Bjarke Ingels is no longer employed as chief architect for WeWork, the shared office space giant has revealed amid mounting criticism of the Danish architect
Earlier this month Ingels caused a Twitter storm when he was pictured with far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro after travelling to the country ‘to gather background information’ for a tourism masterplan he is drawing up for an area in north-east Brazil.
Bolsonaro has previously denied climate change exists, said he is pro-torture, said he would rather have a dead son than a gay son, and told a female representative in congress: ‘I’m not going to rape you because you’re very ugly’.
Ingels responded to criticism by saying that ‘creating a list of countries or companies that BIG should shy away from working with seems to be an oversimplification of a complex world’.
The guy whose website is "https://t.co/bAcoa0ycZJ" would now like everyone to see our social cultural milieu as a complex system of subtle distinctions.— Yetsuh Frank (@newyorkgreen) January 28, 2020
Criticism of Jair Bolsonaro meeting is "an oversimplification of a complex world" says Bjarke Ingels https://t.co/o8obKxFrTe
Bjarke Ingels is pure trash. Barf-inducing.— Santosh Rao (@hsotnas) January 28, 2020
But on the same day as Ingels issued this statement WeWork – which has a mission statement to ‘raise the world’s consciousness’ – confirmed to the AJ it no longer employed the superstar architect.
The trendy co-working company declined to give details about why and when Ingels had left, but said it continued to work with BIG ‘on a project basis’.
WeWork was valued at around $20 billion when co-founder Adam Neumann announced Ingels’ hire with a blog post and a black-and-white picture of the duo crouching on a half-built building.
However, the company has since posted a $1.9 billion loss from a $1.8 billion revenue in 2018, and apparent cash flow problems later in 2019 prompted Neumann’s exit and a collapse in the firm’s valuation.
Emergency cost-cutting measures taken in autumn last year involved several redundancies for architects employed by WeWork – especially in the United States, the AJ understands.
BIG did not respond to a request to comment.