"Like it or not, it's an impressive feat to build a paper bag out of bricks"

Comments update: readers were quick to pass judgement on Frank Gehry's newly opened business school in Sydney this week, which had been described as "the most beautiful squashed brown paper bag".

Commenters discussed whether Gehry's impact on contemporary architecture is waning. "For all the fuss, effort, and money spent on the facade and form, the spaces are pretty banal," said WaxWing. "The lecture hall and classroom look like they could be at a Holiday Inn Express".

Many readers agreed with WaxWing. "The thought to spatial experience seems absolutely non existent here," wrote Sam. "The entire building already looks dated".

Other readers defended the building's design, drawing attention to the curvy structure that was created using 320,000 custom-designed bricks.

"Like it or not, it's an impressive feat to build a paper bag out of bricks," argued NaughtyArchitect.

"It'd be an impressive feat to exterminate the entire human race," retorted generalpopulation. "We don't do it though, do we?" Read the comments on this story »


Zaha Hadid new airport terminal for Beijing

Terminal velocity: what makes good airport design? Readers discussed just this as Zaha Hadid unveiled designs for the "world's largest airport passenger terminal" in Beijing.

"Was this designed for the pilots and passengers in the air?" asked M. Vitruvius. "Because this, like all airport terminals, will be completely wasted on the people actually using it."

But Bassel argued that "looking good from a birds-eye view" didn't dictate that the project was poorly designed for ground-level users.

"It's become something of a broken record", he said, describing the argument as "a logical fallacy".

Other commenters thought the shape was reminiscent of parts of the human body, likening the design to "a giant sphincter". Read the comments on this story »


The London Underline by Gensler

Going underground: with London about to construct Europe's largest segregated cycle lane, a proposal was unveiled to repurpose abandoned tube tunnels to create a subterranean network of pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. But is cycling capacity London's biggest problem?

"London should deal with its housing crisis first," argued James. "It's bad enough that we have to deal with vanity projects, but it's intolerable that authorities, planners and designers aren't getting priorities in order".

Osama Aboelezz was among the readers who felt the plans could offer a way to reduce the number of cycling-related deaths on London's roads: "London is actually not that safe at all for cyclists. But I doubt it would be that enjoyable for pedestrians, unless there is something extremely unique down there."

Flipping the proposal on its head, commenter dj suggested converting the underground tunnels for "cars and motorbikes instead". Read the comments on this story »


Casa Caja by Comunidad Vivex, S-AR

Block party: solving social problems through architecture and design is a common subject in Dezeen's comment threads, and resurfaced this week following the publication of S-AR's prototype for low-cost homes that can be built by their owners.

"This is fantastic!" said regular Dezeen commenter The Liberty Disciple. "You don't need to reinvent design to solve social issues. You just need to solve the architectural problems of building a functional shelter."

DaBronxY agreed: "Economically priced, environmentally materialised and easy to construct. Why can't we just use this prototype for everyone?"

Those unconvinced by the design cited potential problems with insulation and structural stability.

"Architects offering social housing solutions have the additional obligation/burden of responding to weather and climate," said TFO, who felt a single block wall was insufficient. Its only when this objective is met that "their concepts are truly worthy of dissemination and perpetuation".

"I thought that most of Mexico is in an area of great seismic activity," said Concerned Citizen. "I see no accounting for that in this structure". Read the comments on this story »