The Real Deal New York

Bjarke Ingels has a hard time building for pandas

The starchitect is not a fan of people calling him a communicator

September 15, 2016 11:52AM


Bjarke Ingels

It may be surprising for an architect of his standing, but Bjarke Ingels has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to people implying his work isn’t terribly good.

“I think the biggest backhanded criticism-compliment I get is that I’m ‘good at communicating.’ Which implies that you’re bad at doing,” he told Rolling Stone.

“The fact that something is actually understandable and relatable doesn’t mean that it’s unsophisticated or banal. It just means that it’s crystal-clear. And if you can’t explain it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so brilliant that ordinary mortals can’t fathom it. It might just mean that it makes no sense.”

Danish-born Ingels, who heads the architecture firm BIG TRData LogoTINY, is something of a rock star in the field and is designing a number of high-profile Manhattan developments – including the Durst Organization’s 625 West 57th Street, Silverstein Properties’ 2 World Trade Center and HFZ Capital Group’s 76 11th Avenue. But one of the more challenging buildings he is currently working on is a home for pandas in Copenhagen’s zoo.

“Pandas have very specific needs,” Ingels said. “They’re a demanding client! My job is much more interesting when the client is demanding. And you can’t be more demanding than being a different species.”

Ingels is apparently also proud of the fact that his firm’s Danish web address is “Who doesn’t like a big dick?” he told the magazine. “Men like it, women like it!” [Rolling Stone]Konrad Putzier