8 House by Bjarke Ingels Group

written by:
October 25, 2010

Good things come in threes and for Danish superstarchitect Bjarke Ingels, it’s no different. As he makes his new home in New York City, the founder of BIG (the Bjarke Ingels Group) sees the opening of the third of his housing projects in Ørestad, a still-new neighborhood in Copenhagen. Like the VM Houses and The Moutain, which came before, the Eight House is yet another example of Ingel’s architectural alchemy turned gold.

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    Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer
Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF
Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K  DENMARK  www.jenslindhe.dk  mail@jensli

    Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K DENMARK www.jenslindhe.dk mail@jensli

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  I met Ingels in his studio in Copenhagen in the fall of 2008. That’s when I first heard of his “architectural alchemy”: “the idea that by mixing traditional ingredients like normal flats and a normal parking structure, when you combine them, they become gold,” he told me. Back then, he was talking about the recently completed Mountain, but he hinted at the Eight House: “We’re taking that idea to the next level with a project we’re working on called the Big House or the Figure Eight,” he said. “We’re mixing the office components and rowhouse components to create a hybrid.”
    I met Ingels in his studio in Copenhagen in the fall of 2008. That’s when I first heard of his “architectural alchemy”: “the idea that by mixing traditional ingredients like normal flats and a normal parking structure, when you combine them, they become gold,” he told me. Back then, he was talking about the recently completed Mountain, but he hinted at the Eight House: “We’re taking that idea to the next level with a project we’re working on called the Big House or the Figure Eight,” he said. “We’re mixing the office components and rowhouse components to create a hybrid.”
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  Completed in 2010, the 656,600-square-foot Eight House comprises over 107,000 square feet of office and retail space at ground level and 476 units throughout the nine floors above. Inside the two courtyards are over 5,300 square feet of public space for the residents.
    Completed in 2010, the 656,600-square-foot Eight House comprises over 107,000 square feet of office and retail space at ground level and 476 units throughout the nine floors above. Inside the two courtyards are over 5,300 square feet of public space for the residents.
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  The inspiration for the project was the popular neighborhood in Copenhagen known as Potato Row. “The homes there are all two-story brownstone townhouses with gardens in front,” Ingels told me on my visit. “They’re low but extremely dense and have this incredible social life surrounding them. We took the idea that the public realm is normally restricted to the ground floor and everything above it is private space. We thought that because this is in a new neighborhood of Copenhagen, in Ørestad, it’d be sick to provide a new kind of housing.”  Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer
Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF
Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K  DENMARK  www.jenslindhe.dk  mail@jensli
    The inspiration for the project was the popular neighborhood in Copenhagen known as Potato Row. “The homes there are all two-story brownstone townhouses with gardens in front,” Ingels told me on my visit. “They’re low but extremely dense and have this incredible social life surrounding them. We took the idea that the public realm is normally restricted to the ground floor and everything above it is private space. We thought that because this is in a new neighborhood of Copenhagen, in Ørestad, it’d be sick to provide a new kind of housing.”

    Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K DENMARK www.jenslindhe.dk mail@jensli

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  Ingels refers to the Eight House as his second work of architectural alchemy—and the similarities between The Mountain (his first stroke of gold) and this project don’t end there. Built in the same area of untarnished landscapes, the Eight House, just like The Mountain, stands against the sky with a strong profile.  Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer
Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF
Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K  DENMARK  www.jenslindhe.dk  mail@jensli
    Ingels refers to the Eight House as his second work of architectural alchemy—and the similarities between The Mountain (his first stroke of gold) and this project don’t end there. Built in the same area of untarnished landscapes, the Eight House, just like The Mountain, stands against the sky with a strong profile.

    Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K DENMARK www.jenslindhe.dk mail@jensli

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  A footpath to the Eight House's interior offers another resemblance between The Mountain and Ingel's latest work.  Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer
Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF
Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K  DENMARK  www.jenslindhe.dk  mail@jensli
    A footpath to the Eight House's interior offers another resemblance between The Mountain and Ingel's latest work.

    Courtesy of: Architectural Photographer Jens Markus Lindhe MAA SFF Sølvgade 36 DK 1307 Copenhagen K DENMARK www.jenslindhe.dk mail@jensli

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  At The Mountain, the garage offers soaring views of structural beams offset with brightly colored ceilings and paintings by French artist Victor Ash. Here, at the Eight House, the entrance rises high with gold cladding and lights that make you wonder if you’ve entered hyperspeed.
    At The Mountain, the garage offers soaring views of structural beams offset with brightly colored ceilings and paintings by French artist Victor Ash. Here, at the Eight House, the entrance rises high with gold cladding and lights that make you wonder if you’ve entered hyperspeed.
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  Though the apartments can be reached by elevator, a figure-eight path on the exterior “lets you walk and bicycle along the rowhouse gardens all the way to the 10th-floor penthouse so you get this intimate, spontaneous social interaction on all levels—just like a public street,” Ingels says.  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    Though the apartments can be reached by elevator, a figure-eight path on the exterior “lets you walk and bicycle along the rowhouse gardens all the way to the 10th-floor penthouse so you get this intimate, spontaneous social interaction on all levels—just like a public street,” Ingels says.

