Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International

BIG special

THE BIG TEAM - Kai-Uwe Bergmann

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


When Bergmann first met Ingels at the Venice Biennale in 2004, the two seemed destined to collaborate as Bergmann was planning his move to Copenhagen that same year. They met up again and Bergmann brought along his portfolio. “It was a funky combination of glass blowing and a clay temple in Central Africa. I really liked Kai and offered him a job,” says Ingels.

Bergmann is head of business development, or as Ingels refers to him, “BIG’s foreign minister”. He also spearheads BIG Landscape and works on BIG’s Urbanism projects. Recent examples include the Pittsburgh Lower Hill masterplan, the Smithsonian Institute campus overhaul and the BIG U, BIG’s leisure-orientated storm barrier for Lower Manhattan.

“BIG U is us starting the foundation work for a future resilient city,” says Bergmann. “What we’re looking for is investment in flood protection – we asked ourselves: instead of just having a basic grey floodwall, could we raise the quality of life in these neighbourhoods by leveraging the flood protection investment to create parks? We asked the people who lived there what they lacked most, and they all put open green space as their number one choice.”

Bergmann also takes his role as the BIG culture ambassador seriously, ensuring that ‘BIGsters’ share their knowledge through BIG schools, are inspired through the BIG Picture lecture series, enjoy BIG study trips and above all stay in touch with the global network of ‘BIGster’ alumni everywhere.

One of Bergmann’s favourite experiences with BIG was cycling from Mendoza, Argentina, over the Andes to the coast of Chile in 2004. “We spent six days, all together. It was an endurance; up to 200km a day, uphill, but it was absolutely amazing,” he says.

Bjarke Ingels on Kai-Uwe Bergmann
“Kai-Uwe is a unique blend of American extroversion and Germanic structure, which makes him a force of nature as a networker. His secret strength is his endurance and ability to take on and manage the complexities of creating opportunities for us. It’s liberating!”

THE BIG U

NEW YORK, US
COMPLETION DATE: PHASE ONE 2024/2025

Developed in collaboration with New York City, the BIG U proposal was developed to protect Lower Manhattan from floods, storms and other impacts of climate change. A storm barrier-cum leisure amenity, it stretches around Manhattan from West 54th street south to The Battery and up to East 40th street: a high water barrier incorporating public space with parks, seating, bicycle shelters, sports facilities and skateboard ramps.

The architect says of the project: ‘The BIG U consists of multiple but linked design opportunities; each on different scales of time, size and investment; each local neighbourhood tailoring its own set of programs, functions, and opportunities.

‘Small, relatively simple projects maintain the resiliency investment momentum post-Sandy, while setting in motion the longer-term solutions that will be necessary in the future.’

The BIG U high water barrier is 16km long, and incorporates community facilities
The BIG U high water barrier is 16km long, and incorporates community facilities
company profile
Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
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
The ‘Dream Factory’ studio is located in a former glass factory in Rotterdam’s harbour
"I want to demonstrate that creativity is our true capital as humans "

Rather than feeling fearful and helpless about the future, we must design a way out of the environmental problems we have created, argues the innovative Dutch designer, artist and inventor Daan Roosegaarde

Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards is housed in 35 Hudson Yards, a tower building designed by SOM’s David Childs
"Further hotels have been confirmed for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston"

Rockwell Group and Joyce Wang on the inspirations behind the guest rooms, public spaces, spa and gym at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The spa is on the 57th floor and features an infinity pool and treatment rooms overlooking the city
Dana Kalczak
"If we had focused entirely on high tech in the hotel, the artistry we normally strive for would have been compromised"

Four Seasons’ vice president of design speaks to CLAD about working with Norman Foster and creating magical moments

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

Elina Grigoriou
Elina Grigoriou
"Temperature, noise level and colour affect our stress levels. As designers we should be asking ourselves, how do these things match up?"

The London-based interior designer and wellness expert hopes her new book will help readers understand how to design with wellbeing in mind

features
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

Three flights of wide steps invite the visitor into the building.
Alexander Schwarz
"Our aim was to create a place celebrating public space and accessibility"

The opening of the James-Simon- Galerie on Berlin’s Museum Island completes two decades of work for David Chipperfield Architects. The lead designer talks us through the building

Local, natural materials have been used to create an organic, calming feel. Views of the surroundings take centre stage
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
cladkit product news
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Les Mills International
Les Mills International