After studying architecture in his native Denmark and in Spain, Bjarke Ingels spent three years with Rem Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in the Netherlands. He then returned to Copenhagen with Belgian OMA colleague Julien de Smedt to set up their own practice, PLOT, whose imaginative designs achieved international recognition.
PLOT disbanded in 2005, and Bjarke set up his own company, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG); 10 years later, he had 400 employees. The multi award-winning architect’s reputation is founded on his bold, unconventional – and often humorous – designs, which combine sustainable development and a sense of social responsibility.
“Architecture is the art and science of continually refurbishing the surface of our planet so it fits to the way we want to live,” he said in an interview with Archi-Ninja. “As life evolves – our buildings and cities should evolve also, so we have a physical framework tailored to our ideal lifestyles – rather than being forced to to live in ways imposed upon us by outdated structures of the past. Architecture is not the goal – but a bridge to reach the goal. The goal is to maximise the potential for unfolding human life to the fullest.”
In 2014, following Hurricane Sandy, Bjarke’s Dryline design for a flood barrier in New York was a prize winner of the Rebuild By Design competition set up by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2015, together with British designer Thomas Heatherwick, he began working on a new headquarters for Google in California. The same year, BIG was chosen to design Two World Trade Center, one of the towers replacing the Twin Towers.
In 2017, Bjarke and his company were the subject of a documentary, BIG Time.Tags: architecture