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Little Island by Thomas Heatherwick

Commenter responds to Little Island park by saying "London dodged a bullet"

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing the Little Island park and performance venue in New York City and sharing their views on other top stories.

British designer Thomas Heatherwick has completed the Little Island park, which stands on 132 concrete columns set into the Hudson River.

The 2.4-acre park is formed of mushroom-shaped columns made from concrete that are set at different levels to create an undulating platform.

"Little was achieved with such a large budget"

Readers aren't convinced. "So little was achieved with such a large budget because all the effort went to forcing trees and earth where they don’t belong – over water," said Hello Peril. "London dodged a bullet."

Cavendish agreed: "The landscape is dreadful and makes no attempt to reflect the geometry of the supporting concrete piers, which begs the question, what was the point of spending all that money on them, particularly the ones that are not along the perimeter?"

"Nothing like orienting an amphitheater directly into the setting sun," continued JZ. "I'm sure evening productions will be frequent and hugely successful."

Steve Baker was more positive though: "I think it is brilliant and should be a part of every urban waterfront, especially Toronto."

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Interior view of the restored and redesigned rotunda
Paris' Bourse de Commerce reopens after Tadao Ando redesign

Tadao Ando's "masterly use of concrete is sublime" says commenter

Readers are divided over the restoration of the historic Bourse de Commerce building in Paris. The redesign was completed by Tadao Ando and includes the addition of a cylindrical concrete wall.

"It's hard to believe any architect can improve an old, classically designed building by dropping another building within," said Greg Pavell. "But Ando does it, time and time again. And his masterly use of concrete is a distinction. Sublime!"

James Needham disagreed: "This is the equivalent of a car crash between a Ferrari Daytona and an Aston Martin DB10 – both beautiful but not after they have been crashed into each other."

"Working on a classical building is very hard. You will be damned if you do it, you will be damned if you don't," concluded Apsco Radiales. "Ando did what he knows best, and what he believes is the right solution for the challenge. Let's give him credit for even going forward with the job."

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Heavy Duty Love by Lucy McRae
Lucy McRae creates cushion machine to offer lab-grown humans a womb experience

"Nothing says tenderness like a harness" says reader

Commenters are baffled by a cushioned machine created by sci-fi designer Lucy McRae for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. Heavy Duty Love is designed to replicate a womb by embracing its occupants.

"This was created tens of thousands of years ago and didn't need 'technology'," said Kevin. "It's called swaddling."

"Nothing says tenderness and warmth like a bunch of straps, harnesses, metallic clasps and sheet plastic," added Concerned citizen.

"I can't think of anything worse than being stuck inside my mattress under the guise of it being like human touch and intimacy," concluded Bobby Dazzler.

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OYO Architects positions spiral staircase at the heart of brick and concrete House Dede

Spiral staircase is "absolutely beautiful" says commenter

Readers are won over by a spiral staircase, which stands in the centre of a house designed by OYO Architects in Drongen, Belgium.

"Absolutely beautiful spiral staircase," said David Laker. "A real talking point. But if you've ever lived with one, you wouldn't do it twice."

"Not a fan of spiral staircases," continued Bubba10. "But this may be one of the most beautifully detailed one I have seen."

Sim agreed: "I'm not keen on spiral staircases but this one is certainly beautiful."

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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.