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

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  Inside, the units are flooded with natural light. “Offices like daylight but they hate sunshine so on the south and west sides we pushed them to the ground floor with the residences above,” Ingels said.  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    Inside, the units are flooded with natural light. “Offices like daylight but they hate sunshine so on the south and west sides we pushed them to the ground floor with the residences above,” Ingels said.

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

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  In Copenhagen, where the cost of living makes a dinner out worth weeks of savings, the residents spend much more time inside their homes than many Americans. As a result—and due to the country’s incredible collective design conscience—they may not have many things, but what they have is thoughtfully picked out.  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    In Copenhagen, where the cost of living makes a dinner out worth weeks of savings, the residents spend much more time inside their homes than many Americans. As a result—and due to the country’s incredible collective design conscience—they may not have many things, but what they have is thoughtfully picked out.

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

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  And even when Eight House residents go out, in Ørestad, there’s a limited selection of what to do—something Ingels tried to compensate in the building’s design. “When you building in the middle of a city, you can do the most boring, hideous apartment building but it’s still going to be pretty nice because you can still go down and buy a croissant in a cafe,” he said. “But when you build where there’s absolutely nothing you can’t expect too much from your surroundings. You essentially have to create as much quality in your immediate vicinity as you possibly can so there’s a possibility that what you do becomes a place. Then you hope your neighbors do the same thing.”  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    And even when Eight House residents go out, in Ørestad, there’s a limited selection of what to do—something Ingels tried to compensate in the building’s design. “When you building in the middle of a city, you can do the most boring, hideous apartment building but it’s still going to be pretty nice because you can still go down and buy a croissant in a cafe,” he said. “But when you build where there’s absolutely nothing you can’t expect too much from your surroundings. You essentially have to create as much quality in your immediate vicinity as you possibly can so there’s a possibility that what you do becomes a place. Then you hope your neighbors do the same thing.”

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

  • 
  “The result of a figure-eight shape with a mix of rowhouses and office and retail space,” Ingels says, “is that it lets the public space invade the vertical dimension all the way up to the penthouses.”  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    “The result of a figure-eight shape with a mix of rowhouses and office and retail space,” Ingels says, “is that it lets the public space invade the vertical dimension all the way up to the penthouses.”

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

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  The VM Houses were about openness (a resident recalls in our September 2009 article that from his unit one of the two towers, he could easily watch a woman vacuum in her underwear in the other tower through the large glass windows) and The Mountain was about privacy (tall walls around each unit's garden made peeping more difficult). In the Eight House, it is a mix of individual and communal space, with a hope for spontaneous interactions at every level of the building.  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    The VM Houses were about openness (a resident recalls in our September 2009 article that from his unit one of the two towers, he could easily watch a woman vacuum in her underwear in the other tower through the large glass windows) and The Mountain was about privacy (tall walls around each unit's garden made peeping more difficult). In the Eight House, it is a mix of individual and communal space, with a hope for spontaneous interactions at every level of the building.

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

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  From the penthouses, the view stretches across the Eight House and beyond, to protected open spaces.  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    From the penthouses, the view stretches across the Eight House and beyond, to protected open spaces.

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

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  On two of the Eight House's sloping roofs are more than 2,000 square feet of green roofs. The goal was to reduce the urban heat island effect and increase the efficiency of the building as well as reference the farmlands and protected space to the south.
    On two of the Eight House's sloping roofs are more than 2,000 square feet of green roofs. The goal was to reduce the urban heat island effect and increase the efficiency of the building as well as reference the farmlands and protected space to the south.
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  Though Ingels emphasizes the possibility of social interaction throughout the vertical space of the building, its the courtyards where residents often will meet. The gardens, pathways, and changing elevations are meant to invoke a sense of the intimacy of a small Italian hill town.  Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange

Vesterbrogade 80b 4.
1620 Kbh V
Denmark

info@ty-stange.dk
www.ty-stange.dk
    Though Ingels emphasizes the possibility of social interaction throughout the vertical space of the building, its the courtyards where residents often will meet. The gardens, pathways, and changing elevations are meant to invoke a sense of the intimacy of a small Italian hill town.

    Courtesy of: Copyright Ty Stange Vesterbrogade 80b 4. 1620 Kbh V Denmark info@ty-stange.dk www.ty-stange.dk

  • 
  "When we design project, we ask ourselves why you would ever want to move there," Ingels said before we parted ways. "Maybe we could provide something that wasn’t available anywhere else. With the VM Houses, it’s that the flats are all duplexes or three-plexes and you can get a three-dimensional apartment that would be impossible to find in Copenhagen. With the Mountain, it’s that each unit is a penthouse with a private garden. With the Eight House, it’s the idea of having the Potato Rows in an urban block."
    "When we design project, we ask ourselves why you would ever want to move there," Ingels said before we parted ways. "Maybe we could provide something that wasn’t available anywhere else. With the VM Houses, it’s that the flats are all duplexes or three-plexes and you can get a three-dimensional apartment that would be impossible to find in Copenhagen. With the Mountain, it’s that each unit is a penthouse with a private garden. With the Eight House, it’s the idea of having the Potato Rows in an urban block."

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