Listen to Bjarke Ingels’ “An Architect For A Moment Or An Era?” interview for NPR
In a business that’s often poorly paid and anonymous, 39-year-old Bjarke Ingels has become something rare, especially at his age: a “starchitect” in demand. Now, the Danish architect, who has museums, apartment buildings and parks around the world, is taking his talents to New York City. If trademark design elements don’t bind his projects, it may be an idea: that a building should be built to its environment, not dropped from outer space, and that being green can be fun and desirable, an idea he calls “hedonistic sustainability.”
If there’s one design that embodies all that is Bjarke Ingels, it is this one: Right now, his firm is building a power plant in Copenhagen that converts household trash into energy, uses the excess heat to warm nearby homes, and emits nontoxic fumes. It’s also not far from the city center. “So, we thought, like, what if we could turn this into, not a gray area on the city map but a green area? What could you do here that would make sense?” he says. Ingles knew it would be a man-made mountain of sorts in a city with few hills. And that gave him an idea. Copenhagen has snow but no ski slopes, so he’d give them one. “We proposed it as a brainstorm as a joke, but then, you know, it wasn’t so silly, and we started like, why would this not be a good idea?” he says. Soon, Danes will be able to take an elevator to the top of the power plant and ski to the bottom.
Right now, Ingels is figuring out how to make the smokestack blow perfect smoke rings, because why not? But actually, each ring will represent a certain amount of carbon dioxide emissions. via Bjarke Ingels: An Architect For A Moment Or An Era? : NPR.