Villa Molli by Lorenzo Guzzini in Italy

"Great home to be self-isolated in"

In this week's comments update, readers have chosen their ideal house to self-isolate in and architect Marc Thorpe has designed a divisive spaceship installation that reimagines the concept of borders.

Safe house: readers are divided over a stone house designed by architect Lorenzo Guzzini and overlooking Lake Como in Italy.

"It's not a stone house," said Alfred Hitchcock. "It's a concrete bunker with some stone cladding and it looks like a wasted opportunity given the spectacular site."

"Is luxury to have steps everywhere inside your house?" asked LWE7. "Did the architect want to kill somebody?"

Erik Trumpsholm was more positive: "Great home to be self-isolated in during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020."

As was Jon: "Wonderful interplay of light and materiality, and a sense of cosiness achieved with a simple but refined, effectively deployed palette. Well done!"

This reader had a suggestion for improvement:

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Citizens of Earth by Marc Thorpe

Border control: American architect Marc Thorpe has designed a conceptual installation near the border of Mexico that resembles a large spaceship landing on earth. It is intended to imagine a world without borders, but not everyone is convinced.

"The intention of the project is to question the value of international borders within the context of the 21st century," said Trewus. "How prescient and timely in the age of a global pandemic... not!"

"Yeah we certainly don't need borders with a flu going around," added Spadestick sarcastically.

Daniele disagreed though: "To the ones claiming the value of borders during this pandemic, we don't need borders to fight a virus, just personal awareness and social responsibility."

"We have borders currently and there is a pandemic," concluded Jjang Sam.

This reader was simply impressed:

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School's out: readers are frustrated after Aaron Betsky, president of Frank Lloyd Wright's School of Architecture at Taliesin, explained the bitter behind-the-scene events that led him to leave his post.

"The whole thing is disheartening," said Benny. "When from a simple viewpoint these two entities should be mutually self benefitting one another rather than being at odds."

Geof Bob continued: "The foundation seems to have taken the shadow of FLW's reputation for the substance of a school actually teaching his architectural principles. Or to put it more colloquially, they've thrown out the baby with the bathwater."

"Based on a recent 'in depth' tour of Fallingwater, I would say that 'educational programs' is a vague term that may be defined to suit the agendas of users," replied Robert Becker. "My tour was superficial rather than in depth. I had the impression that it was more about revenue generation than learning."

"The best 'educational programme' is an architecture school," agreed Puzzello. "Private or public, every major city should have one."

One reader made their feelings very clear:

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Oscar Niemeyer Haus Photography by Pedro Vannucchi

Picture this: Brazilian architect Pedro Vannucchi shared photographs of an apartment building that was built by Oscar Niemeyer in Berlin during the 1950s, and readers can't get enough.

"This is beautiful," said JMFM. "And beautifully maintained."

TK agreed: "I find this amazing. No expensive finishes, no door man, no glitz and yet it looks like a dream place to live, simple and optimistic."

"It's no surprise that these modernist buildings seem pleasant and inviting when they are maintained," continued John McWaters. "I'm enjoying this movement that has been gaining momentum in the last five or so years of renovating these modernist blocks instead of going the route of demolition."

Alfred Hitchcock agreed: "Yes, it's great when these modernist mass housing schemes are properly maintained, loved and respected by the residents. Unfortunately most local authorities in the UK never spent a penny on maintaining their modernist housing stock, which is why there's not much left."

This commenter was particularly impressed:

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