One of BIG‘s most high-profile projects under construction, the Amager Bakke waste-to-power plant in Copenhagen, will have quite the party trick up its sleeve. In order to give locals a new understanding of the issue of global warming, for every tonne of CO2 generated by the burning of waste, the plant will emit a super-sized ring of steam into the sky from the chimney perched at the top of its sloping roof. However, when construction on the project started, BIG hit a road block: as Bjarke Ingels explained to FastCo Design, “there were no smoke ring-emitting manufacturers in the yellow pages.”
This frustration, alongside many similar ones, led to the foundation of a spin-off company, BIG Ideas, headed up by BIG partner Jakob Lange. Part of their role is to go the extra mile, creating solutions for design ideas that didn’t previously exist to ensure that BIG stays at the cutting edge of innovative design. At the Chicago Architecture Biennial, BIG Ideas is displaying their initial prototype of the steam ring generator system, a one-tenth scale device which created the first proof-of-concept in August of last year. Watch the video above to see Lange explain the reasoning behind BIG Ideas and elaborate on the design of the Amager Bakke power plant and its one-of-a-kind steam ring generator.