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  3. Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels

Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels

Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels
© DAC / Jakob Galtt
© DAC / Jakob Galtt

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (born 2 October 1974) is often cited as one of the most inspirational architects of our time. At an age when many architects are just beginning to establish themselves in professional practice, Ingels has already won numerous competitions and achieved a level of critical acclaim (and fame) that is rare for new names in the industry. His work embodies a rare optimism that is simultaneously playful, practical, and immediately accessible.

© Iwan Baan © BIG © Rasmus Hjortshøj © Iwan Baan +20

© Rasmus Hjortshøj
© Rasmus Hjortshøj

Ingels was born in Copenhagen in 1974 and began studying architecture at the Royal Academy in 1993. Interested in becoming a cartoonist, he originally attended architecture school with the hope that it would improve his drawing skills. However, while studying he discovered his passion for architecture and went on to continue his studies at the Technica Superior de Arquitectura in Barcelona. After working for three years at OMA in Rotterdam and then co-founding PLOT Architects with Julien de Smedt in 2001, Ingels went on to found his current practice, Bjarke Ingels Group, in 2005. With offices in Copenhagen and New York, BIG has grown at an astonishing rate and has quickly established an international presence.

© BIG
© BIG

Much of his philosophy about architecture is revealed in his 2009 manifesto entitled Yes is More, which introduces 30 projects from his practice in the familiar format of a comic book. In a concept that he calls “Hedonistic Sustainability,” many of his projects seek to question how sustainability can be playfully and responsibly integrated into buildings to actually increase standards of living. In a quote that summarizes BIG’s approach to architecture, Ingels states:

Historically the field of architecture has been dominated by two opposing extremes. On one side an avant-garde full of crazy ideas. Originating from philosophy, mysticism or a fascination of the formal potential of computer visualizations they are often so detached from reality that they fail to become something other than eccentric curiosities. On the other side there are well-organized corporate consultants that build predictable and boring boxes of high standard. Architecture seems to be entrenched in two equally unfertile fronts: either naively utopian or petrifyingly pragmatic. We believe that there is a third way wedged in the no-mans-land between the diametrical opposites. Or in the small but very fertile overlap between the two. A pragmatic utopian architecture that takes on the creation of socially, economically and environmentally perfect places as a practical objective.

© BIG
© BIG

In practice, this approach manifests in a strictly diagrammatic approach to generating architectural form that is borrowed from his former mentor Rem Koolhaas - albeit a more highly developed and systematic incarnation of such an approach. "Whether post-rationalized or generative," writes Justin Fowler, "BIG’s diagrams project an attitude of inevitability, suggesting that the final form is the necessary result." This approach to generating architecture is a perfect complement to Ingels' highly developed powers of presentation, persuasion and self-promotion that have drawn both ire and admiration from the architectural profession at large. Undoubtedly though, all of these factors have played a role in the success of Ingels and BIG.

Courtesy of PLOT
Courtesy of PLOT

Ingels has been involved in countless design competitions and some of his built projects include the Danish Pavilion, VM Houses, Danish National Maritime Museum, Mountain Dwellings, and many others. His architectural debut in North America is W57, a new project for Durst Fetner Residential at 57th Street in Manhattan along the West Side Highway. Even while still under construction, W57 garnered enough attention to significantly bolster BIG's reputation in the United States, leading to the firm being selected to design the tower at Two World Trade Center in 2015 (though as of 2016 the future of the proposal is uncertain).

Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Check out some of BIG's projects through the thumbnails below, as well as ArchDaily's interviews, videos and articles on the man himself below those:

© Iwan Baan © Jens Lindhe © BIG © BIG © Rasmus Hjortshøj Courtesy of PLOT Courtesy of PLOT © Jens Lindhe Courtesy of PLOT © Rasmus Hjortshøj © Jens Lindhe © Nic Lehoux © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Nic Lehoux © Terra © Rasmus Hjortshøj © Jinho Lee +20

AD Interviews: Bjarke Ingels / BIG

Yes Is More: The BIG Philosophy

Bjarke Ingels Named One of TIME's 100 Most Influential People

The Business of Design Success: How did BIG Get So... Big?

Bjarke Ingels Talks About Two World Trade Center

VIDEO: Bjarke Ingels on "Promiscuous Hybrids" and "Worldcraft"

The Prince: Bjarke Ingels's Social Conspiracy

Video: Bjarke Ingels Exposes His Roots

Bjarke Ingels: "Denmark Has Become an Entire Country Made Out of LEGO®"

Bjarke Ingels' Advice for the Young: "It's Important to Care"

Video: Bjarke Ingels on the Power of Architecture

Bjarke Ingels on Sculptural Skyscrapers and Refining Parameters in High Rise Design

How Bjarke Ingels Is Making a Power Plant One of Denmark's Most Exciting Public Spaces

Bjarke Ingels Talks Tech, Entrepreneurship and Modernism in this Podcast with Prehype

Step Into BIG's 2016 Serpentine Pavilion with This 360° Panorama

HOT TO COLD: BIG's "Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation" Opens at the National Building Museum

Cite: Evan Rawn. "Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels" 02 Oct 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/553064/spotlight-bjarke-ingels/>
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© Iwan Baan

聚焦:BIG建筑事务所合伙人 Bjarke Ingels