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WeWork names BIG’s Ingels as its Chief Architect

He’ll be plenty busy working with a company that has aggressive growth ambitions.

May 08, 2018 |

Adam Neumann (left), Co-founder and CEO of WeWork, with Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner of BIG, who is now WeWork's Chief Architect. Image: Alexie Hay, Courtesy of BIG 

WeWork, the global network of cosharing workspaces with office locations in 65 cities and 21 countries, announced today that Bjarke Ingels, the Founding Partner and Creative Director of the architectural firm BIG, is now its Chief Architect.

Ingels will continue in his current capacities at BIG, which has offices in New York, London, and Copenhagen. But he will also advise and develop WeWork’s design vision and “language” for buildings, campuses and neighborhoods.

The eight-year-old WeWork generated $900 million in revenue in 2017, a year it opened 90 buildings around the world. The company told Bloomberg that it wants double its office buildings to 400 by the end of 2018. The company’s scale has allowed WeWork to get its construction costs down to around $5,000 per desk, which at bigger locations could save more than $100,000. WeWork also has $4.4 billion in investment capital from Japan's SoftBank to play with.

Coincidentally, WeWork got started around the same time that Ingels relocated to New York from his native Denmark. Both WeWork and BIG have since been high-profile juggernauts. “They have accomplished incredible things and  … are committed to continuing their trajectory to places we can only imagine,” said Ingels about WeWork. “I am very excited to contribute with my insights and ideas to extend their community-oriented vision to ground-up buildings and urban neighborhoods.”

Adam Neumann, WeWork’s Co-founder and CEO, says that Ingels has changed the way he and his company think about architecture. “His designs inspire as much as surprise.” As WeWork’s Chief Architect, Ingels “will help us reimagine and reshape the future of our spaces, our company, and ultimately our cities,” predicts Neumann.

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