American Copper Building by SHoP Architects

"What a bad year for skyscrapers"

In this week's comments update, readers debate our pick of the top 10 skyscrapers of 2017, and what it says about the future of tall-building design. 

Ivory towers: as part of the Dezeen review of the year, we named the 10 most impressive skyscrapers that completed in 2017. The list split reader opinion, with some questioning the focus on super-tall towers.

Duckusucker described a pair of "dancing" towers by SHoP Architects as the best of the bunch. "Looks like Asia has most of the action, but I'd give the Oscar to the off-kilter Manhattan one," he said.

Kaloyan Stoychev thought it had been a disappointing time for tall towers: "What a bad year for skyscrapers." "What a bad year, period,"  added Eugene Ely.

Nimdoorquoi seemed perplexed by the need for the list: "I don't really understand why Dezeen gets so excited about skyscrapers."

But it made perfect sense to Jon, as well as a number of upvoting readers: "You don’t understand why a design and architecture blog might be interested in covering architecture’s grandest accomplishments?" Jon asked.

This reader put forward a last-minute wildcard entry for the top 10:

Do you agree with our picks for the top 10 skyscrapers of 2017? Have your say in our comments section ›


Thicker than water: a collection of small objects made using excess blood from slaughterhouses, by Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Basse Stittgen, ignited an argument around meat consumption.

"Fascinating project. Meat production is insanely resource-intensive and environmentally degrading, but it does not seem that we as a society are going to be willing to give it up anytime soon," wrote an intrigued Jacob Volanski.

But Cecilia Lindstrom had a strong message for the graduate designer: "Animals are not objects. You are an animal too, Basse. I wonder what you would look like as a candle holder."

"As the hawk rips the mouse to shreds and eats its still-beating heart, it gives thanks to Gaia? Dude, we are the most humane meat eaters on the planet," responded Clunking Fist, coming to the designer's defence.

This reader referenced one of the world's most famous vegetarians to get their point across:

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Ras Abu Aboud Stadium

Boxed in: readers voiced their displeasure towards a new modular stadium set to be constructed from shipping containers in Doha, for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.

"Qatar has a stadium that can be taken apart and reassembled? The lethal work of the unpaid South Asian migrant worker is never done, it seems," wrote Rthko.

"Architects, stop perpetuating flimsy premises to sound academic. Shipping containers are aesthetic at best," stated Archi-nerd, who was unimpressed by the concept.

Rocío Ramos was also far from sold: "While I do believe shipping containers can help create some sort of living space without messing too much with the environment, I don't believe this. It's just too grand of a scale for the whole 'sustainable' thing to actually work."

ABruce also had some concerns: "The assembly video might be the most apocalyptic, insane sh*t I've seen on this website."

This reader felt the stadium design shared a flaw that has been widely attributed to the competition taking place in Qatar:

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Taste of success: Vector Architects' conversion of a former sugar mill into a resort hotel in China's Yangshuo County won the hearts of readers this week, who lavished praise on the project.

Jan was ready to book a flight: "Totally wonderful, I want to go and stay there."

"Best project I've seen in a while," wrote Eric in agreement.

Lao Xunke was a big fan of one element of the hotel: "The swimming pool is mind-blowing!"

"Fine work from a fine studio, again," added photographer Edmund Sumner.

But Chris had run out of adjectives:

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