A little while ago, hotshot Danish architect Bjarke Ingels – brilliantly dubbed a “starchitect” by some – welcomed the world into his unique family home via Architectural Digest. Anchored in the postcard-like location of Copenhagen harbour, the abode in question began its second life as a decommissioned ferry, before Ingels decided it should be converted into what can only be described as a floating house.
“Architecture traditionally is so static and permanent — this is dynamic and mobile,” explains Ingels.
Acquired in late 2016, the 126-foot sea vessel once known as ‘Bukken-Bruse’ (translation: ‘billy goat gruff) had already undergone a partial conversion job. Partial, in this case, meaning a shipping container had been tacked on the roof to serve as sleeping quarters. Suffice it to say, there was plenty of work to be done. But the obstacles ahead did very little to discourage the Founder and Creative Director of the internationally renowned Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).
“People had warned me that living on a houseboat was simultaneously the best and worst thing. When it’s great, it’s epically great. When it sucks, it sucks so massively.”
There was something of a “learning curve”. The first winter was without heating and running water at times, Ingels and wife/fellow architect Rut Otero reportedly bathing in bottles of San Pellegrino before client meetings. What convinced Ingels to persevere – aside from being a “starchitect” who relishes a good challenge, of course – was the view on offer.
“It has the past, present, and future of Copenhagen all in one glance,” notes Ingels.
“Look east and you can see the sun rising. Look west and you can see the sun setting over the queen’s palace.”
Three years on, I think we can agree the results speak for themselves.
Check out the ferry house by Bjarke Ingels – otherwise known as the SS Ingels – in the gallery below (original article: Architectural Digest).