Are you ready for some BIG TEN competition? Bjarke Ingels, architecture’s version of Rex Ryan, has produced a design for a new residential project on Manhattan’s upper west site, in an area known as Hell’s Kitchen. Try as we might to deny it, people are drawn to sin. Was this the Durst Organization’s argument for building there, or is it that several other developers have already turned this area into a major hotspot of development? Regardless, it may be the cause of Mr. Ingels’ design and marketing successes.
BIG, Mr. Ingels’ Danish firm, is known for its cartoon-style presentations and for coming up with almost any excuse to produce a mountain-shaped project. Unfortunately for him, the New York office of Mr. Norten’s TEN Arquitectos has one under construction four blocks away from the presumed BIG site.
“This is totally disrespectful. It looks like his firm even erased the satellite image of our construction site in his stinky little video,” said Mr. Norten to this reporter over the phone. “We have built a tradition. They are just a flash in the pan. He might as well hire the University of Oregon’s fashion director.”
“He is totally out of his element here,” Norten continued in true trash-talk style. “Another mountain? Are you kidding me? My interns can design better than that.”
Ingels retorted in a separate conversation, “Seriously, what has he done outside of Mexico? Can anyone tell me? Anyone? I didn’t think so. He simply can’t play on the road.”
Will BIG really get this project built? Well the new-comer get more praise than Mr. Norten? Both teams want to come out victorious, but this competition is clearly on neutral territory. Do New Yorkers even care?
Meanwhile, out-of-town fans on both sides are descending on midtown Manhattan to make their voices heard at the Clinton Park pre-topping out tailgate. The TEN crowd is sure to fire up some antojitos, including some of the best huaraches north of the border. The BIG partiers are planning on drinking plenty of Carlsberg to go with their Pølser while they heckle the Norten fanbase.
Finally, when we pressed Mr. Ingels about the similarities in the projects, he simply drew us one of his famous cartoons.