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UK architecture practices declare climate and biodiversity emergency

"Refusing commissions on purely environmental grounds cannot be the answer" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing Foster + Partners withdrawing from climate change action group Architects Declare and sharing their views on other top stories.

Foster + Partners has sparked debate by choosing to leave Architects Declare, stating that architects should be involved in designing more sustainable airports for the aviation sector.

The climate change group, which launched in 2019, has expressed regret at Foster + Partners leaving, saying that although it was not happy with the move Architects Declare would welcome a discussion with the studio over its reasoning.

Zaha Hadid Architects has also since withdrawn from the group for similar reasons.

"They are working backwards"

Readers are divided. "Sadly the only way to achieve what Declare is trying to achieve is to get governing bodies and laws to back their goals, then clients will follow suit, and lastly architects," said Archi. "They are working backwards."

Alfred Hitchcock agreed: "Refusing commissions on purely environmental grounds cannot be the answer. The answer is to make new buildings as environmentally sound as possible. That's what Architects Declare should be promoting, not business-suicide."

"Foster + Partners is going to do what's best for its firm," continued Gabriela Peña Izquierdo. "It's business."

Tom disagreed: "I don't really get all the support for Foster + Partners. I don't think a private airport in Saudi Arabia is a suitable project for a signatory. If the studio wants to continue doing those kind of projects don't sign the statement."

What do you think of firms backing out of Architects Declare? Join the discussion ›

The front facade of the Humao Museum of Art and Education by Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira
Álvaro Siza cloaks Chinese art museum with black corrugated metal

"Incredible building inside and out" says commenter

Readers are torn over the Humao Museum of Art and Education that Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira have completed in Ningbo, China.

"Incredible building inside and out," said Archi, on one hand. "I love the contrast between the solid mass exterior and the open light interior."

Puzzello agreed: "This is an original, considered, and authored work."

"A strange nonentity of a building," said a less sure Robin Oxford. "I feel nothing looking at these photos."

Are you impressed by the Humao Museum of Art and Education? Join the discussion ›

Rubber orifice of Another Fucking Lamp by Brecht Wright Gander
Brecht Wright Gander designs lamp with rubber orifice that lights up when "turned on"

Lamp is "rather sexual looking" says reader

Commenters are amused by New York designer Brecht Wright Gander who has created a light that is switched on by sliding a phallic conductor inside of a puckered, rubber opening.

"Rather sexual looking," said Ryan Biggs. "And not the usually sexy bits."

"Amazing," added Eat Lemons. "Who knew the world needed this?"

"Cancels Fleshlight order," concluded Logomisia.

Would you buy Another Fucking Lamp? Join the discussion ›

Bronze-clad extension at Hampstead House by Dominic McKenzie Architects
Dominic McKenzie experiments with bronze and zigzags in Hampstead House renovation

"I'd live there if they gave it to me" says commenter

Readers are in awe of a Victorian house in north London, which Dominic McKenzie Architects has overhauled by adding a bronze exterior and maple wood interior.

"I'd live there if they gave it to me," said Jonathan Smoots. "Bold and restrained at the same time."

Apsco Radiales felt similarly: "Beautiful craftsmanship and design."

"Very elegant," agreed Raizethecity.

Do you admire Hampstead House renovation? Join the discussion ›

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Dezeen is the world's most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page.