Designer Profile- Christoph Ingenhoven, Founder of Ingenhoven Architects

Name: Christoph Ingenhoven
Company: Ingenhoven Architects

Christoph Ingenhoven, Architekt hier im Portrait am Mittwoch, 21.09.2011 in Düsseldorf. Sein Büro Ingenhoven Architects beschäftigt ungefähr 70 Mitarbeiter und ist weltweit aufgestellt und hat zahlreiche Preise für besondere Architektur gewonnen. Projekte sind z.B. der 1996 gestalltete RWE-Turm – Hauptverwaltung RWE AG in Essen, oder das Stuttgart 21 Projekt das die Neugestaltung des Hauptbahnhofes bis 2013 vor sieht.

Position within company: founder

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
In 1985, just one year after finishing my architecture studies at RWTH Aachen and Kunstakademie
Düsseldorf, I founded the architecture studio ingenhoven architects in Düsseldorf – well known today as one of the world`s leading architectural practices in sustainable design. And I`m a member of the founding committee of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) as well as from the Bundesstiftung Baukultur and a member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy for Science and Arts.

How would you describe your personal design style?
My aim is to pursue ideas of transparency, clarity, plausibility, truth to materials, legibility of the constructed form, durability and timelessness. Particular value is placed on the aspect of developing comprehensive sustainability, taking into account local circumstances and climatic conditions. This relates to energy-conscious building in an allencompassing sense with emphasis placed just as much on construction and operation as it is on the general efficiency of maintenance and future viability of the building.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
It`s all about a clear, inner commitment. I try to explain my ideas in the manner of a still-boyish artist,
carefree, just as it comes to my mind: in a mixture of enthusiasm, detailed analysis, a thoughtful
consideration of the facts – basis for my architectural concepts.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I`m convinced that functional, inspiring, future-oriented and in the broadest
sense sustainable architecture is capable of expressing and encouraging respectful, fair, open
and responsible interaction between the people living and working within it. Buildings should be
self-explanatory, easy to understand and navigate, leaving people time to focus on more important
aspects of life and work. The result will be a seminal building, a safe, happy and healthy place
that the visitor feels is attractive and open, and where employees feel at home.

What are the key themes to consider when approaching design.
We have a “supergreen“-philosophy: this goes beyond sustainable and ecological architecture, with a high ambition in aesthetics and innovative technical quality and the self-commitment to create healthy and attractive, communicative and flexible places for people, that are sustainable in the most encompassing sense.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
The biggest challenge is definitely not to feel relaxed with what we’ve done, but always to look forward to
see what we can do, to find an even better solution.

How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The International Hotel & Property Awards highlights and rewards excellence throughout global hospitality.