The question of how we will navigate the future of work and cities to progress towards a new economy—that uplifts all people and all communities—is perhaps the most important challenge of our time.
At WeWork, we believe that by working together we can reimagine, reshape, and re-humanize the architecture of the spaces we work and live in to encourage human connection, support innovation and provide opportunity for all.
Today I am excited to share some news that will go a long way to making that vision a reality: Bjarke Ingels will be WeWork’s Chief Architect.
Bjarke Ingels is one of the leading architects of our time.
He will continue to lead BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the architectural firm he founded in 2005 and will offer his insights and ideas to extend and help us push the boundaries of architecture, real estate, technology, and design at WeWork.
The designs of Bjarke Ingels are world-famous as much for their creativity as their practicality. Take a look at any of his projects and you will see his thought-provoking and original designs. In Copenhagen, the waste-to-energy plant Amager Bakke, has a ski slope, a hiking trail, and the world’s tallest climbing wall. A standard solution would have been an obvious choice, but instead, Bjarke created one of the world’s most breathtaking city parks that will be accessible to everyone who visits. Here in New York, the Big U will not only shield downtown Manhattan from future floods and storm surges, it will also give the city and its local communities more parks and much needed recreational space.
In this newly created role, Bjarke will offer his insights and ideas to extend and help us push the boundaries of architecture, real estate, technology, and design at WeWork. He will continue to lead BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the architecture firm he founded in 2005.
Everything we do at WeWork should be done with intent and meaning for maximum impact. This starts with every space for every member and scales to every building in every city. In 2018, we want to have an impact on the buildings we occupy. In 2019, it will be the neighborhoods WeWork is part of, and by 2020, the cities we live in.
We will be working with Bjarke alongside urban planners, mayors, and other business and community leaders around the world to develop and ultimately offer a vision for the future that uplifts, inspires, and connects people around the world.
More immediately, Bjarke and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group will help us reimagine the historic Lord & Taylor building. We intend to honor the past and build towards the future by restoring the iconic space into the heartbeat of culture and commerce in New York City.
Bjarke and BIG have also been instrumental in designing WeGrow. Given their experience with projects like the Lego House, we will reimagine education and the learning environment for children to foster entrepreneurship and creativity.
When Miguel and I started WeWork eight years ago, we knew the world didn’t need another office building. It needed spaces where people could collaborate on projects, work, come together, and potentially change the world. With Bjarke’s help our vision is one step closer to a reality. We are excited to welcome Bjarke to the WeWork family.
Photos by Alexei Hay