Marble Arch Mound by MVRDV

Marble Arch Mound "will not be remembered fondly" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are continuing to critique MVRDV's fake hill in central London after the firm admitted it opened too early.

Visitors to the £2 million Marble Arch Mound attraction have been issued refunds after widespread criticism led to Westminster City Council suspending bookings.

The studio told Dezeen the issues with the hill's sedum turf not appearing healthy was due to  London's "unexpected dry weather". However, commenters disputed this.

"I'm apoplectic over these statements," said JZ. "If I were a plant I would sue for being characterized as uncooperative and unpredictable."

"Too dry?" questioned Judith Patten. "London has had torrential downpours (and flooding) over the past few weeks; there's only been one dry day."

Other commenters found it ironic that a temporary structure is affected by climate change.

"This project will not be remembered fondly in the hearts of Londoners, especially after a period of extreme weather," said Ted J. "People can definitely see better value in investing the £2 million into flood defences than a bump on the side of the road."

Park lover agreed: "Temporary structures are not sustainable! £2m for something that talks about a greener future and climate change, sustainability, that is temporary and will be taken down. A really sustainable approach is to have more permanent legacies made well to serve a current and future purpose!"

Was Westminster City Council right to delay opening? Join the discussion ›


La Clairière by Studio PHH
Studio PHH divides lakeside house with double-height glass atrium

Reader describes lakeside house as "a crime against the environment"

The environmental impact of a waterfront property in Princeton, New Jersey, which was designed by Studio PHH Architects for two occupants, is being debated by commenters.

"725m2 for two people? That is just immoral," began Sim. "It should be considered a crime against the environment to build a house that big for two people."

Pierre-Henri Hoppenot, founder of Studio PHH Architects, responded by saying: "I love your passion for sustainability, which is something that was integral to this project. This residence's roof is covered in a large solar array and actually exports electricity to the grid each month."

Commenters remain unconvinced. Adrian B added: "My heart sinks every time I click on something that looks interesting, promising, or attractive, only to find it is another colossal house built for rich people who pay, at best, lip service to the environmental crisis."

"Building environmentally friendly buildings is not just about energy use, it is also about how we distribute materials," concluded Sim.

Is it morally wrong to build a house with more space than its intended occupants need? Join the discussion ›


Vessel by Heatherwick Studio
Heatherwick's Vessel has closed again after a fourth suicide

"The issue is not the Vessel" says commenter

News that the Heatherwick Studio-designed Vessel viewpoint in New York is temporarily closed following a fourth suicide from the structure, has led to much debate from Dezeen readers.

"If this Vessel didn't exist, that poor kid would have committed suicide anywhere else," said J. "The issue is not the Vessel."

Roaa Kayat agreed: "This is really sad but please people stop blaming the designers for suicide, if the Vessel weren't here those who want to do it would've jumped from any other place."

Frank was less forgiving. "The Vessel is designed to do only one thing: get people off the ground," they said. "That Heatherwick couldn't imagine what would happen next is absolutely criminal."

What steps should be taken to reduce suicides at the viewpoint? Join the discussion ›


Fusion power plant
AL_A reveals plans for world's first magnetised fusion power plant

Commenter says prototype power plant is "jumping the gun"

Readers are unconvinced that a prototype power plant being built in the UK will be successful in proving the viability of Canadian energy company General Fusion's nuclear fusion technology as a carbon-free energy source.

"All of this outrageously expensive and complex technology just to produce a little bit of steam," said NonNimby. "Seems like a pipe dream to me."

"Seems to be jumping the gun somewhat," agreed Perry Curling-Hope. "The technology does not yet exist. Maintaining stability of the plasma beyond a few seconds has not been demonstrated."

"How do you propose testing the untested without building test facilities like this one?" responded Intrabrain.

Is the Fusion Demonstration Plant ahead of its time? Join the discussion ›

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