He is just in the early forties, and he already owns the status of one of the most inventive architects of today, leaving a remarkable imprint on the world’s greatest building site, The New York City. To put this into perspective, Frank Gehry, was 78 when his first New York project was completed.
His company Bjarke Ingels Group, known as BIG, founded in 2005 in Copenhagen, Denmark, now works from two offices, one in Copenhagen, and one in New York, employs around 400 people and runs projects all over the world. Despite the fact, that Bjarke himself could not register as an architect in the U.S., as his education, from both Barcelona’s Tecnica Superior d’Arquitectura and the Royal Danish Academy of fine arts in Copenhagen, was not acknowledged by authorities, his is redesigning New York’s skyline, thanks to BIG’s partners.
BIG’s first completed and most compelling New York project is a tetrahedral residential building, a compound of a typical Manhattan skyscraper and the European perimeter block, enclosing a large rectangular courtyard. VIA 57 WEST is shaped around the courtyard in a way to allow views of the Hudson River from mostly all apartments, and its striking silhouette has an immense impact on New York’s skyline. VIA 57 WEST is listed in Metropolis Magazine’s ‘Best Architecture Projects of the 21st Century
BIG’s other New York projects include a 65 -storey office tower named Spiral, a part of Hudson Yards apartment development on Manhattan’s West side distinguished by planted terraces spiraling and cascading the glass skyscraper and extending green areas of the High Lane Park.
76 11 Avenue, or Eleven, consists of two mixed-use twisting towers situated in Chelsea neighbourhood and when completed will join an impressive crowd, as the developments in this area carry signatures of Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, and Jean Nouvel.
The second tallest tower in the Two World Trade Center is inspired by a stack of staggered boxes. Bjarke Ingels Group ousted the original architect of this project, Foster+ Partners.
Just some of BIG’s other significant work includes Google campus in California, Lego House in Denmark, and Singapore’s tallest building (collaboration with Carlo Ratti Associates) that will feature vertical gardens and an indoor oasis.
Ingels is a visionary and a nonconformist; he insists on pursuing the uphill route of his visions. Driven by curiosity, he finds the incitement in the perplexity of dealing with the clashing forces and digs deeper to discover new solutions to old questions.
Always emphasising sustainable development and sociological concepts in his designs, he likes to point out that the purpose of his work is not the architecture itself, but the quality of life achieved with the architecture as the platform. The goal is the architecture that is inviting, responds to people’s needs, inspire them, and allow them to evolve.
Ingels advocates hedonistic sustainability, the term that explains the quality of life that is improved by sustainable development, instead of being partly sacrificed with it.
One of the best examples of hedonistic sustainability is BIG’s power plant project in Copenhagen that generates energy from waste and doubles as a ski slope and a recreation park.
BIG & JPE Design Studio in the Competition for Adelaide Contemporary
Bjarke Ingels Group and Adelaide’s JPE Design Studio are one of the six shortlisted teams with architect’s lead in the International Competition for Adelaide Contemporary; a new landmark on Adelaide’s historical North Terrace Boulevard. Adelaide Contemporary will combine a contemporary art gallery with a public
sculpture park and meeting place. The initiative will be a focus for the city’s cultural energies and create an accessible community meeting place, integrating art, education, nature and people.
We are looking forward to seeing the winner of the competition in early June (2018), hoping too see BIG’s first project in Australia.