8 House Honored by the AIA

January 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

The spectacular 8 House by BIG Architects in the outskirts of Copenhagen is once again in the news, this time being honored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) with the 2012 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture.

Through their awards program, the AIA has a long tradition of recognizing individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements in support of the profession of architecture and the professional organization.

“The Institute Honor Awards program recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity to elevate the general quality of architecture practice, establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and inform the public of the breadth and value of architecture practice.” ~ AIA

We’re big fans of BIG Architects – sorry, couldn’t help it – which is very easy since every project they produce is not only fresh and out-of-the box but a shining example of ecological, site-specific and community-specific design.

“The 8 House masterfully recreates the horizontal social connectivity and interaction of the streets of a village neighborhood through a series of delightful accessible ramps in a mixed use, multifamily housing project. The skillful shaping of the mass of the facility provides an invigorating sculptural form while creating the ramped “pedestrian” street system and providing full depth dwelling units which are filled with light and views.
People really “˜live” in this newly created neighborhood with shopping, restaurants, an art gallery, office facilities, childcare, educational facilities and the sound of children playing. This is a complex and exemplary project of a new typology.” ~ 2012 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture Jury Comments

See all of the other eight 2012 AIA Awards Recipients  here.

You’ll find three different types of residential housing and 110,000 ft ² of retail and offices here, in the shape of a multi-level bow tie.  And this mixed-use building comprises Denmark’s largest private development ever undertaken.

Plus, a building designed to allow its residents to bike all the way from the street up to its 10th level penthouses is pretty cool, but add a huge V-shaped sloping greenroof to it, and you’ve really got a spectacular structure!

“Having established ourselves in New York City this past year we are honored that the AIA has given this great distinction to the 8 House which is a further realized example of our approach called architectural alchemy – the idea that by mixing traditional ingredients, retail, row-houses and apartments in untraditional ways – you create added value if not gold. Housing projects are rarely brought out as world architecture. The fact that the 8 House has now achieved this honorable status, can be seen as a symbol of a piece of architectural alchemy that works. Moreover, I am genuinely happy that our long and inspiring cooperation with Per Høpfner and St. Frederikslund is rewarded in the other parts of the world.” ~ Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Partner, BIG in the January 9, 2012 Press Release

I wrote about 8 House or 8 Tallet last September, 2011 when we featured it as our Greenroof of the Week, or GPW – read all about it here where you can see all the stunning photography of the site and interiors, and see the  profile in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

And it’s no wonder that Haven Kiers and I selected the unique 8 House for our 2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design in the #10 category, “Client Specific “˜Boutique’ Greenroofs.”  (See our video for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 on our GreenroofsTV YouTube Channel  here.)

Inspirational 8 House is “architectural alchemy” indeed!  Congratulations to BIG and everyone else who worked on this beautiful and highly functional project!

~ Linda V.