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Bjarke Ingels moves architecture firm from Manhattan to Brooklyn

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BIG has signed on for 50,000 square feet formerly occupied by West Elm

PTTOW! Summit At Terranea Resort Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for PTTOW!

Bjarke Ingels Group, the namesake firm helmed by architecture’s It Boy, continues to prove it is truly on the cusp of cool by announcing its move from stuffy Manhattan to in-vogue Brooklyn. The architecture firm behind innovative projects like West 57th Street’s tetrahedron and the yet-to-be-realized design for 2 World Trade Center will relocate its 200-person NYC operation to Dumbo. BIG has signed on for 50,000 square feet at Two Trees’s 45 Main Street and will take up space formerly used by West Elm, which itself moved to Empire Stores on the Dumbo waterfront.

BIG’s move to Brooklyn comes about a year and a half after the architect purchased a Dumbo duplex with Manhattan skyline views. Ingels also submitted plans in October 2015 to the Department of Buildings to make some architectural changes to the apartment, which now just might be wrapping up.

“With the majority of my colleagues, myself included, living in Brooklyn ... DUMBO is an obvious choice for BIG in NYC,” Ingels said in a statement. “The visual excitement and physical proximity to downtown Manhattan combined with DUMBO's artistic spirit and access to public space feels like our native Copenhagen, making it as Scandimerican as any place I can think of.” BIG also has outposts in London and Copenhagen.

Two Trees principal Jed Walentas is predictably jazzed about the move. “DUMBO’s building stock is characterized by open spaces that offer ideal physical environments for the level of collaboration needed to push boundaries,” he said in a statement. “Our focus has been to position our buildings for creative firms—large and small—by modernizing infrastructure and providing first-rate amenities in a unique community defined by its independent local businesses.”