Sometimes Being Good at Your Job Brings Unwanted Attention

Via 57 West rental apartments with Hudson River viewsI am glad I am not rich. People can be strange. It seems the moment someone becomes successful, someone else feels the need to criticize. This has become the situation for rock starchitect Bjarke Ingels.

About ten years ago, Bjarke Ingels made a spontaneous decision to move to New York City from his native country of Denmark. Since then, Ingels opened his architectural firm, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and a 33rd-floor office on Broadway in the Financial District.

In 2014, NYC developer Douglas Durst had plans for a project on 57th Street and the West Side Highway. Durst was impressed with Ingels question “Why do all of your buildings look like buildings?” and BIG became the architect behind the pyramid-like shaped building known as Via 57 West. Via 57 West offers spacious, luxury rental apartments with Hudson River views and is eco-friendly boasting a LEED Gold Certification. Via 57 West’s address is 625 West 57th Street and the website address is

BIG has also been tapped to design 2 World Trade Center but the project is on hold currently due to finance issues.

In the meantime, Ingels has been focused on the project named The Eleventh. The Eleventh is a pair of twisted, rotating towers at 76 11th Avenue in the West Chelsea neighborhood. The towers of different heights, one rising 35 stories and the other 25, include 90,000-square-feet of retail space, 240 apartments with Hudson River views, as well as views of the Downtown and Midtown Manhattan skylines, and a Six Senses hotel.

BIG is now involved with the planning and design of the massive Big U project. The Big U protects 10 continuous miles of low-lying geography. Big U proposed system not only shields the city against floods and storm water, it provides social and environmental benefits to the community. Here’s a video on the Big U project.

Sounds like success for Ingels’ and his architecture firm…right? Success and riches bring problems of their own.

Recently, Ingels proudly posted a photo of himself and his 12 fellow architects on Instagram. Eleven of the architects are male and one is a female. People posted derogatory comments about Ingels being a sexist, misogynist, etc. Ingels himself said it best in an article published by The Real Deal, This is a photo of me and my dear friends and partners who I love, admire and respect, and who I have collaborated with to create our company over the last 16 years. To my surprise, this photo has turned out to be deeply offensive to a lot of people who appear to believe that we have chosen each other based on factors as utterly indifferent as gender and race, rather than our shared passion, talent, skill, intelligence, heart, and soul. Seriously?” Passionately, Ingels continued, “If I was a misogynist would I hire a woman as my CEO? Probably not. I grew up in Denmark for crying out loud. Denmark is probably one of the places where equality is actually fully achieved.”

Again, people can be strange

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