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Leeza Soho by Zaha Hadid Architects

"Zaha Hadid Architects is a lot more successful when more restrained"

Are the designs for a "restrained" Beijing skyscraper a step in the right direction for Zaha Hadid Architects? In this week's comments update, readers are claiming the firm is better when it tones down the curves.

Heydar not heyday: readers are praising designs for a 207-metre skyscraper by Zaha Hadid Architects in Beijing, which will feature a huge twisting atrium that is expected to be the world's tallest.

"ZHA is a lot more successful when they're more restrained, as in this project," wrote Jon.

"The best Zaha by far," agreed Guest. "A truly impressive piece of architecture and art."

"Impressive renderings, excellent design, atypically restrained on ZHA's part," said HeywoodFloyd. "I much prefer this to their typical acontextual Heydar Aliyev parametric bombast mode."

But some readers were concerned about the practicality of a building that boasts a 90-metre-high void:

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News: Hands off our revolution
Photography courtesy of Global Panorama

Fight the right: Anish Kapoor and Wolfgang Tillmans are among artists forming a coalition against the "rise of right-wing populism" – but readers are doubting whether their message will resonate with the general public.

"Will the postmodern cultural elite ever get over using all this fluff language that pretends to be so meaningful in order to cover up its lack of meaning?" asked Derek.

"I think these are goals worth supporting but they are rather threatened by global capitalism than right-wing populism, which is to a certain extent a reaction to the former," wrote Werner.

"Certainly a worthwhile cause, but unfortunately it's hard to imagine the message will escape from the echo chamber," wrote Dan.

Kapoor's exclusive ownership of a paint colour dubbed the "world's blackest black" came back to haunt him:

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Skinny House by Gwendolyn Huisman
Photograph by Ossipvan Duivenbode

Wearing thin: this skinny house in Rotterdam designed by an architect couple for themselves was our most-read story of last week, but some commenters are starting to suffer from plywood fatigue.

"Surprisingly prosaic for a couple of cool architects," wrote Guest. "And that plywood again."

"I quite like it overall, although this plywood trend HAS to die soon," concurred Manu.

One reader stressed that ticking all the boxes isn't always a good thing:

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Mind the pay gap: a debate on sexism in the architecture profession broke out in our comments section, following Santiago Calatrava's claims that female architects should "just wait a second" for pay equality.

"If his remarks are not sexist, I don't know what is. He must be setting himself up to be architect for Donald Trump's Presidential Library!" said Dale.

"What a privileged bunch of remarks," said TFO.

But some readers dismissed the concept of a pay gap, arguing that it is down to women to negotiate a better salary.

"Women shouldn't wait to get equal pay, they should just not accept lower wages if they don't want to work for that amount," said regular commenter H-J.

Berklyn responded, calling commenters out on what she described as "victim-blaming":

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