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Bjarke Ingels Group’s first private house featured on Architectural Digest’s October cover

The Danish-born architect have offices in New York, London, Barcelona, and Copenhagen, employs 540 people and have some 80 current projects that include headquarters for Google and storm protection for Lower Manhattan. The latest one — in Latin America — is, however, something completely new.


After founding his own firm, BIG — Bjarke Ingels Group, in 2005, he has gained in international attention through a bunch of spectacular projects. In 2013, for instance, he started working on Copenhill, Copenhagen’s 1,500-foot-long, artificial ski slope and the new epicenter for urban mountain sports. Built on top of the new waste management centre it’s set to open in early October.

However, he had never built a house.

— In architecture you can quickly become specialized. If you do one skyscraper, you are a skyscraper expert. If you do one hospital, you are a hospital expert. And then you become that architect. Because we had never done a private house, no one asked, he tells Architectural Digest.

That was until a design-savvy entrepreneur with business in Denmark cold-called BIG hoping to commission a Danish house in Latin America.

— I had always been attracted to Scandinavia’s simple, minimal, but extremely cozy design. Bjarke was an obvious choice. His work has a truly functional side to it, as opposed to other famous architects who privilege form over function, the client says to AD.

— In many ways the house is in the spirit of modernism—simple lines, simple materials, rooms as regular as possible, but with the severe influence of one major decision, says Ingels, referring to the diagonal pool, which he compares to a natural obstruction like a boulder or a creek. He continues:

— We weren’t guaranteed that it was going to be a great house, but we arrived at something full of character.

Read more on and catch the full story in their brand new October issue.