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BIG special

THE BIG TEAM - Daniel Sundlin

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


“I’ve always been interested in visual communication on one hand, and in issues of social consciousness on the other hand,” says Sundlin, who joined BIG as an intern in 2008. For the first three years, he worked full time at BIG while also studying full time at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. As Ingels says, of Sundlin: “He’s got one hell of a work ethic.”

Sundlin’s responsibilities as a lead designer include communicating BIG’s architecture through different media. “What defines BIG’s style of visual communication is that our diagrams clearly capture the essence of our projects, meaning that it’s very easy for people who don’t know our projects well to understand them,” he says. “That’s so important in a collaborative process.”

Sundlin is partner in charge of Google’s new headquarters in Mountain View, California, a collaboration between BIG and Heatherwick Studio. The designs shows a series of pavilions at ground level, housed under a huge, tent-like canopy. The ‘green loop’ – a circuit for cyclists and pedestrians that will run through the new building – is an integral part of the design. “You can bike and walk through the building and take part in one of the leisure activities going on in the courtyards along the route, says Sundlin. “We felt that this was a great way of bringing together the community and making it feel less like a corporate campus.”

Bjarke Ingels on Daniel Sundlin
“Daniel is blessed with a divine talent for creativity. More than most architects, he has access to the raw source of creativity. He’s such a goddamn natural-born talent”

Google HQs

London, UK & California, US
COMPLETION DATES: 2025

BIG and Heatherwick Studio have joined forces to design Google headquarters in Kings Cross, London and Mountain View, California.

The London HQ features a vast rooftop garden across multiple storeys; a sports hall; a 200m-long running track for employees; a promenade looking out towards the station; and a wellness centre containing gyms and massage rooms and a swimming pool.

The California HQ, meanwhile, is made up of a series of rooms, or ‘pavilions,’ sheltered beneath a giant tent-like roof canopy, with the offices on the first floor and the public programmes at ground level. A ‘green loop’ or pedestrian and cycle pathway, runs through the centre of the building.

BIG’s design for Google’s Charleston East Campus aims to foster a sense of community
BIG’s design for Google’s Charleston East Campus aims to foster a sense of community
BIG’s design for Google’s Charleston East Campus aims to foster a sense of community
BIG’s design for Google’s Charleston East Campus aims to foster a sense of community
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BIG special: Daniel Sundlin
BIG partner Daniel Sundlin on the vision for Google's UK and US HQs
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