Bjarke Ingels interview: Zaha Hadid's Vitra Fire Station was an "eye-opening experience" | Dezeen



This video shows Danish architect Bjarke Ingels reflecting on the huge impact visiting Zaha Hadid’s Vitra Fire Station had on him as a student.

Ingels says he first discovered Hadid’s work in 1993, when he came across her paintings while studying architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

“She hadn’t built much back then,” he says in the movie, which Architizer filmed in New York as part of our Zaha Hadid video tribute collaboration.

“These paintings – these amazing fantasies – were actually acrylic paintings, but they looked like they had came straight out of the future.”

Despite being impressed by the Iraq-born British architect’s paintings, Ingels says that many people didn’t consider her work to be buildable.

“Zaha was probably presented to me as an example of a paper architect,” he says. “You know, making these wonderful but also unbuildable fantasies about buildings.”

Ingels says his perspective completely changed when he visited Hadid’s Vitra Fire Station, on the Swiss design brand’s campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany.

Completed in 1993 – the same year Ingels started university – the fire station was Hadid’s first built project.

“In the first couple of weeks of my second year as an architecture student, we went to Vitra and saw the fire station,” he recalls.

“She had somehow found a way to manifest in physical form the seemingly impossible perspectives of floating elements and skewed angles that she had captured in her fantasy.”

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