BIG, founded by Bjarke Ingels in 2005, is one of the world's most advanced studios in the definition of urban situations and horizons.
BIG has actually dealt with many projects all over the world, all sharing a visionary view and an interest in innovative theories about contemporary society and way of lives.
Its 2 workplaces in Copenhagen and New York combine professionals from all over the world, promoting cultural exchange as a source of wealth in style.
The group's knowledge ranges from architecture to style, from idea creation to engineering.
The studio also checks out brand-new disciplines bounding on architecture, promoting research study and coming up with new perspectives on the cities we will live in years to come. Digital representation innovations are seen not as an end in themselves but as a means of attaining these objectives. Society, economics and ecology are the themes dearest to Bjarke Ingels and his group, attended to in every one of his projects.
Ingels began his career operating at OMA with Rem Koolhaas; in 2001 he co-founded PLOT (Julien De Smedt and bjarke ingels group Ingels).
In his scholastic profession, Ingels has been going to professor at Rice University School of Architecture and at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University and going to teacher at Harvard University.
In 2004 he was granted a Golden Lion at the Biennale in Venice for his Stavanger Concert House, and the following year he won the Forum AID Award for his VM houses.
The Mountain housing development, that made Bjarke Ingels popular all over the world, has gotten many awards including the World Architecture Celebration Housing Award, the Online Forum Aid Award and the MIPIM Residential Advancement Award.
Interview
BJARKE INGELS. Individuals simply move freely around the city. And in one of our latest tasks we in fact took a neighbourhood of town houses however with little gardens in front and we designed a metropolitan block so people can really walk or cycle all the method from the garden to the penthouse.
You have an another major continuous task in Copenhagen, which is the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant. This is a great obstacle for the city and for the sustainability of the city.
BJARKE INGELS. This job is so huge and it is in the middle of the city, in the harbour area. In winter season, individuals can take a lift to the top of the power station and simply ski down for fun all the method to the ground flooring.
This is a fine example of mix of public space with town energy. How was the project accepted by the citizens?
BJARKE INGELS. Normally when you prepare to develop a power plant in the middle of the city, you can anticipate a lot of grievances: people do not wish to live next to a power plant but we got e-mail messages from people asking when the project was going to be finished since they were eagerly anticipating skiing!
More recently you won another crucial international design competitors for a new 27.000 m2 cultural complex in Albania, can you tell us more about this job?
BJARKE INGELS. This is a cultural complex. As you'll probably know, today there is a little discontent in Tirana due to the fact that of the upcoming elections so we are excited to see how things will develop. The task is for a complex with a Museum of Religious Harmony, an Islamic Centre and a Mosque. The fundamental idea is to integrate public life with the religious area and also with a view to incorporate the religion into the city. When we went to Tirana to have an appearance at the task, we went on weekends, on Fridays and special holidays. And we could see that the present mosque is too little so people hoping in fact spill out onto the streets. So the intention is to combine the city grid of Tirana with the orientation towards The Mecca. On the ground floor, all the three structures, are oriented towards The Mecca to develop a square in front of the mosque whereas at roof level the structure follows the grid of the city streets and walls. The concept is to get these 2 instructions to develop a semi-covered outdoor space, almost extending the mosque outward onto the street but likewise inviting the street and the public area all the way to the mosque, creating a sort of overlap, which is half inside your home and half outdoors, half mosque and half Tirana.
You constantly involve the city in your jobs, and you usually handle social jobs, however what do you believe is the relationship between architecture and politics?
BJARKE INGELS. I believe politics is the procedure of attempting to listen to the demands and desires and concerns of people and turn these cumulative concerns into political reality through representation; in an extremely comparable though more concealed method architecture handle accommodating the concerns and needs of people. As designers we are at the centre of attempting to continually coordinate the cumulative effort of making sure that our buildings and cities fit with the way we desire to live and in an ideal world that is likewise what politicians ought to be doing.
Do you believe that architecture is an advertising tool for politics or politics is a tool for an architect to attain something important in a city?
BJARKE INGELS. Here in Italy I think for example how weird to see the case of Stefano Boeri, organiser of Festarch and Editor of Abitare, who utilized to be a designer interested in politics and now he is probably more like a politician interested in architecture.
Rather difficult I guess. How do you feel when individuals say you are “l'Enfant awful” of style and architecture?
Rather than considering architecture as a self-governing art kind separated from the rest of the world, I actually see the role of architecture and of designers to be completely involved with the rest of society. In many methods it is an architecture that does not just try to look gorgeous or poetic however it really produces possibilities. Some people would argue that creating a ski slope on top of a power plant has absolutely nothing to do with architecture but this is somehow the architecture of arranging all elements of human life in brand-new mixes.

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The studio also explores brand-new disciplines bounding on architecture, stimulating research study and coming up with brand-new perspectives on the cities we will live in years to come. Rather than considering architecture as an autonomous art form isolated from the rest of the world, I really see the function of architecture and of designers to be totally involved with the rest of society. The concept was to produce a very active architecture where you can stroll and cycle through the pavilion and through the exhibitions, you can dip your toes in the swimming pool in the middle. In lots of ways it is an architecture that does not just attempt to look beautiful or poetic however it truly produces possibilities. Some individuals would argue that producing a ski slope on top of a power plant has nothing to do with architecture but this is in some way the architecture of organising all elements of human life in brand-new mixtures.

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