Profile of a Rising Starchitect: Bjarke Ingels

The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Woodward spent some time with a rather odd fellow recently – Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels. Having gained some acclaim in Scandinavia, the architect has brought his firm, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), to the U.S. and he isn’t taking a passive approach. Scheduled to be completed in 2015 is BIG’s highly anticipated Manhattan mixed-use building at 57th Street, one of several projects the firm is designing in 10 different countries. The New York building’s ambitious design includes 600 rental units, retail spaces, and a giant periscope in the lobby. In addition to daring forms and features, Ingels applies his out-of-the-box thinking to building performance:

According to Ingels, “sustainability” and “green” architecture have for too long been associated with cold showers and turning off the lights when you leave a room. But hedonism is too strong a human impulse, he believes. Shunning “the Protestant idea that it has to hurt to do good,” Ingels thinks that buildings can address environmental concerns and still be beautiful, perplexing, comfortable, ironic, joyful and fun. Urban tower blocks don’t have to be crammed with dreary rectangles. They can have courtyard gardens and submarine-like periscopes, and still be cost-effective.

Check out the full article – it is well worth the read.