Report: Bjarke Ingels’ talk at the Aarhus School of Architecture


Bjarke Ingels visits Aarhus School of Architecture thanks to some tweets

Render by Bjarke Ingels Group - BIG

Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.


Bjarke Ingels visits Aarhus School of Architecture thanks to some tweets

Photo credit Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

BIG with architect Bjarke Ingels in front are known for an unconventional approach, which has been called architectural alchemy. Here, Google HQ in Mountain View, CA.


Bjarke Ingels visits Aarhus School of Architecture thanks to some tweets

The Infinite Happiness is a feature-length documentary by Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine which documents their life for about a month inside the “8 House” designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels in Copenhagen.


Aarhus School of Architecture was visited by perhaps the most prominent of contemporary architects one Friday morning in November. DANISH™ was there to be able to give you a recap of the show.

It started with a single tweet.


The man behind architectural developments such as the VIA 57 West courtscraper, the new Google Headquarter in Mountain View and the “grand vision” behind SpaceX’s Hyperloop, was giving a talk on social infrastructure and hedonistic sustainability.


The founding architect of Bjarke Ingels Group was excited to tell the massive crowd about some of the company’s latest projects and how these corresponded with the two topics.


To exemplify his thoughts on hedonistic sustainability, Bjarke Ingels presented the waste-to-energy power plant that will house Denmark’s first ski slope. Set to open in 2017, the power plant is an example of how architecture mixes sustainability with the most sought-after solution. In short, the idea of hedonistic sustainability is that you don’t have to sacrifice anything to go green.

Ingels put Tesla Motors forward as another example of hedonistic sustainability: “You’ll get the greenest car as well as a car that drives faster than a Porsche 911. So, it’s the most preferable choice whether you want to live green or want the quickest car.”


The topic of social infrastructure was represented by, amongst other examples, the VIA 57 West in New York City. The characteristic skyscraper, which recently won the 2016 International Highrise Award for the world’s most innovative high-rise, is actually a mixture of the traditional Scandinavian courtyard building and the skyscraper.


Bjarke Ingels calls this type of building a courtscraper, and, according to him, it possesses some of the same qualities as the courtyard building, where a lot of the social life revolves around the courtyard. At the same time, the VIA 57 West meets the demand for dwellings in densely populated areas, such as Manhattan, NYC.


Bjarke finished his session with a short talk about the AARhus housing project on Aarhus Harbour. The project comprises the first building that is being built near Basin 7 on Aarhus Harbour, supporting the goal of re-thinking the whole development of the new harbour district, Aarhus Ø (Aarhus Island). The attentive audience laughed when Ingels said that “you can’t say New York without saying Aarhus”, before finishing his presentation.


The talk by Bjarke Ingels was part of the series Nordic Perspectives hosted by the Aarhus School of Architecture.

The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

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