BIG special

THE BIG TEAM - Jakob Sand

Bjarke Ingels credits BIG’s enormous success to the creative team he has built around him, and the studio now has partners spread across the world. Each brings something markedly different to the table, as Kim Megson and Magali Robathan find out


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

Jakob Sand left his native Denmark in the early 2000s to work in Paris, first with Odile Decq and then with Dominique Perrault. Eventually he returned to Copenhagen, where mutual friends introduced him to BIG partner David Zahle.

The studio had just won a project to expand the University of Jussieu in Paris, and were seeking a French-speaking architect to oversee the project.

“It was the beginning of a French adventure for BIG,” Sand says.

In the intervening years, he has led projects such as the MÉCA Cultural Center in Bordeaux, the Pont de Bondy metro station in the capital, and the Europa City Masterplan. He has also helped win competitions in Denmark, Sweden and the UK.

“We have some partners with a very clear profile and specific focus areas but my role is more versatile,” he says. “This morning I worked on a competition, this afternoon I went to a construction site, tomorrow I’m focusing on business development. Architecture happens until the day you deliver the project, and I love being involved in every phase.”

Sand liaises closely with local architects in France, and he says the close relationship between BIG and its collaborators around the world is why it has been so successful globally.

Reflecting on what else makes BIG tick, he says: “We all have a curiosity to explore new ideas and we don’t have a singular style by which we define ourselves.

“Maybe a project ends up looking like a BIG building, but there’s no blueprint. If you have a good idea, we will look at it, whether you’re an intern or a partner.”

Bjarke Ingels on Jakob Sand
“He has this amazing ability to take ownership of projects without taking away any space from his team. He allows his team members to grow under his wing, not to fall under his shadow and he allows everyone to shine.”

MECA

BORDEAUX, FRANCE
OPENING DATE: 2019

BIG teamed up with French studio FREAKS freearchitects to create the Maison de l’Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine (MÉCA).
This project brings together three cultural institutions into one building: FRAC (the Aquitaine Regional Fund for Contemporary Art), ECLA (the Cultural Agency for Writing, Music, Film & Broadcasting), and OARA (the Artistic Office of the Aquitaine Region for performing arts).

BIG’s design is for a building integrated with Bordeaux’s waterfront promenade, that allows public life to ‘flow through’ the MÉCA. The three institutions and their shared facilities are gathered around a public space, or ‘outdoor urban room,’ which can be used as a stage or outdoor gallery.

The three cultural organisations are set around a flexible public space
The three cultural organisations are set around a flexible public space
The three cultural organisations are set around a flexible public space
The three cultural organisations are set around a flexible public space
company profile
Company profile: FaulknerBrowns Architects
The design service we offer extends from initial feasibility studies through all the design stages to completion of the building on site, leading the design team and co-ordinating and managing the client and contractor teams.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Ratti’s floating plaza will incorporate a range of public facilities
"You could have cultural events and museums that go from city to city. It’s a new way of thinking"

Rising sea levels and a shortage of land are leading to increased interest in floating buildings. We take a look at some fascinating projects

Decq opened the Confluence Institute architectural school in 2014
Decq has been recognised for raising the profile of women in architecture
"Things have improved, but not enough"

On women in architecture

CE LA VI Hong Kong
Ed Ng
"Of all hospitality design, we feel that F&B is the most fun. You can be creative and it’s where you get all the limelight"

When ABConcept’s co-founder got The brief for the Four Seasons’ Mei Ume restaurant, he jumped straight on the plane to London. He tells us why

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The building, called Sportcampus Zuiderpark
"Whenever you’re looking at it, the elevation is running away from you, so it never looks quite as big as it really is "

FaulknerBrowns’ Dutch sports facility

Johannes Torpe has designed the spa so that the views of the landscape dominate throughout
"We want to create the illusion that guests are entering another world when they arrive at the resort"

An Icelandic spa retreat inspired by surrealist folk tales

A bronze mesh allows sound energy to reach the hall’s walls, improving the acoustics
"It’s a privilege to have completed a scheme of such importance to the cultural identity of Antwerp - Stuart Mills"

SimsponHaugh’s latest project

features
Alison Brooks
"The profession is changing"

We need to help the public understand that architects are on their side, argues The Smile designer

Well designed spaces can encourage social interaction
Tom Lindblom
"Public spaces support the widest diversity of experiences"

At last concrete proof that design is the critical factor that turns good experiences into great ones says Gensler’s Tom Lindblom

Archaeological relics will be stored and exhibited at the museum
Theoni Xanthi Partner XZA Architects
"The design concept is to create a museum that evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory"

The vision for the New Cyprus Musuem

cladkit product news
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
Hotel Crescent Court opens new spa following multi-million-dollar renovation
Hotel Crescent Court has reopened its spa after a multi-million dollar refurbishment
Lauren Heath-Jones
Hotel Crescent Court, a luxury hotel in Dallas, Texas, has reopened its spa and fitness centre after completing a multi-million-dollar ...
cladkit product news
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
cladkit product news
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
FAÇADE award winners 'diverse and remarkable', says SFE board member
Ramboll was awarded for the Blavatnik Building, Switchouse Extension of the Tate Moder
Lauren Heath-Jones
A trio of British leisure facilities have been honoured in the Façade2017 awards. Established in 2013 by the Society of ...