BJARKE INGELS – Inclined to ask BIG questions

BJARKE INGELS – Inclined to ask BIG questions

Ingels111 PS

Photo: Frank Burd

VIA 57 WEST, New York City

– This article is under construction –


Bjarke Ingels is the founder and guiding light of the Danish design firm BIG. When one looks at the body of the firm’s work to date (2019), it is not surprising to learn that Ingels worked as an employee of the architectural firm OMA on the Seattle Public Library.

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Seattle Central Library, Location: Seattle WA    Architect: Rem Koolhaas/OMA Architects

The library is  a technically daring structure that employs the diagonal motif at every turn. It is also a building that is the result of asking questions about what a library should be in a modern metropolitan setting.

Bjarke Ingels is a man with a mission. He is a deep and daring thinker not afraid to take risks. He spreads his inquiring mind like a wide net in order to draw in considerations about an architectural assignment that allows him to shape his buildings in a totally innovative manner.


The firm, with offices in Denmark, London and New York has major projects all over the world. Although his projects are very visually appealing, BIG is not a star firm known for its architecture-as-sculpture as are the offices of Frank Gehry and the late Zaha Hadid. However, BIG takes every opportunity to create arresting forms, details and innovative combinations of materials.


Although the diagonal motif is not used on every project, it does appear with great frequency. It seems as though Ingels is inclined to see wherever the angled line makes sense and serves an architectural, social and environmental purpose. An example is the ski slope he proposed for the roof of a power plant (confirm purpose) as illustrated below.




One of Ingels early projects reveals his predilection for non-orthogonal floor plans. This marine-related project cantilevers three pavilions off the corners of a structure that floats in the sea.


A housing project illustrated above (the figure 8 scheme) and below steps the dwelling units units down like a stair scaled for a giant.


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