Dezeen Magazine

Aerial visual of 55 Bishopsgate in London skyline

"Nothing about skyscrapers has anything to do with nature" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing a proposal for a London skyscraper designed by Arney Fender Katsalidis, which the studio said "takes inspiration from nature".

The proposed design is animated by an exposed structural system, which the practice has modelled on organic forms such as shells and leaves.

The project at 55 Bishopsgate, which would contain over 70,000 square metres of flexible workspace across 60 floors, has been met with a cynical response by readers.

"Any firm that leads with some one-liner about inspiration from nature doesn't get it," said JZ. "And if they got it, they probably would not be doing high rises."

Jay C. White Cloud agreed: "Nothing about skyscrapers has anything to do with nature in the slightest. Just more marketing greenwashing. The design is pointless at this current stage of our world's ecology."

Devin du Plessis, however, thinks the design is "tasteful and subtle".

Do you think there is a case to be made for nature-informed skyscrapers? Join the discussion ›

Antony Gormley "erect phallus" sculpture at Imperial College London
Students outraged by proposed Antony Gormley sculpture with "erect phallus"

"Once the parts are understood, it's fabulous!"

Readers are commenting on students' outrage over a proposed Antony Gormley sculpture with an "erect phallus". The sculpture, which is proposed for London's Imperial College, is meant to resemble a squatting human figure. However, the Imperial College Union says the figure's knees are likely to be misconstrued.

DaveW took a philosophical stance, saying: "Art criticism often tells us more about the critic than the art."

Peter A said: "The title 'sitting on balls of feet' helped. I think the tectonics and tension in the piece, once the parts are understood, are fabulous. I love it!"

But + FRAN DOBERMAN+ wouldn't want it at her place: "If Antony Gormley came round my house, offering to install outsized pixelated figures with all jutty-out bits in my front garden, I'd say "Oi Gormley, no!".

What do you see when you look at Gormley's work? Join the discussion ›

Glass-clad mass-timber building in Wisconsin
Ascent skyscraper in Milwaukee becomes world's tallest timber building

"We need more mass timber in America"

Readers celebrated the material while bemoaning the aesthetics of the Ascent skyscraper in Milwaukee, which has become the world's tallest timber building.

Puzzello commented: "These wood-framed skyscrapers, as cutting edge as the engineering technology is, have been some of the most banal designs."

"I think it's fantastic this was brought to fruition," said Jacob Volanski. "We need more mass timber in America, more manufacturing, training and infrastructure and we need building codes friendly to sequestering materials."

JayCee, however, didn't like how it looks: "Correction: the world's ugliest, tallest timber building."

What do you think of the Ascent tower in Milwaukee? Join the discussion ›

Space Perspective develops "even more thrilling" design for space-travel capsule

"Far more than just a beautiful concept"

Readers are debating the design of Space Perspective's space-travel capsule, which has been redesigned as a more spherical vessel offering greater headroom for passengers.

"The layout and positioning of the windows seems to prioritize conversations over views," said Zea Newland. "The seats should have been arranged in a circle, with everyone facing the windows directly."

James Deacon was excited: "Well-considered viewing space and passenger areas and developed in conjunction with NASA engineers, so this is far more than just a beautiful concept – and from a new start-up design company. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses."

Jedi commented: "This seems the most credible of all the space capsules being developed. It's great to see designers pushing the envelope of what's possible and producing ideas that are not just fancy renders, but are actually being tested and manufactured."

Are you excited about space tourism? 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.