & Company. Sheela is an Advisory Board Member for the National Gallery of Denmark and is on the Board of Directors at Maj Bank. In 2019, Fast Company named Sheela on the Most Creative People in Business List and in 2017, Berlingske Business featured her as one of the Top 100 Female Executives in Denmark. Having roots in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Denmark, Sheela holds a Master’s degree from Copenhagen Business School.
Finn Nørkjær has collaborated with Bjarke Ingels since he won the competition for the Aquatic Centre in Aalborg in 2001. Finn is instrumental in materializing BIG’s visionary architecture by bringing his extensive experience to the table. Finn has been deeply involved in most of BIG’s built projects, including VM Houses, The Mountain, The Danish Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo, Gammel Hellerup High School, TIRPITZ Museum and LEGO House. Most recently, Finn has worked on the Glasir – Torshavn College on the Faroe Islands, the world’s best restaurant NOMA in Copenhagen and affordable housing Dortheavej Residence, all of which completed within the last two years.
Thomas Christoffersen began his collaboration with Bjarke Ingels in 2001 during PLOT. Thomas has worked on every notable project from VM Houses in Copenhagen to VIA 57 West in Manhattan, the landmark towers Grove at Grand Bay in Miami and Isenberg School of Management in Massachusetts. He is currently overseeing the design of Google’s California headquarters and the sports neighborhood East Austin District, as well as the construction of The Honeycomb residences in the Bahamas, Vancouver House in Canada and a higher education facility in Virginia. In addition to his long standing participation in all things BIG, Thomas took a sabbatical year to work in New York City with WORK Architects and has also worked with Stan Allen, David Ling in NYC and Henning Larsen Architects.
Kai-Uwe Bergmann brings his expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Kai-Uwe heads up BIG’s business development which currently has the office working in over 20 different countries as well as overseeing BIG’s Communications. Registered as an architect in the USA (thirteen states) and Canada (one province), Kai-Uwe most recently contributed to the resiliency plan The Dryline to protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline. He compliments his professional work through previous teaching assignments at the University of Florida, the New School of Architecture in San Diego and his alma mater the University of Virginia. Kai-Uwe is recognized in the AIA College of Fellows, sits on the Board of the Van Alen Institute, participates on numerous international juries and lectures globally on the works of BIG.
Andreas Klok Pedersen is Partner and Design Director of BIG London. He is partner-in-charge of competitions, masterplans and large-scale buildings in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Most recently completed is the MÉCA culture house in Bordeaux, 220m tall Shenzhen Energy Headquarters in China, the first mixed-use high rise in Germany, the Omniturm, in central Frankfurt, and Transitlager residence in Basel. Andreas has been leading several competition designs that are currently under construction, including the Sluishuis in Amsterdam and the masterplan for Ø4 pier in Aarhus, which entails the architectural development of housing, hotel, theatre, public realm and harbour bath. Andreas has led a series of BIG’s strategic planning projects with a focus on sustainability, ranging from the Loop City in 2010, Audi Urban Future in 2010, Capital of Children in 2015 and Mars Science City in 2017. He teaches at the Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the AHO School of Architecture in Oslo. Andreas has been a Studio Director at the Strelka Institute for architecture and urbanism in Moscow, and continues to lecture internationally on BIG’s current research and projects.
David Zahle’s collaboration with Bjarke Ingels began in 2002 with the VM Houses in Copenhagen, followed by leading the winning design proposal for the Helsingør Psychiatric Hospital which completed in 2006. David oversees the design of many prominent cultural and mixed-use projects in Scandinavia, including The Twist, a new art gallery in Kistefos Sculpture Park in Norway; Västerås Travel Center in Sweden; Amager Bakke / Copenhill, a new waste-to-energy plant with a green rooftop park and a ski slope; Panda House at Copenhagen Zoo; Berlin Towers; and Cloud City residences in Aalborg. David also worked on the Danish Maritime Museum, designed around an abandoned dry dock next to a UNESCO-listed site in Helsingør, Denmark. Since early 2015, David has been responsible for Business Development at BIG’s office in Copenhagen. Alongside his architectural work, David is a host of the tv-show ‘Masterful conversions’ on Denmark’s national TV2 program.
