“The beauty of this site is that it is untouched by man” says commenter

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In this week’s comments update, readers are discussing a trio of “luxury boutique hotels” unveiled as part of the latest Neom region in an scenic valley in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s Neom project has announced Leyja – its fifth region – that will be connected to the forthcoming Trojena ski resort via a 73-kilometre hiking trail, which is also being built as part of the wider Neom project.

Trio of “luxury high-end boutique hotels” unveiled as latest Neom region

“Not architecture”

Planned projects for Leyja include a mirrored hotel by Shuan Killa, a rock-shaped hotel by Mario Cucinella (above) and a stepped cliffside hotel by Chris van Duiijn (below). Readers raced to the comment section to debate the latest Neom news.

Ken Steffes argued that “the beauty of this site is that it is untouched by man. These structures will only destroy nature and everything that lives around it.”

“Beauty comes from nature, not architecture,” they added.

Murial Brugman echoed the sentiment when they asked “why can’t they just leave it alone and untouched?”

“Not architecture,” declared HeywoodFloyd in a comment that was upvoted 10 times.

Meanwhile, commenter Glenn Dungan was torn, saying “I want to like this. It’s straight out of Dune. It’s wonderful, but I just can’t.”

“That large super-villain hotel with the grand staircase? It’s gorgeous but absolutely impractical,” they continued.

However there was no doubt for Jessica Tuboltsev, who called the project “Amazing!! It is amazing to see what can be done when money is not a problem”.

Which camp are you in? Join the discussion ›

Arsenit nestles one-legged “treehouse” in Estonian pine forest

“Elegant, sober architecture”

Another project stirring up discussion amongst commenters this week was about Arsenit’s one-legged “treehouse” nestled in an Estonian pine forest. It features a large cantilever that elevates the living space 4.25 metres above the ground and creates a sheltered outdoor space.

On one side of the argument, pa varreon called it “elegant, sober architecture – a beautiful love-nest for tree lovers”.

Commenter Leo was unsure, saying “the sheltered outdoor space doesn’t seem to be very used or useful”.

However, they balanced this critique by adding “I do like the design – the resulting volume is eye-catching”.

Others took a less generous view. “A lot of effort for a tight double-bed container – strange result,” commented Marius.

Strange or elegant? Join the discussion ›

OMA unveils Manchester’s flexible cultural event space Aviva Studios

“Abstract, arbitrary, meaningless”

Readers weren’t convinced by OMA’s flexible cultural events space in Manchester, called Aviva Studios.

Dutch studio OMA designed a faceted corrugated metal theatre building adjoining a regular concrete-clad structure. The cladding materials were chosen to reference the site’s industrial history.

“No integration, no sympathy, no way!” exclaimed Ken Robertson. “An alien building looking like a recently landed alien craft.”

Meanwhile, Ati-st wrote “eww”, and suggested “it’s like an old TV dumped in the garbage.”

For Jb, OMA’s work was best summarised succinctly as “abstract, arbitrary, meaningless”.

But not all commenters were so quick to write off the project. Marius interjected that it is “probably a fine, needed and well-studied program”, adding that it “looks like the content inside is well executed”.

What do you think? 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 our best reader comments from stories in the last seven days. 

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