Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sustainable Architecture at Its Most Magnificent

If you're a fan of incredible architecture and sustainable design, check out this TED talk by the brilliant and funny Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. It could blow your mind.

A couple of weeks ago I rode my bike by this apartment building Ingles not only designed but lives next door to. I spend a lot of hours each week riding around Copenhagen taking bad pictures of design I think is beautiful. Many of the houses in the neighborhoods in the Copenhagen suburbs are exercises in brilliance, often petite but loaded with charm in the form of second story porches, walls of sliding glass doors, large sun-filled kitchens connected to warm and inviting living rooms, and private and cozy gardens filled with fruit trees and flowering vines enclosed by fences made of stripped branches. That there is a park within a ten minute walk of anywhere in Copenhagen doesn't hurt their appeal, either. Lakes are literally everywhere here, there are dedicated bike lanes and traffic lights on all main roads, and all patches of vegetation more than a few meters long have some kind of edible fruit within them.

Indulge yourself here for 18 minutes--you'll no doubt finish this video more optimistic about how sustainable architecture could be a big part of saving our future.


  1. Wowowow!!! This was so inspiring! And the architecture was beautiful! Why on earth are we not thinking like that all the time with all the new buildings shooting up?? (The Oslo harbor has been under heavy construction after we got the new Opera. I would have loved to have these guys over to do most of it.) And they guy who gave the talk was simply brilliant at getting the message through. Thank you for sharing this, Lydia!

  2. Yeah, he's a great speaker. I'm glad you watched it and are as excited as I am by stuff like this.

  3. So is The Mountain as nice as it looks in the presentation?

  4. If you meant lit up by a glorious sunset around the clock, not exactly, but it's pretty cool. Plus, I had no idea about the back side of it at the time, though I plan on riding back over there this week and walking all the way around it. It's about an hour by bike, so I've been slacking.