Bjarke Ingels is well known as the founder of BIG, aka the Bjarke Ingels Group, which he started in 2005. The company has earned many accolades and awards over the years due to its innovative and resource-conscious approach. Born in October 1974, this Danish architect started his career working for Rem Koolhaas from 1998 to 2001 before he returned to his native Copenhagen and started his own design firm, PLOT Architects. Ever the achiever, the new company was awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2004.
PLOT was wound down in 2005 and Ingels began building his own empire: the Bjarke Ingels Group. More awards followed, including the Wall Street Journal Innovator of the Year Award, the Danish Crown Prince’s Culture Prize in 2011, another Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004, and the ULI Award for Excellence in 2009. In 2016, TIME magazine named Bjarke one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
These days, BIG is led by 12 architects: Bjarke Ingels himself, plus Sheela Maini Søgaard, Finn Nørkjær, Thomas Christoffersen, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Andreas Klok Pedersen, David Zahle, Jakob Lange, Beat Schenk, Daniel Sundlin, Brian Yang and Jakob Sand.
The team’s standout projects include Two World Trade Center in New York City, the Kimbal Art Museum in Utah, The Grove in Miami, the Lego House in Denmark, Zootopia, also in Denmark, HFZ Tower in NYC, and many more. And besides being an architect, this active professional also lectures at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University and Rice University. An honorary professor at the Royal Academy or Arts and School of Architecture in Copenhagen, Ingels is also a distinguished speaker on the global design seminars circuit.
Text by Ria Iskandar