Marble Arch Mound by MVRDV features in today's Dezeen Agenda newsletter
MVRDV blames "loveless execution of our designs" for Marble Arch Mound fiasco

Commenter thinks MVRDV's Marble Arch Mound "could have been quite a spectacle"

In this week's comments update, readers are responding to MVRDV's recent statement defending its Marble Arch Mound project and discussing other top stories.

In a statement on its website, Dutch studio MVRDV blamed Westminster City Council's "nonchalance and laxity" for the disastrous Marble Arch Mound project.

The studio has claimed that its original design was watered down, advice ignored and the design fee was 0.8 per cent of the total project cost.

"We have rarely seen such a loveless execution of our designs," said MVRDV. "We stand by our initial design".

"What an absurd response to the general public"

Readers are divided. "If executed properly I imagine it could have been quite a spectacle!" said Alex W, on one hand.

"I find MVRDV's explanation completely plausible," added Puzzello. "But I'm still shocked they didn't hear alarm bells when taking such a low fee and knowing of the low construction budget."

"Instead of designing within budget, parameters and working closely with contractors, they just blamed the whole project failure on someone else," replied A.Gil. "This is a huge eyesore, I don't think a more money would have 'fixed' the vision."

Archi was annoyed: "I respect MVRDV but wow, what an absurd response to the general public. The project sucked from the beginning, and if a concept isn't strong enough to withstand rounds of revisions and VE then it wasn't a good concept to start with."

Who should take the blame for Marble Arch Mound? Join the discussion ›

Aerial render of the steel metro station entrances
Zaha Hadid Architects begins construction on Ukranian metro stations

Commenter calls Zaha Hadid Architects' metro stations in Ukraine "super impressive"

Readers are debating Zaha Hadid Architects' design for three stations that will form part of the Dnipro Metro in Ukraine. The metro line extension broke ground in 2016.

"Super impressive," said Simply Indulgence.

"I actually like the idea of a mundane public place like a metro station having an extraordinary design as everybody can access the place and enjoy it," continued Zea Newland. "More people use the metro than go to the opera."

Walter Astor was less keen: "Why do architects insist on using empty, meaningless analogies? I am confident that no one on the design team ever said, 'let's use recycled steel to pay homage to the city's manufacturing history.' How many of Hadid's staff are even remotely aware of the city's history?"

What do you think of the Dnipro Metro stations? Join the discussion ›

Render of Black Chapel by Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates unveils Black Chapel as 2022 Serpentine Pavilion

Reader says the Serpentine Pavilion "formula became stale years ago"

Commenters are impressed by the design for this year's Serpentine Pavilion. Black Chapel was designed by American artist Theaster Gates and will take the form of a wooden pavilion that references Stoke-on-Trent's bottle kilns.

"Genuinely excited to see this selection," said JZ. "I've only experienced one space Gates created in Minneapolis, which was also a cylindrical chapel. It was transcendent. Gates' artistic ethos is far more subtle, mature, and humane than the majority of the past honourees."

"I agree," added Les Immateriaux, "the formula became stale years ago so it's great to see a change."

"If it is half as successful in its execution as Zumthor's 2011 offering – with which it clearly shares DNA – it will be amazing," concluded Nicholas Duggan.

Are you inspired by the 2022 Serpentine Pavilion? Join the discussion ›

Interior of Aile Est airport by RSHP
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners completes modular airport terminal in Geneva

Commenter calls Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' airport terminal "so pre-Covid"

Readers are discussing the polychromatic and modular Aile Est airport terminal in Geneva, Switzerland, which British architecture studio Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has completed as part of a consortium called RBI-T.

"An airport terminal," said Le Canal Hertzien. "This is so pre-Covid."

Puzzello continued, "Overall dazzling! Those leaning columns will be head knockers though."

"Have you seen how big those columns are?" replied Jay Cee. "If you walk into one you've probably already had a bang on the head."

What do you think of the airport terminal? 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.