10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels is a Danish architect known for his innovative and visionary designs. His architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), has gained international recognition for its groundbreaking projects. From sustainable design to futuristic structures, Ingels has consistently pushed the boundaries of architecture. While many are familiar with his prominent works such as the Copenhagen Power Plant and the Amager Bakke ski slope, there are several intriguing facts about Bjarke Ingels that remain lesser-known:

1. He Started Out as a Cartoonist

Before delving into the world of architecture, Ingels had a passion for drawing cartoons. As a teenager, he dreamt of becoming a comic book artist and even created illustrations for a local magazine. His love for art eventually merged with his interest in architecture, leading him to pursue a career where he could realize his creative vision on a larger scale.

2. He Founded BIG at the Age of 27

Ingels wasted no time in establishing his own architectural firm after completing his studies. At just 27 years old, he founded Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His fresh approach and zeal for unconventional projects quickly gained attention, propelling BIG into the spotlight. Today, BIG is considered one of the most influential and innovative architectural firms in the world.

3. He is a Proponent of Sustainable Design

One of Ingels’ core values is a commitment to sustainable design principles. He firmly believes that architecture should contribute positively to the environment rather than exploit it. Ingels incorporates sustainable features into his projects, such as green roofs, energy-efficient systems, and the use of recycled materials. The Amager Bakke power plant in Copenhagen is a prime example, as it not only produces electricity but also functions as a recreational space with a rooftop ski slope.

4. He Has a Penchant for Unconventional Materials

Ingels is known for pushing boundaries when it comes to materials in his designs. He has a knack for finding innovative ways to use unconventional materials in construction. For instance, he used synthetic fur to cover the façade of the Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen, creating a visually striking and unique texture. This approach reflects his desire to challenge the traditional perception of architecture and create memorable structures.

5. He Designed a Floating City for Google

In collaboration with Google, Ingels designed a concept for a floating city that could accommodate thousands of people. The plan, known as “Google Fjord City,” was envisioned as a way to combat rising sea levels and provide housing solutions for overcrowded coastal areas. The concept included modular floating structures that could adapt to different locations and serve as self-sustaining communities.

6. He Transformed a Power Plant into a Work of Art

Ingels and his team took on the challenge of redesigning a power plant in Copenhagen into an architectural masterpiece. The Copenhagen Power Plant, also known as Copenhill, not only generates clean energy but also features a ski slope on its roof. This unique combination of sustainable energy production and recreational facility has become a symbol of Ingels’ ability to merge functionality and aesthetics.

7. He Has Redesigned NYC’s Skyscrapers

Ingels is no stranger to transforming city skylines, and he made his mark in New York City by reimagining its skyscrapers. His innovative designs include the Tetrahedron, a pyramid-shaped residential tower, and the Spiral, a cascading structure that combines office and recreational spaces. Ingels’ vision for these structures pushes the boundaries of traditional skyscraper design and sets new standards for urban living and sustainability.

8. He Advocates for “Hedonistic Sustainability”

Ingels coined the term “hedonistic sustainability” to describe his design philosophy, which emphasizes that sustainable living does not require sacrificing comfort or enjoyment. He believes that sustainable architecture should create spaces that people love to live in, incorporating beauty and pleasure into environmentally-friendly designs. This approach challenges the notion that sustainability is dull or restrictive, and instead embraces the idea that eco-friendly spaces can enhance the quality of life.

9. He is the Recipient of Numerous Awards

Ingels’ groundbreaking work has not gone unnoticed. He has received numerous prestigious awards and honors throughout his career. Some notable accolades include the European Prize for Architecture, the RIBA Award, and the TIME 100 list of influential people. These acknowledgments highlight his significant impact on the field of architecture and his ability to shape the built environment in remarkable ways.

10. He is an Accomplished Author

Beyond his architectural endeavors, Ingels is also a skilled writer. He has authored several books, including “Yes is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution” and “Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation.” These publications showcase his unique storytelling approach, combining captivating illustrations with informative narratives that delve into his design process and philosophy.

Now that you know these fascinating facts about Bjarke Ingels, it is evident why he is considered one of the most influential architects of our time. His relentless pursuit of innovative designs, commitment to sustainability, and ability to push the boundaries of what is possible make him a true visionary in the world of architecture.

Useful Links:

For more information on Bjarke Ingels and his work, visit his official website: https://big.dk/

To explore some of Bjarke Ingels’ iconic projects, check out this article by Architectural Digest: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/view/bjarke-ingels-designs-architecture-projects