Robb Report

How Bjarke Ingels Became Architecture’s Most Subversive Superstar

September 24th, 2019

Take the XI, for example, a pair of towers under construction in Chelsea that resemble a dancing couple, flirtatiously twisting toward each other as they soar skyward; the design maximizes square footage without compromising views. HFZ’s Ziel Feldman, the project’s developer, recalls meeting Ingels for lunch to discuss it; by the end of the meal, the architect had sketched an initial concept on a napkin. “He’s not egotistical, and he has almost superhuman energy,” Feldman explains. “And he will design from the inside out, not the outside in. He doesn’t make buildings that are beautiful architecturally that you can’t live in.”