Design for Urban Living

Snapshot 25


Posted on September 6th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

Design is about turning fantasy into reality, dreams into inhabitable spaces. The work comes from turning ideas into something that can be built. As summer came, I tasked myself with an ultimate task…starting my own firm, a client focused firm built on my professional (and personal) experiences, knowledge and dreams. The timing of this was perfect, in that it coincided with a long planned trip with Sean, my mom and sister to explore Paris, the Loire Valley, Normandy, and London. Seventeen days to daydream, seventeen days to explore what design and life can be. This trip ended up being a great reprise from the work that was about to come, and a time to reconnect with family, while being inspired by great design current and historical.

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London Serpentine. Bjorn Studio

A view of the Serpentine Gallery and the summer pavilion in the background.

While in London, I revisited the Serpentine Gallery, which yearly invites one architect to build a summer pavilion. This years architect is Bjarke Ingels, of BIG, who is known locally for designing the new Google campus in Mountain View. Known for architecture with expressive gestures which are joyful, Ingels took his starting point of a brick wall, and worked to create something beautiful out of this ordinary structure. Instead of clay, Ingels  stacked fiberglass blocks to create a cavernous cave.  The blocks shift forward and backward to create an undulating space. It’s as if two walls of velcro, or a zipper, are being pulled apart to create a space for gathering, sitting and ordering a drink.  And from one angle, the pavilion perfectly frames the neoclassical spire.

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London Serpentine. Bjorn Studio

BIG, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London entrance ceiling, Bjorn Studio

BIG, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London interior, Bjorn Studio

A view of the ceiling in BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London seating. Bjorn Studio

View towards the pinnacle of the structure.

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London seating. Bjorn Studio

A view towards the entrance.

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London seating. Bjorn Studio

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London seating. Bjorn Studio

The structure is both sheltered and exposed, offering privacy and glimpses into personal encounters. Looking straight onto the wall, the structure is an orthogonal grid of straight lines, transparent for all to see what’s happening inside. The building feels very immaterial and light. From another angle, the facade is organic, with undulating lines concealing all inside. Ones experience of the shift from solid to void is indeed joyful, with light playing off the surfaces to create a moire effect.

BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London comprised of stacked fiberglass blocks. Bjorn Studio BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London comprised of stacked fiberglass blocks. Bjorn Studio BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion London comprised of stacked fiberglass blocks. Bjorn Studio

The architect says that designers need to focus more on human happiness; creating “joyful” spaces can enrich our lives. This is powerful advice. Click  {here}  to hear Bjarke Ingles talk about his inspiration for the space.  I hope you enjoy.

David Bjørngaard, September 2016





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