Art & Desgin

“The high-rise virus continues to spread” says commenter

In this week’s comments update, readers are debating the surge of skyscrapers being built despite the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center 20 years ago and discussing other top stories.


Following the attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001, which caused the pair of 110-storey skyscrapers in lower Manhattan to collapse, many people questioned the future of tall buildings.

However, there has been a surge in skyscraper buildings in the past 20 years.

“We thought [9/11] would put an end to the ambitions to build tall for a long time,” said James von Klemperer, president of Kohn Pedersen Fox, which is responsible for designing four of the world’s 10 tallest skyscrapers.

“The higher you go the less connected you are”

Commenters are torn. “I am not sure that replacing the two towers with a new, even bigger one, is a good idea,” said Englebert.

JZ wasn’t keen on tall buildings being built either: “I’m almost insulted by the reminder that the high-rise virus continues to spread. Waste of energy, waste of resources, almost impossible to protect indefinitely. A physical reflection of late-capitalist, winner-takes-all approach to economics. And all priapic phalluses to boot.”

“I have never liked or wanted to live above anything more than four-six stories,” continued Kate Wright. “The higher you go it seems there is less connection to neighbours and the neighbourhood. I also dislike the space left at ground level – again very disconnected.”

Jacopo disagreed: “Caring for your neighbours comes with age and personality, not with the number floor you live on. I care more about my neighbors now that I live on the 30th floor of my building.”

What do you think of the increase in skyscrapers post 9/11? Join the discussion ›

Dorte Mandrup completes climate research centre in Greenland

Commenter calls climate research centre a “masterpiece”

Readers are wowed by images of the Ilulissat Icefjord Centre, a climate research and visitor centre on Greenland’s rugged coastal landscape that was designed by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a few years!” said Anarch. “Very well done ladies and gentlemen, congratulations!”

Archi agreed: “Have been waiting on this ever since the MIR renderings came out. Masterpiece that just fits. Detailing is incredible as well.”

“This is extremely impressive,” concluded JZ. “The access to the roof is dubious, but certainly exciting. No exceptions taken! Time for tourism to skyrocket in Greenland. Hope all those boots don’t destroy the fragile ecosystem!”

Are you impressed by the climate research centre? Join the discussion ›

Norman Foster on coronavirus
Norman Foster criticises architects’ “hypocritical moral stance” on airports

Reader accuses Norman Foster of “remarkable doublespeak”

Norman Foster has sparked debate by criticising architects that have walked away from designing airports due to concerns about the environmental impact of air travel.

Gabriel Martin agreed: “Absolutely on point. Ridiculous that people want to use their political beliefs to censor and shame real artists.”

“Remarkable doublespeak,” said Ralph Kent, on the other hand. “How is it that a tax-exile whose practice works for regimes involved in state-sponsored assassinations feels he can lecture the rest of us on morals and ethics?”

“Norm’s Saudi airport looks like an entirely necessary use of form, materials, and structure,” replied David Jones. “I bet its carbon footprint is tiny. It will only be used by a small number of extremely wealthy people anyway, so its contribution to emissions will be next to nothing.”

Do you agree with Foster? Join the discussion ›

Colourful patterned wallpaper at the Laura Owens and Vincent van Gogh exhibition
Laura Owens covers Vincent Van Gogh exhibition in colourful handmade painted wallpaper

Commenter says Vincent Van Gogh exhibition is “excruciatingly beautiful”

Readers are divided over an exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh’s works, which features walls that are covered in colourful handmade wallpaper designed by American artist Laura Owens.

“This is excruciatingly beautiful and refreshingly appropriate,” praised JB.

Daniel Maslin was also pleased: “There is no lack of Van Gogh exhibitions around the world, so why not try something different? If nothing, it might attract a different crowd of people.”

Bobby Dazzler was less enthusiastic, calling it: “The granny aesthetic.”

What do you think of the exhibition? Join the discussion ›

Read more Dezeen comments

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.


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