Hot to Cold: Bjarke Ingels Group’s ‘Architectural Odyssey’ Bound for National Building Museum

Danish Expo Pavilion 2010_Image by Iwan Baan_01
Designed by BIG with ARUP and 2+1, the Danish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 featured a pool filled with fresh water from Copenhagen’s harbor. (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Bjarke Ingels is becoming quite the Beltway insider. Over the summer, his Copenhagen- and New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) transformed the atrium of the National Building Museum into a giant (read: BIG), crowd-pleasing plywood maze and within a few weeks he was back in Washington, D.C. to unveil something even BIG-ger: a $2 billion master plan for the Smithsonian Institute’s historic southern campus alongside the National Mall. Washingtonians won’t have to wait long for their next fix: BIG returns to the National Building Museum next month with a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind its own globe-spanning projects.

Opening January 24, Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation will take visitors “from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explores how BIG´s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts.” There will be oodles of three-dimensional models (more than 60 to be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the museum’s Great Hall) and collaborators galore. Among those interpreting the 20 BIG projects to be featured in the exhibition are photographer Iwan Baan, filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, and Stefan Sagmeister, who is designing the accompanying catalogue.