Jakob Lange has collaborated with Bjarke Ingels since 2003 and heads up BIG’s technology-driven special projects division BIG Ideas. Through analysis and simulation, BIG Ideas informs BIG’s design decisions with precise data – what Bjarke has coined as information-driven design. Special projects include the pod and station design for the Californian transportation company Virgin Hyperloop One proposed by Elon Musk, Mars Science City in the Middle East, a green window farm technology, customized lamps, and building systems supporting the studio’s work from small details to the BIG picture. Jakob has been instrumental in winning some of BIG’s largest commissions, including the design and development of the Mountain residences in Copenhagen, the new Tallinn Town Hall in Estonia, which received a MIPIM Future Award in 2011 and the high-end residential building 79&Park in Stockholm, Sweden. Jakob is also a Board member at Virgin Hyperloop One.
Jakob Sand joined BIG in 2011 to lead the team for the prize-winning Paris PARC project for the Jussieu Campus of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. Since then, he has been in charge of several prominent developments, including the recently completed MÉCA cultural center in Bordeaux and Galeries Lafayette on the Champs-Élysées. Jakob is currently overseeing the Pont de Bondy metro station and Europa City Masterplan in Paris. Working in both Paris and Copenhagen for many years has given him an excellent knowledge of European culture and building practice. For five years, Jakob has worked closely with Dominique Perrault in participating on prize-winning projects, including the Palais des Sports de Rouen, which he led through all phases to construction, as well as the French Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2010 for which he was Project Leader. Together with Perrault, Jakob also developed several large-scale competitions including the Headquarters for EDF and Tours de Pont des Sevres, both in Paris, and the University ARTEM in Nancy, Seoul Opera House in South Korea and the University in Belval in Luxembourg.
Beat Schenk joined BIG in 2010 as Senior Project Manager and is now the Director of Detail Design. Beat’s collaboration with Bjarke Ingels dates back to 2000, where he worked alongside Bjarke on the Seattle Public Library in Seattle, Washington for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Prior to his current role, he worked on a variety of healthcare, educational, and cultural projects around the globe. Beat has more than 20 years of experience as Project Architect and Designer and has sharpened his skills while working on many notable buildings in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. While at Frank O. Gehry Partners, he worked on a number of museum projects – including the Guggenheim Museums in Bilbao, Spain and Lower Manhattan, NYC – besides working on the Vitra Chair Museum Expansion in Weil, Germany.
Daniel joined BIG in 2008 and became Partner in 2015. He has worked on many of BIG’s most prominent projects and competitions, including Tallinn Town Hall in Estonia, Slussen Masterplan in Stockholm, PARC Jussieu Campus in Paris and the mixed-use residential building VIA 57 West in New York. Daniel currently oversees the expansion of the Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California; the Wilson Secondary School in Arlington, Virginia; the 1,005ft tall office skyscraper The Spiral and the East Side Coastal Resiliency project both in Manhattan, New York. He is also one of the lead designers of Audemars Piguet’s prize-winning Musee Atelier and Hôtel des Horlogers in Le Brassus, Switzerland, set to open in 2020.
Brian Yang joined BIG in 2007 and was named Partner in 2015. He has worked closely with Bjarke Ingels on a wide range of projects from the 8 House, a residential building in Copenhagen, to the conceptual design of a mobile gallery for the Tate Modern in London. He has been the Project Leader on a number of competition winning proposals, including the Amager Bakke / Copenhill waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen that doubles as a ski slope, Kistefos Art Museum in Oslo, and a sustainable multifamily residential development in Finland. Most recently he has been the design leader for LEGO House, which opened its doors to critical acclaim in 2017. With a background in energy efficiency research as well as undergraduate studies in economics, Brian brings additional focus on environmental and economic sustainability into all of his projects. Prior to joining BIG, Brian worked at a number of practices internationally, and while at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, led a project team for a pavilion exhibited at the 2009 Gwangju Design Biennale in South Korea.
Catherine Huang joined BIG in 2007 and became Partner in 2018. She has worked closely with Bjarke Ingels across a wide range of projects and typologies such as the completed Danish Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo, the energy efficient skyscraper Shenzhen Energy HQ which just opened its doors, a low energy masterplan in Toronto, as well as residential projects in Copenhagen and Stockholm that enhance the urban fabric by creating shared social spaces. Most recently she was the Design Leader for a residential complex in Hualien, Taiwan that seeks to blur the line between natural landscape and the built environment. Prior to joining BIG, she drew on undergraduate degree in molecular biology during her time at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design to conduct research into new models of sustainability for the urban realm.
