My project of the year 2010


Audaces fortuna iuvat (Fortune favors the bold)


My project of the year 2010:  “8”  by BIG


I am not going to discuss in details architectural technicalities of BIG’s project. It was done extensively by many major magazines and reputable critics. So I don’t think I can add something new. I just want to express my personal opinion. In my own way.

So why do I like “8” by BIG?

It’s big. Big as a “scale of thinking” not “BIG” as a brand  name of the author. And yet it wonderfully takes in account human scale as well. Look at these thoroughly calculated balconies and terraces – it’s designed for humans with the respect to the intimacy of private space. When you are inside your apartment you don’t feel a monstrous scale of the complex, you enjoy your place. Size matters, but intimacy rules.

It’s new. It’s different. It’s bold and it’s daring. Whether you enjoy it or not in terms of the general aesthetics or some particular elements, architects are sincerely trying to explore new things. This is architecture of the 21st century. Forget about obsolete Victorian style of suburbia. Forget about ugly boxes so called “machines for living” a-la Corbu. It’s time to invent radically new concepts. Our way of living has changed but architecture didn’t follow. Here it is. “8” is trying to provide a powerful answer to our new way of live.

It’s conceptual (you can see those smart schemes on BIG’s website ) and yet it’s real. It’s not like some starchitects’ crap which is done for glamour magazine covers only. I don’t see lengthy pseudo-intellectual descriptions. This was designed for being built. And it’s built. Now you can debate.

It’s green. But green not for some bureaucratic LEED certificate (or whatever analogy they have in Denmark). It’s not covered with ridiculous amount of plants or solar panels. There’s no bragging about tons of the sophisticated high-tech devices to make it eco-friendly. It’s logically green. Architects work with the architectonics opening project to the sunlight. It’s green for a reason. And the reason is “to be responsible towards society, as a professional architect” Simple as that.

I bet you it’s very efficient. I like being romantic but we live in a tough capitalistic environment. So we must respect client’s commercial needs. You can see from the plans that BIG’s project is smart, aggressive and marketable. Nothing’s wrong with that.


And on a personal note.
Sometimes you read a book and you wish you could have a drink with an author. You know Hemingway, Remark, Chekhov, Houellebecq, J.D.Salinger, O’Henry, Miller… Writers from the different epochs, artists of different styles. I deliberately put  their names in such chaotic order. They are all intelligent, cool, unpretentious, they are trying to open new horizons for people, to change things, to tell the truth. I wish I could buy them a drink…
Why I am saying all this?…
Oh, it’s just if I ever meet you, Bjarke Ingels, drinks on me. It will be my privilege.


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4 Responses to “My project of the year 2010”
  1. Mike Strandon says:

    Looks really cool. Could you give some more background for the non-professionals about this project? Where does 8 come from? Or is it an infinity sign? Who is going to live in this complex and what is it’s overarching idea? I could get some of it from their website, but it was very short and quite obtuse…

  2. Collier says:

    “Our way of living has changed but architecture didn’t follow”

    Well said, Albert. Addressing this will be the transformation (dare I say “salvation) of our profession.

    I like how Alvar Aalto put it; “‘Man is forgotten… yet true architecture only exists where man stands in the centre. his tragedy and his comedy, both.”

    Keep pressing for True Architecture my friend.

  3. Jean Sanchez says:

    This design is stunning. It’s complex and has a smooth flow, soothing even. It’s pure and intelligent. Clever, to say the least. Ha and with the cows in contrast to the building it looks so outlandish.

  4. Jean Sanchez says:

    You mentioned this, “Architects could do things. And they did. They provided people not only with housing, but they defined society’s norms of aesthetics and principles of harmony…” in another entry and it made me think of this building.

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