tv Architect Bjarke Ingels Interview at Atlantic Festival CSPAN October 23, 2018 4:45pm-5:02pm EDT
on some aspects of this legacy. it's not too soon on the war in iraq. it didn't accomplish what he thought it was going to accomplish before he started the war. it cost $4,000 american lives it cost $2 trillion. and i think you, i write in me book -- and i don't think this judgment will change. it was one of the biggest strategic blunders in american history. >> james mann, sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> the atlantic festival is held every year in washington, d.c. it includes interviews with leaders and business. technology. politics and the arts. coming up a discussion with a danish architect who talked about the future of housing and building design. a conversation with energy secretary rick perry.
we hear from a vice president of the patagonia outdoor closing company. and the ceo of myelin pharmaceuticals. >> hi, good morning. so you own your own architectural firm and you're the chief architect for we work. before you were an international architecture superstar, what was the thing you wanted to do as a kid? >> i wanted to be a cartoonist. but when i graduated from high school there was no cartoon academy in copenhagen so i went to the royal danish drawing academy and became an architect. >> i found a quote about you online that said architecture seems to be entrinched in two equally unfertile fronts either naively utopian or petrifyingly
pragmatic. we blev there is another way. a pragmatic utopian architecture. that's very beautiful. >> thank you. >> what does that mean? >> i'm glad you asked. no, like it's basically architecture was the art and science of giving form to the future that we would like to find ourselves living in. every time you have a project, you have to make a building, you have a chance to make this small fragment of the world more like your dream world. and you can approach utopia in a very pragmatic and specific way. >> let's look at some photos. >> one example, this is a high rise, the headquarters for the main energy company in shenzh j china. you want to minimize glare.
we spent monday oh on the fac e facade, like a meet the pleated dress. and away from the sun it's opaque. you the beautiful thing is this idea alone reduces the energy consumption with 30%, without any sophisticated technology. it's just the geology of the facade and what i like is that what makes this building maybe look beautiful, is also what makes it perform beautifully. >> let's fly from china to new york city. >> so this is another high rise where where it's a different idea that has changed the architecture. this is called a spiral. it's at the hudson yards in new york. it's basically a 1200-foot tall work space. but where each floor is connected to an outdoor space, and to the floor above and the floor below, that means the vertical segregation that normally separates each floor from each other.
here the entire building is connected in a single spiral. >> in the ribbons that we can see right here snaking their way around the building, these are places where people on different floors could look up from mar t marketing to research and development can say hey, i have a question for you. >> you take the elevator, but then if you have to speak to someone on the 17th, you go out and say hey. and when you look at three floors up you might see that girl from marketing tough tell her this thing. it's bringing people close together in a vertical building. >> if you want to hide from your boss, you know what to do, stay inside. >> don't go near the spiral. >> let's go to, you're next. >> so then it's, these are like three towers, there's a specific performance that has changed the design of each tower. this one is right next to grandville bridge in vancouver and we all know that an elevated overpass can have a negative impact on the local environment. in this case, this tower,
there's a rule in vancouver you can't live closer than 00 feet from the bridge. we got this idea that when you get 100 feet up in the air we did grow the air, we can grow the building back out. >> so you designed around the loc local ordinance. that's so cool. >> it's twice as big at the top as it is at the bottom. when you drive over the bridge, it's as if someone is pulling a curtain aside, sort of welcome to vancouver. but then also, underneath the bridge, we've created, with some local artists, what we call the sisti sistine chapel of street art so the underside of the bridge is an upside down art gallery. >> wow. that is so -- that's well earned. that is so clever. when you proposed this to vancouver, to the government, did they say, this is technically a violation of the
rule, or, okay, that's very clever. you found a very clever way around the rule that we wrote about, trying to take space away from the highways. >> i think they said exactly both, but of course, it's harder to do things differently because, like, the reason that things are the way they are is not because they're bad. like the standard solution doesn't become the standard by being bad. it becomes the standard because it's incredibly good. at doing exactly one thing. what we try to do is say we're not just going to do this. we're going to do more, and then when you pile on more demands, you make the job more difficult, but you also make the solution more exciting. so, in a way, it's not by cutting corners that we can do things differently. it's actually by making things more difficult and then solving it. >> that's great. all right. the next one, as absolutely spectacular as the first three have been, the next one might be my favorite. what are we looking at here in copenhagen? >> this is a waste to energy
power plant that is already running but it's -- the special part of it is that it's the cleanest waste to energy power plant in the world. there are no toxins coming out of the chimney, so we got the idea that since you normally want to be as far away from a power plant as possible because it's noisy and smelly and polluting. here, we got the idea that we could turn the roof into a park and in copenhagen, we have absolutely no mountains. we might be a scandinavian country but we have no mountains. we have to go six hours by car to sweden to alpine ski, but because our power plant is so big, we've actually turned the roof of the power plant into an alpine ski slope. >> i mean, why did you do it? how did you think of this? what was the meeting like where you said, we've designed this really clean waste to energy power plant in copenhagen, let's
snowboard on it? >> it was, actually, something like that. we called this idea social infrastructure that you can actually create infrastructural projects, like public utility, like a power plant or a highway or a flood protection and give it positive social and environmental benefits. and in this case, what's interesting about clean technology is not only that it's better for the environment, you know, it's not only good for the birds that you have no toxins coming out of this chimney. it's also amazing for the citizens that a power plant can become the bedrock for a public park. so, in a way, also for the owner or like the director, the ceo of the power plant, she suddenly expresses, in a very clear and blatant way, what's fundamentally different about her technology compared to, like a traditional power plant. >> so is this up and running or is this forthcoming? >> the power plant is up and running. the park is still being laid out. what we're looking at here is actually an image, but around christmas this year, we'll take
