Bjarke Ingels

time 100 2016 Bjarke Ingels
Ryan Pfluger for TIME

Highflyer of skylines

Contrary to many, maybe including himself, I do not consider Bjarke Ingels the reincarnation of this or that architect from the past. On the contrary, he is the embodiment of a fully fledged new typology, which responds perfectly to the current zeitgeist. Bjarke is the first major architect who disconnected the profession completely from angst. He threw out the ballast and soared. With that, he is completely in tune with the thinkers of Silicon Valley, who want to make the world a better place without the existential hand-wringing that previous generations felt was crucial to earn utopianist credibility.

We are friends. Once, during lunchtime, I used his office to prepare a competition presentation. (We lost.) On the menu that day was quiche. Wow, I wondered, so you can do great architecture without violating anyone’s comfort zone?

Koolhaas is a Pritzker Prize–winning architect, theorist and urbanist

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