This goes out to all of my present and future Ervin Architecture clients – I have a confession to make: I have a deep fascination with the architect Bjarke Ingels, the owner of B.I.G. (Bjarke Ingles Group). This fascination is complex, and has virtually nothing to do with his design style. But because of this fascination with Bjarke Ingels, I am going to give you a tremendous discount on a very specific kind of work. If you see Bjarke on the street…tell him you hired Ervin Architecture, and thank him for the discount that we gave you. You won’t be the first…or the last. Before I get into what kind of work I’m talking about…let me talk a little about Mr. Ingels.
Take at look at his overly complex and hard to navigate website here:
Now that you have explored his website, I’ll give you a little summary about this guy if you don’t know who he is already. First of all, at 40..he’s the youngest of a group of international superstar architects called “starchitects.” This is a prestigious group of maybe 30 architects…worldwide.
Yup, he’s only 40. Now that is just ridiculously young by an architect’s standards. It takes a long time to get educated, intern, pass your 7 exams, get licensed, (total of 8 years easy) and then you gotta start to grow your brand. For example, Frank Lloyd Wright, didn’t create Fallingwater until he was in his 60s. At 37 the Wall Street Journal has named him the Innovator of the Year for architecture…and that was back in 2011. He’s been killing it on the international stage with projects all over the world. He’s not a Maine architect like me, as you can can see…He’s Danish..so he immediately has more going for him (the world worships Danish design and Danish architects don’t have to go through the same rigors of getting licensed as us Americans) and he’s damn good. The irony here is I am not a big fan of his architecture, but I am mesmerized by his ability to self-promote.
How did Ingles do this? He was aggressive in his pursuit of competitions…which inherently generated press and exposed him to other prominent clients. These clients were eager to hire someone who was chic, vogue, and innovative. To make his atmospheric trajectory even more certain, he didn’t just win one competition…he won several…proving that he was not a fluke, and a great designer. He’s now surrounded by exceptional designers that make up his B.I.G. Team and whom no doubt, make his designs even more brilliant. He’s created a force that runs itself now…and look out world: He’s here to stay..and is only going to rise higher.
Here is a brief excerpt from Wikepedia:
“Since 2009, Ingels has won numerous architectural competitions and has grown in international scope and acclaim. In October 2011, the Wall Street Journal named Ingels the Innovator of the Year for architecture and, in July 2012, cited him as “rapidly becoming one of the design world’s rising stars” in light of his extensive international projects. Successes abroad include the Danish pavilion at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China, and projects for the New Tamayo Museum, Atizapán de Zaragoza, Mexico (2009), New Tallinn City Hall, Tallinn, Estonia (2009), Shenzhen International Energy Mansion, Shenzhen, China (2009) and the Faroe Islands Education Centre, Torshavn, (2009). His zero-emission 1,000,000 m2 (11,000,000 sq ft) resort and entertainment city project on Zira Island off the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan, which represents the seven mountains of Azerbaijan, has been cited as “one of the world’s largest eco-developments.” Among his most recent projects is the 170,000 m2 (1,800,000 sq ft) West 57 apartment project on Manhattan; Ingels has moved to New York City to overlook it and his other current North American engagements.”
He’s everywhere. Scarcely do you find a design magazine these days that doesn’t have some mention of him. Well last night, after reading about BIG for the umpteenth time, I did a curious thing: I humored myself and Googled “How To Become a Famous Architect.” I did this because, like Bjarke Ingles I want the opportunity to design at the absolute highest level. I scrolled down through the Google results. I was surprised there are actually sites that give you advice…on a sometimes meticulous step-by-step level…on how to become a “starchitect” as if it is easy as following Mom’s recipe for pumpkin pie.
And then I saw the common thread between all starchitects: COMPETITION WINNER. And that, my loyal followers, is far easier said than done.
Competitions allow our true vision to be constructed – without restriction and usually on a grand scale, with plenty of international press. That is the easiest and fastest way to grow your brand…because there is nothing muddying the vision. I’ve had projects that have been systematically stripped of all design value and they turned out pretty lousy. Clients need to trust their architects, and those that do…benefit more greatly than those who do not.
So competitions act as a catalyst. And yet, it’s next to impossible to win. A recent competition for an international memorial received nearly 1750 entries and is being judged by a panel of 10. Even if design was objective…those odds are next to impossible. Design is highly subjective…and there is an inherent paradox of trying to produce something simple and clear but which generates interest and excites. And to make it even more challenging, 4 of those 10 jury members could see our design as the most innovative piece of architecture ever created, while 6 could be indifferent. And just like that…you are thrown out. We lose. Can a small Maine firm really afford to burn that time on it’s balance sheets just to explore the inner annals of our collective design mind, and be rejected? Once in a while, but as a rule of thumb, no.
So how does this all matter? And what is this specific type of work I alluded to earlier? OK, Ready for it? If you let me design freely, unbridled, and with my own vision…a vision that will suit your needs, and your budget, but a vision that will be wholly cutting-edge, innovative, and contemporary…we will give you a massive break on the cost of our fees. If that appeals to you…please call Ervin Architecture today. You will, in a way, give us that competition victory, and allow us to rise even further.
A good example of how this works is the Bangor Blaze Restaurant project, that was completed last January 2014. They got a “Wicked B.I.G. Maine Bargain” because they gave us carte blanche on design. Thank you to Bangor Blaze, LLC for giving us that opportunity to design without restraint. The result? It was recently featured in the Maine Home and Design Architecture Issue this December 2014 in the article “20 Triumphs of Beauty and Form.” BOTH, the Client AND the Architect are immensely pleased with the positive press.
Here is that article.
It’s a win – win. Remember….call us today if you want the “Wicked B.I.G. Maine Bargain.” And if you see Bjarke on the streets of Denmark…tell him we say hello.