the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Bjarke Ingels: "No Matter How Wonderful a Building Is, If There Is No Client, It Doesn't Get Built"

Bjarke Ingels: "No Matter How Wonderful a Building Is, If There Is No Client, It Doesn't Get Built"

  • 08:00 - 2 February, 2018
  • by Equipo Editorial
  • Translated by Marina Gosselin
Bjarke Ingels: "No Matter How Wonderful a Building Is, If There Is No Client, It Doesn't Get Built"
Bjarke Ingels: "No Matter How Wonderful a Building Is, If There Is No Client, It Doesn't Get Built", Bjarke Ingels en la pasada edición del Congreso Internacional de Arte, Arquitectura y Diseño UDESIGN 2017. Image Cortesía de UDEM
Bjarke Ingels en la pasada edición del Congreso Internacional de Arte, Arquitectura y Diseño UDESIGN 2017. Image Cortesía de UDEM

In just 13 years since its inception, Danish firm BIG has earned world renown for its inventive architecture and its founder, Bjarke Ingels, has become one of the most popular names in the architectural world. However, with success comes criticism; BIG has been called out by some critics for what they believe is the "infantilization of architecture," referring to their designs as isolated, self-admiring and solely photogenic.

On her most recent visit to Spain, Spanish journalist Anatxu Zabalbeascoa spoke with Ingels about the impact of the Danish office on architecture and how their work wavers on a tightrope between "breakthrough projects for the world of the powerful" and "a face for people who are not happy with existing architectural models."

BIG design of WTC2 in New York. Image © DBOX, courtesy of BIG
BIG design of WTC2 in New York. Image © DBOX, courtesy of BIG

The conversation addresses the impact of IT giants such as Google on urban planning, Ingels' relationship with Rem Koolhaas – at whose firm, OMA, Ingels worked for a year and a half – his personal life and the hectic world of architecture, specifically regarding the commission for 2 World Trade Center, for which BIGwas hired to replace an original design by Foster + Partners. Speaking on the relationship between client and architect, Ingels explains:

In the world of architecture there are many more things beyond an architect's control than are under his command. No matter how wonderful a building is; if there is no client, it doesn't get built.

VIA 57 West (spotlight) in Manhattan. Image © Nic Lehoux
VIA 57 West (spotlight) in Manhattan. Image © Nic Lehoux

The office is behind iconic projects in its native Denmark such as the Mountain Dwellings and 8 House in its early years, to the new Google headquarters in London and San Francisco, and projects in Manhattan such as VIA 57 West. All can be reduced to their key architectural move or symbol – which is in fact how BIG's website is organized, as a library of symbols. When Zabalbeascoa wonders if "different has to be photogenic," Ingels defends his vision:

Rethinking architecture implies being prepared to accept oddities. We aren't interested in the definition of beauty as a proportion. We don't want to disguise them as normal buildings.

You can read the full interview in Spanish in El País Semanal.

About this author
Equipo Editorial
Author
Cite: Equipo Editorial. "Bjarke Ingels: "No Matter How Wonderful a Building Is, If There Is No Client, It Doesn't Get Built"" [Bjarke Ingels: 'Da igual lo maravilloso que sea un edificio; si no hay cliente, no se construye'] 02 Feb 2018. ArchDaily. (Trans. Gosselin, Marina) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/888106/bjarke-ingels-no-matter-how-wonderful-a-building-is-if-there-is-no-client-it-doesnt-get-built/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.