This week, we were assigned to find a room or space in Copenhagen, which we were to analyze in terms of lighting conditions, accoustic conditions, etc. This project is for a minor presentational poster we are to make by Monday, which is part of our current workshop (Technology). The field work was to be done groups of three. Our group decided to visit some of the new apartments in Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) 8-tallet (8-tallet is Danish for "the number 8" - referring to the shape of the complex). In order to visit the apartments, I contacted the entrepreneur of the building (and also BIG's VM-apartments and the VM-mountain in Ørestad, Copenhagen). Per Høpfner as he is called, agreed to give us a quick tour of the building yesterday morning, as well as give us a new perspective about architect and entrepeur relations.
The mentioned Mr. Høpfner, was a rather interesting character. His looks were those of the stereotypical Hollywood capitalist, followed by a matching personality and attitude. At first sight, it was clear to see that he was a no-time-for-nonsense type of person, getting straightly and directly to the point with things. He gave half an hour of his rather busy work time to wander around the building and into some of its apartments, while also acting as a tour-guide. I'll have to admit that I've never before experienced such a hasty tour, and the things we were told weren't lengthy stories of how the building came to be as one would expect, but rather straightforward facts.
The most interesting part of the tour was not so much the building itself from my point of view, but rather the comments and facts that were told by the mentioned Per Høpfner. Being an entrepreneur, he naturally focused a great deal on the economic elements of the architecture. Among the many things he managed to tell us during the tour, was that it is really important for architects to stay realistic when it comes to the construction budget - a thing that from his own experience, can often be rather problematic. Many of his other comments were also focused on economical aspects, and being more focused on design and such, I instinctively disagreed with many of his oppinions. But then again, entrepreneurs are the people paying for architects' projects, so like it or not, you're going to have to stay realistic with their demands. Being a first year student, I have yet a long way before having to face entrepreneurs, but since the architectural school doesn't have an obligatory economical course, Per Høpfner's views have thought me an early lesson of having to mind economic realitys when the time comes for such matters. I'm futhermore very grateful for the kind Mr. Per Høpfner who found time in his busy workday to give us the tour. Thank you!
- Andy Minchev