Bjarke Ingels: The art of unconventionality

3 min read

Bjarke Ingels is a renowned Danish architect who is known worldwide for his visionary and innovative designs. Born in Copenhagen in 1974, he founded the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in 2005 - an architecture firm that has already won numerous awards and is now one of the most influential in the world.

picture by Randy Tarampi from Unsplash

Between pragmatism and utopia

Bjarke Ingels is often described as an architect who pursues a pragmatic-utopian approach. This description refers to his unique way of understanding design and architecture. On the one hand, he confronts the real challenges of our time - be they of an economic, social or ecological nature - and integrates the needs of people and the conditions of the location into his designs. In this way, he creates innovative solutions that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and efficient.

On the other hand, Ingels is a visionary and often pushes the boundaries of the imaginable with his ambitious designs. But unlike pure fantasies, his ideas are always firmly anchored in reality. He develops concrete and practicable concepts that can have a positive impact on society, reconciling opposites such as nature and urbanity, tradition and innovation, functionality and aesthetics, creating harmonious yet surprising designs.


“Architecture is about trying to make the world a little more like our dreams.”
(Bjarke Ingels)

© Epizentrum, Bjarke Ingels in Frankfurt.20150617, CC BY-SA 3.0

Ideas for the cities of tomorrow

The Danish architect is also known for his unconventional approach to urban planning challenges. Instead of relying on traditional models, which often result in a separation between different aspects of urban life, Ingels strives to create integrated and multifunctional spaces. An outstanding example of this is the "Amager Bakke" project, also known as "CopenHill". This waste incineration plant was transformed into a multifunctional center that, in addition to generating energy, also offers space for public activities such as skiing, hiking and climbing. In this way, Bjarke Ingels not only created a sustainable solution for waste disposal, but also integrated the urban space into daily life.

New project: Mindfulness City Bhutan

One of his latest urban development projects is the "Mindfulness City": a sustainable economic center to be built in the south of Bhutan. The master plan, which covers over 1,000 square kilometers, includes a new international airport, rail links, a hydropower dam, public spaces and special building typologies based on the nine domains of the Gross National Happiness Index: Mental Wellbeing, Health, Education, Standard of Living, Use of Time, Ecological Diversity and Resilience, Good Governance, Cultural Diversity and Resilience, and Community Vitality. The aim is to create a sustainable city of the future that redefines the limits of what is possible.

© Bjarke Ingels Group
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Architecture as a driver of change

The numerous visionary projects by renowned architect Bjarke Ingels are not only aesthetic masterpieces, but also offer innovative solutions to urgent global challenges such as population growth, climate change and social inequality. Each of his designs reflects his firm belief that architecture has the transformative power to create a better world.

Instagram @big_builds

Order Lookbook