Ingels was an associate at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and co-founder of Plot Architects before founding his own practice with BIG in 2005. Among other awards, he received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004 and the World Architecture Festival Award in the housing category in 2008. He currently teaches at Columbia University in New York.
With the apartment complexes “Mountain” Dwellings and “VM-House” in the Ørestad district of Copenhagen, BIG has transformed its vision of urban density in the rural periphery into reality. Currently, the architects are building the Danish Pavilion at this year’s Expo in Shanghai. The building does justice to the theme “Better city – better life” in the form of a gigantic bicycle loop. At the heart of the structure, Copenhagen’s landmark the Little Mermaid thrones over a bath filled with water from the harbor of the Danish capital.
Bjarke Ingels, BIG – BJARKE INGELS GROUP
What is the first thing that comes to your mind with regard to the topic “urban future”?
Yes – the future will be urban – our cities are our way as humans to refurbish the planet so it fits better to the way we want to live. Our cities don’t look the way they do because they have to – or because it’s their ‘natural’ state. They look that way because that’s how we created them – and if they don’t fit our new needs, demands or dreams, we have the means and the power to re-imagine and refurbish so they do.
Do you have a personal idea of what this future could look like?
What is your impact as an architect or landscape architect on this topic?
It is our job as architects to observe how life in the city evolves – what new lifeforms emerge – and make sure that our cities provide the physical framework to accommodate all these new forms of life.
Do you think mobility concepts will change the future of the city, or do urban conditions change our concept of mobility?
Urban space and urban movement is like lifeform and habitat – they coevolve in a constant feedback loop where each part is constantly evolving to adjust to the other.