2016 Hansen Lecture BIG

BIG Design Firm Partner To Present 2016 Hansen Lecture in Architecture March 23 at ISU


Kai-Uwe Bergmann. Photo by Andrejs Strokins.

AMES, Iowa — Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a partner with the international design firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), will present the 2016 Richard F. Hansen Lecture in Architecture Wednesday, March 23, at Iowa State University.

In “BIG: Hot to Cold,” Bergmann will take the audience on a journey across the globe to explore the forces that shape our cities and buildings, he said.

“Through the scorching heat of the Arabian Desert to the unforgiving chill of the Finnish tundra, traveling from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet, BIG explores how design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts to unlock the immense possibilities of adaptive architecture,” Bergmann said. “The central challenge is to mitigate the climatic extremes for hospitable human life, while finding solutions that can be both economically and environmentally profitable. ‘Hot to Cold’ is a search for a pragmatic utopia, shaped as the kind of world we wish to inhabit.”

Bergmann’s talk will be at 5:30 p.m. in Kocimski Auditorium, room 0101 College of Design. Part of the ISU Department of Architecture’s 2015-16 lecture series, the event is free and open to the public.

Bergmann also will serve as a guest juror for this year’s Richard F. Hansen Prize, established by Iowa State alumni Richard F. Hansen and Barbara E. Hansen in 2004 and awarded annually to the winner(s) of a design studio competition held in conjunction with the lecture. Five student teams will present projects completed in the fall 2015 architecture third-year studio courses. Presentations will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Hansen Exchange, upper level of the College of Design’s King Pavilion, with prize winners announced at the beginning of the lecture.As a partner with BIG, Bergmann brings his expertise to projects around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He most recently contributed to “The Dryline” resiliency plan to protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline. He heads BIG’s business development department, which currently has the office working in 20 different countries, and oversees the firm’s communications.

In addition to his professional work, Bergmann has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Florida, the New School of Architecture in San Diego, IE University in Madrid and his alma mater, the University of Virginia. Bergmann also serves on the board of the Van Alen Institute, participates on numerous international juries and lectures globally on the projects of BIG.

About the firm
Based in New York City and Copenhagen, Denmark, BIG works within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research and development. Among the firm’s award-winning projects in Denmark are the Danish Maritime Museum, Helsingor (2014); Superkilen Park, Copenhagen (2013); Gammel Hellerup High School Multi-Use Hall, Hellerup (2012), and 8 House, Copenhagen (2010). The firm also designed the Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Recent honors include a 2015 National AIA Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, 2014 Architizer Firm of the Year Award and the Wall Street Journal‘s 2011 Architectural Innovator of the Year Award.

West 57th Street, a mixed-use “courtscraper” in New York City and BIG’s inaugural project in the US, is under construction. The firm recently also recently unveiled designs for Two World Trade Center in New York City. Other work in North America includes buildings in Miami, San Francisco, Vancouver and Washington, DC. The new LEGO Experience Center in Billund, Denmark, and the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant, which will double as a ski slope in Copenhagen, are slated for completion by 2017.

Calvin Lewis, Architecture Lectures Committee, (515) 294-2665,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,