Theory meets pragmatism meets optimism in Bjarke Ingels' architecture. His big-think approach is informed by a hands-on, ground-up understanding of the needs of a building's occupants and surroundings.
Bjarke Ingels is principal of BIG, based in Copenhagen. An alumnus of Rem Koolhaas' OMA practice, Ingels takes a similar approach: experimenting with pure space, but never losing sight of the building as a solution to a real-world problem. His manifesto "Yes Is More" takes the form of a giant cartoon strip, 130 meters long, that reminds people to keep thinking big -- to see all our modern problems as challenges that inspire us. (The manifesto is now available in comic-book form.)
His deeply-thought-out and often rather large works -- including several skyscrapers and mixed-use projects in a developing section of Copenhagen, plus a project for a new commercial harbor-island -- work to bring coherence to the urban fabric and to help their occupants and users lead better lives. His most famous works include: the Stavanger Concert House, Tallinn’s city hall and the VM Houses. He recently won a competition to design Copenhagen’s waste-to-energy plant with a design that will place a ski slope on top of the structure.