A new kind of green

by ANNIE GOTTERSON on Feb 28, 2011 in Architecture , Interiors
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8 House, a new mixed-use development in Copenhagen, features long, sloping grass roofs reminiscent of alpine pastures

Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has completed its ‘Orestad trilogy’ with 8 House – Denmark’s largest mixed-use development to date. Located at the bottom end of Copenhagen, Orestad is a new master-planned neighbourhood, with 8 House the third and final installment in a trio of residential and mixed-use developments by BIG, commissioned by developers Per Hopfner and St Frederikslund Holding.

The other two – 2005’s VM Houses and 2008’s Mountain Dwelling (featured in Perspective, February 2009) – were met with widespread critical acclaim. Mountain Dwelling was awarded the title of Best Residential Building at the 2008 World Architecture Festival, and both projects received the Forum AID Award for the Best Buliding in Scandinavia in 2006 and 2008 respectively, as well as other international architecture awards.
With 8 House, BIG’s head architect and founder Bjarke Ingels explains they were attempting to imbue the development with the “charm and quality of life typical of an historical city”.
No easy task – but one that is vital if people are to like living and using this type of mega development that can very easily seem sterile. And this is something that resonates with the lively architect, who has developed a reputation for his ability to not only create architecture that is understood and enjoyed by people, but for his knack at explaining it in everyday terms.