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BIG special

THE BIG TEAM - Thomas Christoffersen

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


Christoffersen was Ingels’ student at the Art Academy in Copenhagen back in the PLOT days, and he also became the firm’s first intern. He was involved in the early projects, including 8 House and VM House in Copenhagen, before moving to the States. When BIG was set up, he returned to Denmark to be part of the new practice.

“There wasn’t a lot going on architecturally in Denmark at that time,” says Christoffersen. “We were rooted in the traditions of Danish design, but inspired by what was happening elsewhere, resulting in an architecture that was rather different from that of our colleagues.”

Christoffersen is currently working on projects including the new Washington Redskins Stadium, 2 World Trade Center, the Eleventh in New York and a mixed use office, residential and hotel complex for LA’s Art District.

Bjarke Ingels on Thomas Christoffersen
“Thomas is an old school architect with a capital A. He’s a great form giver and has an amazing ability to discriminate between what’s right and what’s wrong, tectonically”

The Eleventh

New York, US
OPENING DATE: 2020

Designed for real estate development and investment company HFZ, the Eleventh is a mixed use project composed of two ‘twisting’ towers between the High Line and the Hudson River in New York.

The twisting towers will house residential units and a 137-room Six Senses hotel, featuring a large spa.
Of the design, BIG said: ‘The geometry of the two towers is a direct response to the context. At the base, the two towers pull away from each other and the neighbouring buildings to maximize urban space and views.’

The project includes an art gallery, parking and retail space.

The towers’ punched window openings reference the area’s historic industrial buildings / Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj
The towers’ punched window openings reference the area’s historic industrial buildings Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj
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Visitors were offered a unique way to exit the gallery, travelling on the twisting slides
Carsten Höller artist
"It’s impossible to travel down a slide without smiling"

Playful installations from the Belgian artist

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