Bjarke Ingels, the architect for U.S. Immigration Fund projects West 57th and 76 Eleventh Avenue in New York, has become an international success and one of the most popular names in the architectural world. Ingels explains in an interview the importance of the relationship between a client and an architect. 

2 February, 2018 | Equipo Editorial | Translated by Marina Gosselin

  [caption id="attachment_25060" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Image Courtesy of UDEM[/caption]

In just 13 years since its inception, Danish firm BIG has earned world renown for its inventive architecture and its founder, Bjarke Ingels, has become one of the most popular names in the architectural world. However, with success comes criticism; BIG has been called out by some critics for what they believe is the "infantilization of architecture," referring to their designs as isolated, self-admiring and solely photogenic.

On her most recent visit to Spain, Spanish journalist Anatxu Zabalbeascoa spoke with Ingels about the impact of the Danish office on architecture and how their work wavers on a tightrope between "breakthrough projects for the world of the powerful" and "a face for people who are not happy with existing architectural models."

The conversation addresses the impact of IT giants such as Google on urban planning, Ingels' relationship with Rem Koolhaas – at whose firm, OMA, Ingels worked for a year and a half – his personal life and the hectic world of architecture, specifically regarding the commission for 2 World Trade Center, for which BIG was hired to replace an original design by Foster + Partners. Speaking on the relationship between client and architect, Ingels explains:

"In the world of architecture, there are many things beyond the control of architects, than there are under their control. No matter how wonderful a building is; if there is no client, it doesn't get built."

The office is behind iconic projects in its native Denmark such as the Mountain Dwellings and 8 House in its early years, to the new Google headquarters in London and San Francisco, and projects in Manhattan such as VIA 57 West. All can be reduced to their key architectural move or symbol – which is in fact how BIG's website is organized, as a library of symbols. When Zabalbeascoa wonders if "different has to be photogenic," Ingels defends his vision:

"Rethinking architecture implies being prepared to accept oddities. We aren't interested in the definition of beauty as a proportion. We don't want to disguise them as normal buildings."

