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.
"We come under the impression that clash of opposites doesn't bother you. On the contrary, you like to compromise them."WhATA.org interview with Bjarke Ingels