BIG’s Hybrid Places

THE DIRT

hualien Hualien Hills / BIG

The dynamics of BIG, one of the world’s hottest architecture and urban design firms, are laid bare in a new exhibition at the National Building Museum and companion book. Taking on increasingly ambitious projects all over the world, BIG, at its best, shows how building and landscape can be merged, creating novel experiences in the built environment. Much like Weiss/Manfredi and other firms with a multidisciplinary approach, BIG wants to create hybrid places. Bjarke Ingels, the founder of BIG, joked at the exhibition opening that he wanted to call the show, “BIGAMY: you can have it both ways.”

Offering another way to understand the work, Ingels dismissed the one-size-fits-all solution of Modernist architects, aligning his projects with a long history of vernacular architecture that responds to local conditions. Just as the ancient temples at Angkor Wat used long passageways and buildings with apertures to…

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