INTERVIEW: Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels started BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in 2005 after cofounding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Ingels has developed a reputation for designing buildings that are as programmatically and technically innovative as they are cost and resource conscious. BIG is responsible for the critically acclaimed design of the Amager Bakke. Ingels joined Leire Asensio Villoria and the WtE Design Lab for an interview in August 2015 to discuss topics ranging from the history of industrial architecture to his role as the architect of Amager Bakke Resource Center (ARC) in Copenhill, Copenhagen, due for completion in 2017.


Here, we present some relevant quotes from the interview. The full transcript and images will be included in the project’s publication to be completed in 2017.

“I think by adding that architectural urban approach, you end up not only designing buildings that are efficient at their core function, but also buildings that become good citizens of the cities that they are a part of, rather than big boxes that cast shadows on their neighbors and cause discontinuity.”


About the concept for the Amager Bakke WtE facility:

“It would create a destination. It would make people love the fact that the power plant was in their neighborhood. It would actually attract people to go there in order to ski or hike or climb, and then once they were there it would tempt them to learn about WtE, so it would become a perfect ambassador for the place.”


On the differences between the U.S. and Denmark in terms of WtE development:

“I have a feeling that because the WtE that has existed in the form of incineration plants in America has been very, very crude, basically like burning trash, it has therefore been deemed as polluting and very inefficient. I think there has not been enough focus, because oil and gas have been so cheap, on the energy value that you actually find in WtE.”