the inaugural run down the ski slope. >> so if i -- i'm actually going to copenhagen in a few weeks so unfortunately a little bit too early, but if i do go again in the near future and say, you know, i am a black diamond skier, my girlfriend is a blue skier, are there ways to accommodate both of us on this copenhagen power plant? >> you have a green, a blue, and a black ski slope. also, what i hope is that denmark won zero medals in sochi. i hope we can change that. >> one waste energy power plant at a time. that's great. all right. let's cross back over the atlantic and see what else you got. >> so then this idea of social infrastructure, we've taken it to the scale of the city of new york with a project we've called the big u or the dryline, which essentially is, imagine the high line is this very popular park
in copenhagen, former train tracks that have turned -- in new york. former train tracks that have been turned into one of the most popular parks in the city. >> that's right. >> so, when sandy came and there was the obama sandy recovery fund, we were invited for a competition called rebuild by design to look at how could we protect new york from the next sandy. and we thought, what if we could design all of the necessary flood protection measures in a direct dialogue with the local communities inhabiting the water front of new york, all around the south tip of manhattan, in such a way that it doesn't become a seawall that segregates the life of the city from the water around it but you'll see undulating hills and pavilions with programs and also pocket doors that can slide out. you'll see undulating pieces of furniture so you'll have a much more accessible and enjoyable water front but everything that makes it more accessible also protects it from the next sandy. >> this is a piece of infrastructure that was designed
to explicitly respond to the issue of rising seas and global warming but from the perspective of someone at the southern tip of manhattan, which we're looking at right now, it won't look like a wall. it will look like rolling hills. what's so cool about this is that when most people think about designing for a future that's trying to incorporate s dystopian changes to a global climate, you think about "blade runner." what you have there, 30-foot walls, grotesque gray walls rising up. you don't need something that dystopian at all. you can have something that makes the financial district look far more beautiful. >> we call it hedonistic sustainability. you know, where the sustainable city is actually more enjoyable for human life than its alternative. >> i got to say, between petrifying pragmatic and he
donisticly sustainable, you're killing it with the term nalg. >> we are working with the redskins to create their new home and this is a work in progress. it hasn't landed yet. i clearly have a favorite, but right now, it's in virginia. it could also go to maryland but it could also come back to d.c. there's a very, very nice site on access with a capital where the rfk is today, but what we tried to do here in a way continuing this idea that a football stadium is active, maybe, ten times in a year, so 355 tasedays a year, it's a gre white elephant on an empty parking lot so we thought, could we design different elements so
they have additional enjoyment. we designed the security fence as a moat that could be a perpetual wave garden in the summer and a skating rink in the winter. also, we've designed, instead of asphalt, because you only have the massive parking need ten times a year, so there's a way that you can mix fiberglass into the soil and then the roots of the grass and the fiberglass creates almost like a hard felt so you can park heavy vehicles on it without sinking. >> so rather than an asphalt parking lot, you essentially have a green park on which you can park your cars. >> so rather than tailgating on a parking lot, you'll have a picnic in a park before the game but also we've designed the stadium so that it creates almost like a stage, also the slope of this green field you park on is sloping down towards the stadium so you can have
massive outdoor concerts where the stadium itself becomes the become drop for the performance. >> that's amazing. so you're saying -- yeah. rather than have the it shall li -- what you have today, you have the concert inside the stadium. >> and you have to cover the field and it costs a fortune so you don't want to do it too much. like this, outside becomes as exciting and active as the inside of the stadium. >> so rather than have, essentially, the mezzanine seating, which allows people to sit up and look down at the band or the artist, you can essentially rake the parking lot, rake the green parking lot so it slopes down and people can stand on the felt. >> almost like a classic american invention, the drive-in cinema. but sort of applied to this kind of park-like situation. >> that's absolutely beautiful. i wonder, as you look around the
world, do different countries have different appetites for whimsy? i mean, these designs are funny. i don't mean that in a pejorative way. they're funny. people laugh at them when they see them because they're so beautiful and whimsical. do americans have the same taste for that sort of whimsical humor that other countries around the world have? >> yeah, i mean, i think all prais places are different but they're also somehow the same. the interesting thing, now that you mention this idea of funny, i think there is somewhat of a relationship between, let's say, the dna of a great joke and the dna of a conceptual breakthrough or an innovative idea. because when you tell a joke, there's a prestory where you build up, tell a story from the real world that you recognize and then the punchline is completely unexpected, but it still makes perfect sense. so, it somehow shows you that
what you thought it was going to be, turks and caicos nit's nott the world that was created and it's the same with a brilliant breakthrough. when you tell the story about skiing on the power latinplant, not at all what you expected but it makes perfect sense so what makes you laugh is also what, in a way, opens up the door to understand that the world could be different than what you think it is and i think americans has as much appetite for this kind of breakthrough as any other culture i know. >> it's the click of a perfect surprise. i love that. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> hey, everybody. i'm going to get in big trouble. i've been trying to get on that side of the couch this whole conference. >> he's always to my right. mr. secretary, thank you so much for joining us to