Marcel Breuer's Geller I house in Long Island

"Countries that demolish their past also demolish their future" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are debating the demolition of modernist architect Marcel Breuer's Geller I house in Long Island and discussing other top stories.

One of the first homes that Hungarian-American architect Breuer built in the US has been "demolished in the dead of night" to make way for a tennis court.

The home in the village of Lawrence, Long Island, was demolished on 25 January, according to preservation society Docomomo.

"They could have dismantled it and offered it free to a design school"

Readers are divided. "Countries that demolish their past also demolish their future," said Nicholas Tesdorf. "This applies even more to architecture than most categories."

"I wonder what the owners were thinking when they bought the house," added Leo. "'Let's destroy a unique piece of architecture to build a tennis court because there is not a suitable plot for our tennis court anywhere else?'"

"They could have dismantled it and offered it free to a design school to assemble at a new location," continued Tom.

ElephantInTheRoom disagreed: "This house may be historically significant, but it's not one of Brueuer's best examples. And it is ugly. Sorry to call out the obvious. It was not historically protected when the current owners bought it, so they have the right to raze it. Ever heard of private property rights?"

Should the building have been demolished? Join the discussion ›

Bee flying into concrete Bee Brick by Green&Blue
Bee bricks become planning requirement for new buildings in Brighton

Commenter thinks bee bricks becoming a planning requirement is "terribly long overdue"

The city of Brighton and Hove in England has introduced a planning law that calls for new buildings to include special bricks that provide nests for solitary bees. Readers are buzzing.

"Man, this seems so terribly long overdue," said Steve Hassler. "What other simple solutions should we be incorporating into our lives to commune more with other lives?"

"We should also consider planting more wildflowers than fancy blossoms," replied Zea Newland. "Wildflowers can be accessed by bees more easily than 'conventionally pretty' flowers that are a lot of work but have little payoff for bees."

"This legislation can only be a good thing," concluded Comments Please. "Small measures like these can add up to make a big difference over time. We've to start being positive about any attempt to give nature a helping hand. After all, we're part of nature too."

Should bee bricks be compulsory for all new buildings? Join the discussion ›

Berlin city centre with television tower
Berlin citizens propose law to ban cars from city centre

Reader calls banning cars from Berlin's city centre "a fantastic idea"

Commenters are showing support for a campaign group named Berlin Autofrei, which has proposed a law to limit private car use within the Ringbahn train line in Berlin.

"Fantastic idea," said Ken Steffes, "and now needs to be done in many more cities around the globe."

Paul Horton continued: "This will have to be normal everywhere eventually. Some are just ahead of the curve! I hope it gets implemented."

"Berlin's not a bad city to cycle in already," replied Ian Byrne. "It's reasonably flat and public transport is reasonably good, so it probably does need some stick as well as carrots to reduce car usage much more. Whether an almost complete ban is the way to go, it's hard to say."

What do you think of the idea to ban cars in Berlin's city centre? Join the discussion ›

The Leaf multi-level pier in Seoul by Heatherwick Studio
Heatherwick Studio proposes pier with sense of "playful togetherness" for Seoul waterfront

Commenter criticises Heatherwick Studio proposal for being "an utterly pointless waste of resources"

Readers are discussing The Leaf, a multi-level pier proposed by Heatherwick Studio for a site on the Han River near Seoul's Olympic stadium.

"Yes, let's pour tons of concrete into the ocean and give it a whimsical name," said Sharad Majumdar. "What an utterly pointless waste of resources."

竜皐一 agreed: "What's the point of building an artificial forest and grass field on the water where obviously there is active natural vegetation present on the coast? Should it be in the desert, maybe? Still, a bit of a waste of money as we all know Pier is not such a success."

"Same sh*t, different city," concluded Ralph Kent.

Are readers being harsh? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

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.