Citicape House with Europe's largest green wall in London by Sheppard Robson

"A bold statement indeed"

In this week's comments update, readers are debating if Sheppard Robson building Europe's largest living wall is merely greenwashing.

Emerald city: readers aren't convinced that the "largest living wall in Europe," designed by Sheppard Robson for Citicape House in London, will vastly improve local air quality.

"Cool green wall to solve everything. A bold statement indeed," said Miles Teg sarcastically. "I guess coming up with fundamental solutions to not create over eight tonnes of pollution in the first place doesn't look as flashy as this."

Donacio Cejas Acosta was confused: "What is the sustainable point of demolishing a perfectly valid existing building to then build another one, thus increasing the carbon footprint of it?"

"A regular passenger car produces around four metric tonnes of carbon annually. This building absorbs eight. Now consider the upkeep those green walls require. All the carbon this building is able to absorb may as well be produced by the gardener who drives back and forth working at this wall. Green walls are the ultimate greenwash," added Gustavs Grasis.

"The most sustainable thing to do would have been not to demolish in the first place," concluded Marc Sicard. "There is a whole business to be pushed by governments in repurposing old-ish buildings to better/greener standards, and I don't see a lot of projects addressing this."

One commenter had other concerns:

Do you think the living wall is a good idea? Join the discussion ›


Star Wars Le Creuset

Deadpan: Le Creuset has released a Star Wars-themed kitchenware collection featuring a Han Solo pan and a Dutch oven, but some readers are struggling to see the funny side.

"So this is the power of post-modern capitalism," said Broman.

"Shame to see a brand whose reputation is built on quality and longevity resort to licensed 'innovation'," added Sam.

Chris was more light-hearted: "Appropriate. I'm guessing Darth Vader is pretty good at Dutch Ovening what with the robes sealed to the full face helmet."

"Everybody knows that in the Death Star canteen they serve penne all’arrabiata. It’s Vader’s favourite," joked Eddie.

This commenter was also feeling humorous:

Would you buy a Star Wars inspired pan? Join the discussion ›


Untitled by Pharrell Williams, Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties

Just frontin': readers are divided after it was revealed that musician Pharrell Williams has collaborated on the design of a residential development in Toronto, Canada.

"What exactly did Pharrell do?" asked S. "Did he do some site analysis? Did he do some sketching, reiterations of design ideas? Did he design the apartment layouts? What does he know about building standards? It's just a marketing ploy."

Christopher agreed: "A case of Blurred Lines perhaps? They will be saying Robin Thicke is a singer next. I laughed my socks off at this! You spend over six years training and working all hours then along comes a singer and fashion designer."

"The insecurity of architects is endlessly amusing," replied Colonel Pancake. "A celebrity offers his design opinions and name recognition and you all melt down because your 100k in grad school debt was supposed to have made your skillset immune from imitation and reproach. Welcome to the real world, where those with money, talent, and influence get to be the architects either way."

Wilko was also amused: "Let's hope that ultimately the residents are "happy" and they get rooms with a roof ;-). Collaboration across all design disciplines can only be good surely?"

Architects aren't the only frustrated ones:

How do you feel about Pharrell turning his hand to architecture? Join the discussion ›


Facebook rebrand

Identity crisis: commenters aren't sure that Facebook's recent rebrand for its subsidiary companies, which changes colour depending on the service offered, will improve the controversial brand's reputation.

"Not sure if this solves any of Facebook's problems," said Bunker Mentality.

Marc Sicard went on: "I don't know why they did it, I'm not sure it will stay... but can someone do something for the "A" ? It looks really wrong to me."

"They're trying to distance themselves from themselves," suggested Heywood Floyd.

"Cute band-aid. Wake me when you rebrand into a company of morals," concluded Colonel Pancake.

To which this commenter replied:

What do you think of Facebook's new look? Join the discussion ›