Bang & Olufsen Insides the Bjarke Ingels House

IF PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT, THEN WHY ARE ALL HOMES THE SAME?

THE INTERESTING REFLEXION OF THE ARCHITECT BJARKE INGELS, OPPEN ITS HOUSE TO TALKS ABOUT ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY WITH BANG & OLUFSEN.

BANG & OLUFSEN:

“How do you turn your ideas into reality?” The rhetorical question offered by Bjarke Ingels sets the tone quickly. He smiles as he tells us, “you make it your business.”

Renowned Danish architect and ideologist Bjarke Ingels invites us inside his private home, and shares his thoughts on architecture, technology and Bang & Olufsen.

As the principal and founder of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, he has successfully steered the company to a position as one of the world’s most esteemed, with ground-breaking projects known to defy traditional conventions and dimensions globally. From his office in NYC, he is currently overseeing the new Google HQ in California, the new stadium for the Washington Redskins NFL team, a 20-year restoration plan for the Smithsonian – the world’s largest museum and research complex, and 2 World Trade Center at the 9/11 Memorial in NYC.

 

 

 

BREAKING TRADITIONS. MAKING ROOM FOR LIFE

“If you look at the traditional way of arranging the rooms in a home you have a lot of closely-knit, separate functions, but in reality the only place where you really need to close the door is the bathroom. Perhaps people would benefit more from spaciousness?” 

The answer is obvious if you ask Bjarke Ingels, and when we look at what they ended up doing in the VM Houses by making homes that were hyper flexible on the inside and outside, and ready for radical change, it was a basic human insight that spurred it all: the only certainty is change. 

first major project Bjarke Ingels completed was the award-winning VM Houses in 2005. It’s two residential blocks formed as the letters V and M, situated in a new area outside the Danish capital Copenhagen and built with former partner Julien de Smedt as PLOT Architects. The project is symbolic because it is centred around a modern flexible way of life, a topic we’re here to discuss.

“The brief for the VM Houses was to make it as affordable as possible, because no one had any idea what the area would become at the time. We made a conscious choice back then to make the apartments as pure as possible. We created a lot of height in the apartments and ensured there was plenty of daylight too,” says Bjarke Ingels as he takes us through his recently renovated home.  

“Looking back, the formula we used with the VM Houses is one I’ve recently applied to my own apartment. I’ve removed several walls to get the natural light inside – and I have basically opened up the living space.” He confides that the renovation process didn’t go exactly as planned, because the road from idea to implementation is filled with challenges. The word problem is seldom used, and as he dryly remarks, “I’m probably on to the next home, when we finish here.”  

They built what they described as programmatically flexible homes for their own generation, homes that were open to the needs of the individual, yet catered for a mosaic of different forms of living. 

“Instead of having all these unused square meters I always try to activate the entire home – by staying conscious of all the different uses and functions within the four walls,” says Bjarke Ingels. “I look at the home as your personal canvas, the place where your belongings add the final characteristic touch. The artworks on the walls, the books on the shelves and the rugs on the floor bring your home to life. The best building blocks you get – you could call them ‘raw qualities’ without any association with taste and personality – are active square metres and high ceilings.”

 

TECHNOLOGY WITHIN THE MODERN HOME

In a time and age where there is more and more technology within your home, concealed in every conceivable product and hidden from plain sight, the question is how these advancements are leveraged, because technology has often worked against us by adding complexity and too many choices when it should do the opposite – make life easier and perhaps more enjoyable too. 

 

Find out exactly what Bjarke Ingels thinks about home technology in the upcoming Bang & Olufsen magazine - and learn more about his relationship with Bang & Olufsen and Scandinavian design.

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