Ole Elkjær-Larsen joined BIG in 2003 and became partner in 2018. Ole has vast experience in project management and controlling of both large and small-scale projects. Ole has been key for the completion of BIG’s initial projects such as the Gammel Hellerup School multi-use hall and high school completed in 2014, as well as for the award winning 8 House in Ørestad, which he followed through to its completion in 2010. Ole supervised the completion of the re-programming and extension of the 30,000 m2 former warehouse Transitlager in Basel, as well as the TIRPITZ Museum in Blåvand that transforms and expands a German WWII bunker fortification into a groundbreaking cultural complex. Most recently, Ole was oversaw the completion of Glasir – Tórshavn College, a 19,200 m2 education centre on the Faroe Islands.
Agustin Perez-Torres first worked at BIG in Copenhagen from 2006 to 2008, during which he collaborated with Bjarke on a number of international projects, including the 8 House. He returned to BIG in 2011 as a Project Leader in the New York office where he led the team on the development of the Vancouver House as well as the Cité de la Musique à Genève Competition. Agustin became a Partner in 2018 and is currently leading various design competitions, serving as the Partner-in-Charge for the Redskins Stadium in D.C and the F.C Barcelona Camp Nou stadium competition. Prior to his design work, Agustin has worked as an architectural journalist and has assisted with major architectural exhibitions. Before joining BIG, Agustin worked for OMA in Rotterdam and Carme Pinos Studio in Barcelona.
Martin Voelkle joined BIG’s Copenhagen office in 2010 as a Project Designer for the recently completed Shenzhen Energy HQ. Martin moved to New York City in 2012 and became a key member of the project team for the 60,000 m2 mixed-use development Vancouver House in Canada. He was named Partner in 2018 and is currently leading various high profile projects, including 2 World Trade Center in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution Masterplan in Washington D.C. Prior to joining BIG, Martin worked as a Senior Architect at the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) in Stuttgart, Germany. He led the design of a sports complex in the UAE and was Project Manager for two large-scale projects in Mexico. Martin also worked at Studio Scholz, a design firm in Stuttgart, Germany, and completed various interior design projects independently. Before studying architecture, he was originally trained as a carpenter.
Leon Rost began his collaboration with Bjarke Ingels in 2005 at PLOT in Copenhagen. After completing architectural studies at California Polytechnic University, Leon has worked with renowned offices in Japan, Scandinavia, and Portugal, designing a variety of cultural, residential and master planning projects around the globe, including the New Oslo Central Station and the Ginza Swatch Building in Tokyo. Leon joined BIG with the launch of the New York office in 2011 and in 2018, he became a Partner. He has worked closely with all partners on some of BIG´s greatest projects, including the successfully completed Mountain residence and Helsingør Psychiatric Hospital in Denmark. He led the design for Grove at Grand Bay in Miami which was completed in 2016, and the winning competition designs for both the Kimball Art Center in Park City and the Tirana Cultural Center & Museum for Religious Harmony. Currently, Leon is leading the design of Google’s visionary masterplan and headquarter buildings, with over 3 million SF currently under construction.
Named as Partner in 2021, Douglass Alligood is a licensed architect in the State of New York, with over 37 years of industry experience. As the Technical Director of BIG’s New York office, Douglass’ project experience includes large-scale hospitals, science research buildings and small laboratories, mixed-use towers, master plans, and interiors projects. Douglass is involved in all phases of a project, from concept design through construction administration. At BIG, his responsibilities include code, zoning, life safety and accessibility compliance reviews, developing consultant scopes of work, consultant coordination, work plans, project scheduling, space planning, architectural detailing, building systems research, project budget analysis, construction administration, and client presentations. Douglass is dedicated to mentoring younger staff members and has a passion for learning. He is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Named as a BIG Barcelona Partner in 2021, João Albuquerque began his BIGster journey in BIG Copenhagen in 2008, eventually moving to Barcelona in 2019 to support the establishment of a strong foundation for BIG Barcelona. In 2015, he was named Associate, and in 2019, became the Design Director of the BIG Barcelona office, leading projects throughout Spain – including the Skyline Office Towers in Madrid, and the recent competition for the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao. João works effectively in BIG’s creative environment, regularly leading design teams on projects from competitions through Schematic Design and Design Development phases. João brings an incisive approach to exploring the intersection between computational technologies and architecture — programming and parametrics — and applies this research on many scales, from design conceptualization to fabrication and construction. He also has experience working in various typologies such as masterplans, including Europa City in Paris and the winning proposals for cultural neighborhoods in both Qiddya and South Korea; high-rise tower designs, including the completed Shenzhen Energy Mansion in China; cultural designs, including the Adelaide Contemporary Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao; and research-based projects, such as the new building vernacular for future life on Mars. João completed his Master of Architecture at the University of Sciences and Technology of Coimbra, in Portugal and achieved a post-graduate MAA degree from IAAC in Barcelona, having his thesis project being exhibited at the 2011 Beijing Biennale and the Museu del Disseny of Barcelona.
