"I'd love to buy this home someday just to demolish it"

An oast house-inspired dwelling in Kent chosen by the Royal Institute of British Architects as the winner of 2017's House of the Year competition came under fire in this week's comments update.

Roast house: RIBA's selection of the Caring Wood residence by British architects James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell as the best house of 2017 failed to inspire Dezeen readers this week, who did not hold back with their critique of the property.

Graeme Doctor just couldn't get excited about the winner:  "Wealthy client with enormous plot builds a giant house. Big whoop. The only thing notable thing about it, other than its extraordinary wastefulness, is how ugly it is."

"The winner leaves me cold for the second year in a row. Just too big for me. Overblown," lamented Adrian Chaffey

"It's crass in many ways. As are RIBA for showcasing this type of architecture as worthy of adulation. They should try harder" added Marcoloco.

Barry also felt RIBA had missed a trick with its choice: "While I appreciate that the winner is unique, I don't think there is much that can be taken from it for 'everyday' residential architecture which should, in my opinion, be what the competition is about."

"Caring Wood is a classic example of pampered mannerist self-indulgence. What a very silly, very unworthy design." underlined Stephen Games

"I'd love to buy this home someday just to demolish it." joked Brous23.

Chris D seemed to be the only reader to express a sliver of appreciation for the design: "It looks ridiculous, like a stately home dressed as a cottage. It has no integrity. The roof shapes individually are beautiful, and well-crafted, but the whole ensemble is bloated."

But for this reader, the building brought two worlds together that should never collide:

Did RIBA get their choice for House of the Year 2017 right? Have your say in our comments section ›


Bone to pick: Designer Marije Vogelzang, who curated the Embassy of Food at Dutch Design Week, stoked a discussion around meat consumption and sustainability, following her claims that the current division of food is "sick".

Kassemat suggested that the projects featured at the show were unnecessary:"If everyone reduced their meat intake we would see environmental, economic, and health benefits. Why wasn't this suggested instead of dyeing chicken bones pink? Too much time spent trying to change animal biology instead of our own."

"You know what? If I eat shit food it's not because I'm lovin' it. It's because that's the thing I can afford. I'll eat roach sausage too if it's cheap. I don't wanna know it's made of roaches though," shrugged Abu.

"I'm tired of hearing that shit food is cheaper. Vegetables and fruit, rice and grains are cheap. People are too lazy to cook with fresh food and spices. Go to your local market, avoid large supermarkets and of course, stop buying meat," responded an exasperated Dave.

John Delaney felt there were more layers to the problem than Vogelzang may have considered: "This is another example of designers mistaking 'cleverness' for actual problem-solving. The real problem with hunger is distribution and economic systems in developing countries; in developed nations, obesity and over-consumption is actually a far greater problem than hunger."

This commenter's tongue in cheek approach to the argument might have left everyone feeling worried:

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Archisutra book by Miguel Bolivar

Bit of fun: readers were left red-faced this week by Archisutra, a new book that offers a humorous, architectural take on sex positions featured in the original Kama Sutra.

"No references to Hadid buildings?" queried TFO.

But L.Vilchis was left fuming by the manual" "Disgusting, this does not fit, even in a porno magazine."

"Wrong and tasteless. Very, very wrong." agreed Harold W

"Oh come on, that's how people breed, you know." sighed Dandy in response.

Dropdeaded209 had a suggestion for the author: "No 'Reverse Johnson'? Missed opportunity!"

This reader found the whole situation slightly farcical:

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550 Madison Avenue by Philip Johnson

Little victories: readers were mainly ecstatic that New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to preserve Philip Johnson's postmodern Midtown Manhattan skyscraper, potentially blocking a planned renovation by Snøhetta.

"What nice news to start the day!" wrote a happy Arc*.

"The AT&T building is an icon. It has to be preserved," stated Paolo Brambilla

But not everyone was happy with the news, as HeywoodFloyd made clear: "What is spectacularly unfair here is that the mob hoisted their pitchforks only after the owners of the building initiated what they deemed to be a necessary renovation to their own privately owned and non-landmarked property."

"What's wrong with what the renderings show? At least we're not talking total demolition like the case with State of Illinois, Folk Art, and Portland," added Paul Puzzello.

"The owners of 550 Madison have every right to renovate and maintain their building for their tenants and the public benefit. It wasn't the act of the renovation – it was the design of it," answered Arc* simply.

Nathan Eddy, who had been visibly outspoken on the issue, decided to express his satisfaction with the result:

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