WeWork, the $20 billion provider of co-working and temporary office spaces, just announced that rockstarchitect Bjarke Ingels will be their Chief Architect, a role in which he’ll advise the company on all their projects, as well as offer his insights and ideas. With Bjarke at the helm, WeWork hopes to impact buildings, neighborhoods, and even broader, the cities in which they’re located by working with city planners and politicians to change the future for the better. In a press release written by CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann, WeWork boasts Bjarke’s creativity and practicality: “Bjarke caught my attention because he’s changing the way we think about architecture. His designs inspire as much as they surprise.”
Bjarke, the head of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), seems to be everywhere these days and going from one giant success to another. Just last week, everyone was going gah-gah over the opening of his super cool XI sales gallery for his much-anticipated twisting twin XI buildings in New York City, as well as his beautifully designed restaurant village for the world’s top restaurant in Copenhagen, Noma.
And this isn’t Bjarke’s first foray with WeWork. Back in November, he and BIG released designs for WeGrow, a private elementary school for “conscious entrepreneurship” in New York City. Bjarke referenced his Lego House project in Denmark as background for the WeGrow project, saying “What we’ve tried to do is undo the compartmentalization that you often find in a school environment.” The school will likely be in WeWork’s forthcoming new headquarters in a redesigned (by BIG) version of Five Avenue’s iconic Lord & Taylor.
Neumann says: “When we started WeWork eight years ago, we knew the world didn’t need another office building, it needed spaces where people could collaborate on projects, connect and create together, and potentially change the world. As WeWork’s Chief Architect, Bjarke Ingels will help us reimagine and reshape the future of our spaces, our company and ultimately our cities.” As part of their grand utopian vision, Bjarke will now lead WeWork as they build their “campuses,” several blocks where WeWork’s co-working, co-living, gyms, and schools will all cluster together in one community. Once that’s established, they will rise to the city level.
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