No. 550 . 15 February 2012 

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BIG designed the award-winning 8 House, a 61,000-square-meter (660,000-square-foot) mixed-use residential development in Copenhagen, Denmark, named for its plan diagram. Photo: Jens Lindhe

AIA National Design Awards

by ArchitectureWeek

Viewed at a distance, 8 House looks almost like a strange landform: two vegetated roofs form a massive green "V" sloping from the ground-floor roof up to the top of the building, nine stories above.

The parti of this mixed-use building is better understood from a bird's-eye view. In concept, the plan is a 230-meter- (750-foot-) long loop that has been twisted to form a giant, angular figure eight.

The ten-story, 61,000-square-meter (660,000-square-foot) building was designed by the architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group with the intent of fostering a vibrant community on this block in Ørestad, a developing area of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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8 House is organized to provide daylight and a sense of indoor/ outdoor connectedness for its 476 residences, concentrated on the seven upper floors. Photo: Ty Stange

Arrayed around two large courtyards, the building combines 476 residential units with 10,000 square meters (110,000 square feet) of office and retail space. BIG placed the commercial spaces in the first three stories, with a layer of two-story townhouses above, then three stories of apartments, topped by a two-story layer of penthouses.

With a mixture of rental apartments and condominiums, the housing units range from 65 to 140 square meters (700 to 1,550 square feet). Communal facilities for residents are clustered at the crossing point of the eight, where passages through the building also provide connections across the block.

The slope of the green roof partly reflects BIG's effort to maximize daylighting and views of the surrounding open space: the southwestern corner of the building is lowest, and the northeastern corner is highest.

The continuation of vegetation from land to roof also hints at one of the delightful aspects of this project: a public path connecting from street level all the way to the penthouses, providing both pedestrian and bicycle access.   >>>

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