“Feels like it’s aimed at Instagram” says commenter

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In this week’s comments update, readers are discussing Danish architecture studio BIG’s design for a luxury residential building with cascading terraces, which will form part of the Ellinikon city masterplan near Athens.

Named Park Rise, the building will contain 88 apartments stacked in a staggering arrangement of two gently curving wings, the tallest of which will rise to 50 metres.

BIG reveals stepped housing overlooking Aegean Sea

“Feels like it’s aimed at Instagram”

Readers were largely unimpressed. “Why do most of Bjarke Ingels’ projects feel like style over substance?” asked Alfred Hitchcock. “Just looks like shape-making – this is not architecture”, they wrote. “It’s all a bit superficial and feels like it’s aimed at Instagram.”

However, Franky four fingers suggested that BIG’s design approach was based on equality for residents. “There isn’t a class of ‘haves’ with outdoor terraces and sunlight and a class of ‘have nots’ that live in shadows without an operable window,” they argued.

Commenter MKE Tom could appreciate both sides of the argument. “If we are critiquing this project on its uniqueness and newness, it falls short,” they wrote.

But on the other hand, “if it is based on the developers brief to make them as much money as possible by providing views and balconies, then they have done a good job”, MKE Tom added. However, they made their stance clear by adding “do I like it? No.”

What do you think of BIG’s design? Join the discussion ›

Hayhurst and Co designs low-energy London home as “domestic-scale greenhouse”

“Voluminous and full of natural light” 

Readers were full of praise for a low-energy London home designed by local architecture studio Hayhurst and Co that went on to be named RIBA’s House of the Year.

“Voluminous and full of natural light,” wrote JZ. “Great palette materials and colors,” they added.

For Marius, the project was “very well done – a grand place without any ostentation”, while Don Bronkema thought it was “praiseworthy – especially the green chroma”.

Meanwhile, Alfred Hitchcock called it “highly commendable” but did think it could have been “a bit more cosy” and that “parts of it look quite flimsy and roughly made”.

Are you a fan? Join the discussion ›

Michael Gove prohibits planning authority from blocking MSG Sphere in Stratford

“Great in Vegas, not in London” 

A story sparking debate in the comments section this week was the news that Michael Gove is believed to be considering calling in the planning application for the Populous-designed MSG Sphere in Stratford after Sadiq Khan blocked it earlier this month.

The planning application had been blocked by Khan over fears the venue would cause “unacceptable harm to hundreds of residents”, his spokesperson told Dezeen.

Commenters were split in their reactions. Zea Newland was baffled by the news. “Locals hate it, experts recommend rejecting the project, and the mayor complied with expert opinion but Michael Gove needs to have the last word? What’s in it for him?” they wondered.

Other commenters responded with some potential incentives. “Evil” wrote Nimmo, “money” suggested BardofAvon, “and power” added LNDCNTMPRY.

Prado Sellinder thought “this kind of thing is great in Vegas but not in a city like London” and asked “can you imagine this in Paris? Ha.”

There was also concern for the impact on Stratford locals. “The globe is metres away from apartments,” wrote Octavia. “The people of Stratford will bear the cost of this development, without reaping any of the benefits,” they added.

However, some readers were in support of Gove’s decision. Recce Chadwick wrote “I hope he does override it and it gets built”. They continued “I must say the UK public is extremely miserable and always complaining about anything new”.

To build or not to build? Join the discussion ›

Comments Update

Dezeen is the world’s most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page and subscribe to our weekly Debate newsletter, where we feature the best reader comments from stories in the last seven days.  

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