A building no longer relevant to its neighborhood

As part of my research into Copenhagen’s BIG architects, I watched a recent interview with founder Bjarke Ingels titled Different Angles.  A story he told dovetailed with something I’ve been thinking.  He talked about visiting an abandoned 2,750-year-old Synagogue in northern Iraq. He found out that it had only become derelict in the past 50 years when cultural hostility saw the congregation move to Israel. In the space of 50 years, a nearly three-millennia-old building fell to ruin because it was no longer relevant to the community.

Architects, he said, could build structures that physically endure, but they can only last as long as they are relevant.  Sometimes relevance equates to their ability to be repurposed.

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I’ve heard the Olympics are over.  One thing fans didn’t see in Seoul, South Korea, were the as yet unbuilt, Cross # Towers designed by Denmark-based BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group).  BIG employs over 450 staff in offices in Copenhagen, London, and New York City. Founding Partner Bjarke Ingels graduated architectural school in the 1990s and founded BIG in 2005 after founding his original firm PLOT in 2001.  Awards? He has a wall full.  Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Rice? He’s taught at them all. In 2016, Ingels was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time Magazine. Oh, all this and he’s 43.

BIG is the second architecture firm I’m begging to come to Dallas (Studio Gang was first).

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