Lars Larsen, a product design leader and long-time BIG collaborator through his own company, Kilo Design and KiBiSi, will now lead BIG’s Products design team, helping shape BIG Product’s mission of giving innovative form to the objects of our future.
After first joining BIG in 2012 as an intern, Lorenzo Boddi was named as an Associate in 2017, and as a BIG London Partner in 2021. He has provided key contributions to several winning competitions, including the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark; MÉCA arts cultural center in Bordeaux, France; OMNITURM, a 186-meter mixed-use tower in Frankfurt completed in 2020; and an 80,000 meter-squared mixed-use tower in Berlin, Germany that is currently in construction. As Project Manager, Lorenzo has worked on several residential projects in Scandinavia, a mixed-use development in Sydney, Australia, as well as the OMNITURM tower in the financial district of Frankfurt. Lorenzo joined BIG’s London office in 2016 to work on Google’s King’s Cross Headquarters. He is currently leading the design of CityLife Milan, a new 85,000 meter-squared development in Milan, Italy. Lorenzo received his Master of Architecture from the University of Florence, Italy, where he complemented his studies, with teaching positions in Architectural Design.
Andy Young joined BIG in 2016 as Technical Director of the London office, and was named a BIG London Partner in 2021. He has over 25 years of experience working in the design and construction of large-scale projects in the UK and the Middle East. In addition to this, Andy provides technical assistance to the Copenhagen and New York offices. Since 2016, Andy has led some of BIG’s most prominent projects, including East Side Tower, an 80,000 meter-squared mixed-use tower in Berlin. Andy has also led the technical design of projects such as Google’s King’s Cross headquarters, and CityLife Milan, in addition to working on several large-scale projects in the Middle East. Prior to joining BIG, Andy was an Associate Partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners. He was the Architect-in-charge of The Leadenhall Building, a landmark commercial tower in the City of London financial district, seeing the project from planning to completion in 2014. Andy is a UK Registered Architect and a Member of the RIBA. He received his Diploma in Architecture from The University of Westminster in 1993 whilst working at Michael Hopkins & Partners.
Daria Pahhota first joined BIG Copenhagen as an intern in 2008, became the group’s Chief Communications Officer in 2018, and now returns as the leader of BIG’s Global Branding and Communications after two years at the global architecture and engineering firm, SOM.
Named as BIG Landscape Partner in 2021, Giulia is an instrumental leader within BIG Landscape, who moved to BIG Copenhagen in 2020 after three years at BIG NYC. A Senior Landscape Architect with a multi-disciplinary background in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture, Giulia led the proposal for Toyota Woven City, investigating how recent technologies will shape the future of cities in regard to new forms of mobility, sustainability, ecology and human connectivity. Giulia first joined BIG in 2017 as project lead for the design of Islais Hyper-Creek proposal for the Resilient by Design competition, exploring solutions to adapt and protect the Bay Area from rain flooding, rising sea levels, and other environmental risks. Her approach brings focus to urban and natural systems, questioning and rethinking the traditional approach to landscape and city planning. Among her most relevant works are the masterplan for the Coliseum Arena in Oakland; the masterplan for Ravenswood Waterfront in East Palo Alto; and the Vision Plan for Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm. Prior to BIG, she worked for four years as a Landscape Designer and Urban Planner for the Dutch firm West 8. She has extensive experience in resilient master-planning and public space design at various scales. Giulia has led the design of the Duke University Sculpture Park, as well as the Concept Masterplan for Gulangyu Island in China, which contributed to the site being named a World UNESCO Heritage site. Giulia received her Masters Degree with honors from the Polytechnic University of Milan.