Dec. 6 | Aniqa Ajmal During the Annual Skyscraper Award by information specialist Emporis, The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) designed Via 57 West was declared the world’s best skyscraper. The building takes almost an entire block in Manhattan, NYC and looks like a strange futuristic pyramid. The Emporis Skyscraper Awards have been running for almost 17 years now,  and considers buildings that are over 100m (328 ft) tall. This is a 32 story residential building and doesn’t look like an ordinary skyscraper but its unique design was the reason that it was declared the best skyscraper in the world. Architect Bjarke Ingels says that the tetrahedral design of the building is a mix of a skyscraper and European housing block with a central courtyard. He dubs the central courtyard as “court-scraper.” The courtyard itself features the same proportions as Central Park but at 13000th the size of it. The shape of courtyard ensures that there will be plenty of sunlight inside, and as a bonus, great views too. An unnamed Emporis jury member commented on the building saying, “It’s impressive how the architect rethinks the whole idea of a skyscraper. The building is a fantastic addition to the New York skyline.” Second place was awarded to Torre Reforma, Mexico City’s tallest skyscraper. It has a height of 804 ft (245 m). It is the tallest structure with exposed concrete and its triangular form comprises of two concrete walls and has one glazed section. Apart from giving it a unique look, the concrete walls also prevent the interior from getting warm by the sun. Torre Reforma has been specifically designed to withstand earthquakes and heavy winds. The interior of the building is organized into 14 sections and each section has its own private interior garden. The best part of the building is that the architects retained and integrated an already existing house on the site instead of demolishing it. This house was integrated into the main lobby.  
Thursday, November 30   NEW YORK (WABC) -- Bjarke Ingels is the man behind some of New York's most iconic new buildings, now, he is the subject of a new documentary. As a visionary who is changing the face of the Big Apple, Ingels has been called a "STARchitect." And it doesn't hurt he has the charisma of a movie star and the charm of a born diplomat. His truth is contained in the title of the new documentary, called "Big Time." He's hit the heights at the age of 43, years before most architects are so well known. "We want to give the world something the world has not yet seen," he says in the film. "And therefore doesn't fit in to any of the boxes." Originally from Denmark, he's now reshaping the skyline of our city, and the stakes are as high as some of his designs. "New York is like a gigantic loudspeaker," he said at the headquarters of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group). "If you have something to say, and you say it in New York, then the whole world can hear it." His first completed building is a unique, pyramid shaped apartment building called VIA 57 West overlooking the Hudson River on West 57th street. His design features a European courtyard within a Manhattan skyscraper. "(It's) the architectural equivalent of surf and turf at a restaurant," he said. "Two things that you can't imagine combined, and then you combine them in the most unlikely way, and something magical happens." Magic is also happening in Harlem and in the Bronx, where Bjarke has designed a new station house for the 40th Precinct in the Melrose section. In Lower Manhattan, "The Big U" is a massive project designed to prevent future flooding while making the surrounding area more enjoyable for residents. Bjarke has been seeking input from the community, but his favorite comment concerns his plans for Two World Trade Center at Ground Zero. "I got a letter from a relative of a firefighter who gave his life at 9/11," he said. "He saw in our design this kind of staircase to heaven, an ascension to heaven of the innocent souls that died in 9/11." His goal is "to see abstract ideas become concrete reality," because he yearns to "make the ordinary, extraordinary." "Big Time" is showing on the big screen at Landmark Cinemas, located in that pyramid he designed at 657 West 57th Street in Manhattan.  
BY SANDRA HERRERA  NOVEMBER 13, Cold weather has officially swept over NYC and if you're lucky enough to live in one of the below newly-built rental buildings, you basically don't ever have to venture outside. From indoor dog parks to heated pools, these new developments have it all.
365 Bond Street
8 Available Listings From $2,538/Month
          Part of this Gowanus building's allure no doubt lies in its transforming waterfront location, but it also has some amazing amenities to enjoy indoors. 365 Bond features a warm library with fireplaces, a gourmet catering kitchen with private dining, a resident's lounge, game room, and children's playroom. For health and wellness seekers, the building also comes complete with a fitness center, a yoga room, spin studios, and workout rooms with regular programmed classes. Oh, and when getting to your car is a struggle in the cold weather, there's indoor valet parking directly accessible from inside the building. Other valet services include dry-cleaning and dog walking.
LEVEL, 2 North 6th Place
9 Available Listings From $2,400/Month
      Next up is LEVEL, a brand new rental tower that boasts seriously spectacular views of the East River, Manhattan skyline, and Brooklyn. It contains condo-like apartment finishes and amenities that can be accessed year-round, including an indoor pool with a skylight, whirlpool, and steam room, a 24-hour fitness center featuring technogym cardio and weights, a yoga room with virtual on-demand fitness classes, a club lounge with game tables and a demonstration kitchen, and finally, a party room with a kitchen. A true community, member events and activities will be coordinated weekly by LivUnLtd Concierge Service. Other perks include valet services and a gorgeous furnished lobby with a fireplace and 24-hour concierge.  
ARC, 30-02 39th Avenue
7 Available Listings From $2,170/Month
      Over 50,000 square feet of amenities await in this popular LIC rental! ARC boasts great outdoor features (including a 70' long saltwater pool and interior park) but for the coming winter, lucky residents will have plenty to do inside with a 5,000-square-foot fitness center, a yoga, spin and private workout studio, resident's lounge, catering kitchen with private dining, library, collaborative and private work space, basketball court, game room with vintage arcade games, golf simulator, and even a year-round greenhouse for gardening and events. There are dog walking services and indoor valet parking accessible from within the building.  
507 West Chelsea, 507 West 28th Street
19 Available Listings From $2,833/Month
507 West Chelsea doesn't have a ton of amenities (compared to many on this list) but what it does have is pretty amazing and well-designed. Come wintertime, residents can retreat to the building's luxurious lounge with a fireplace or the heated indoor Scandinavian-inspired swimming pool. Other amenities include a recreation room with a full catering kitchen and communal table, and a modern and interactive kid's playroom. Fitness classes are also offered.  
The Eugene, 435 West 31st Street
13 Available Listings From $3,510/Month
        The Eugene, part of the Manhattan West development, probably has the most comprehensive set of amenities in NYC. It features a Bluestone Lane coffee shop, 2-story rock-climbing wall, fitness center, basketball court, crash pad media and entertainment room, arcade corner and golf simulator, billiards room, library lounge, and children's playroom. The building's Hudson Club additionally offers a piano lounge, poker room, and a private dining room with a catering kitchen. There's even a pet grooming station!  
555Ten, 555 Tenth Avenue
13 Available Listings From $3,255/Month
     Yup, that's a bowling alley. 555Ten has ensured its position as a top amenity building with its diverse package that is heavy on child and pet care. In addition to bowling, there's an arcade, children's playroom, fitness center with an indoor saltwater pool, studio classes, weight rooms, training studio with interactive Nexersys Boxing Exergame and spin bikes, full pet-care by Throw Me a Bone, an outdoor dog park (protected from the weather), and an all-season rooftop bar/lounge warmed by a fireplace.  
American Copper Buildings, 626 First Avenue
12 Available Listings From $2,975/Month
     This SHoP-designed rental is as striking on the inside as it is on the outside. The dual copper towers share amenities that include a breathtaking 75' skybridge lap pool, a whirlpool hot tub, Turkish-style marble hammam with plunge pool, double-height fitness center with city views, yoga and pilates studio, private spa and treatment rooms, rock-climbing wall, and a juice and health bar.  
21 West End Avenue
6 Available Listings From $2,850/Month
     This new Lincoln Center development has features for everyone - even your fur friend. 21 West End Avenue has an indoor dog park, library and cafe, arcade, wine tasting room, club room with golf simulator, gym, yoga and boxing studio, and a garage workshop for all your DIY projects. There's also an indoor lap pool.
VIA 57 WEST, 625 West 57th Street
11 Available Listings From $2,829/Month
      No surprise Bjarke's creation made it on the list. VIA 57 West is widely hailed as an architectural masterpiece, and it has the amenities to fit. Notable indoor features include a swimming pool, library, screening room, playroom, golf simulator, game room, fitness center, spin room, and a half-basketball court.  
Halo LIC, 44-41 Purves Street
21 Available Listings From $2,835/Month
     Another Long Island City development, Halo LIC offers its residents plenty to do indoors and away from the harsh cold. Amenities include a movie theater, pet spa, library lounge, game room, business center, fitness center with sauna, and yoga studio. And if you dare to venture outside, the building has a rooftop terrace with a fire-pit and a weather-proof pool table.  

BY CITYREALTY STAFF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 [caption id="attachment_23550" align="aligncenter" width="825"] L to R: 461 Dean Street, VIA 57 WEST, HOUSE39[/caption] New York is a city of renters, we're...