"Not as stupid as an air-conditioned stadium in Qatar" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers have had lots to say about Saudi Arabia's plan to host the Asian Winter Games "in the heart of the desert".

Commenters questioned the reasoning behind the decision to host the winter sports event at the not-yet-built Trojena ski resort, which is located 50 kilometres from the Gulf of Aqaba in northern Saudi Arabia.

"'Sustainable' but also a ski resort in the desert...? These are not compatible concepts," said Jacob Volanski .

"The environmentally responsible decision would be to award the event to a place that already has lakes and snow-covered mountains," added Walter Astor.

However, Pierre SGN countered that "with elevations ranging from 1,500 metres to 2,600 metres, it is not as stupid as an air-conditioned stadium in Qatar".

Bsl agreed that the project wasn't beyond the realm of possibility: "I'd like to give its lofty claims the benefit of the doubt. Sustainable outdoor ski in Saudi Arabia, how rich! But is it doable? It surely is."

Bras Cubas highlighted the conflict that architects can find themselves in by choosing to work on a project like this.

"The dilemma of architects is that we work after political decisions that are very often misguided," he said. "Artificial lakes and snow in the desert are a slap in the face to all those people who suffer, or even die, from climate change."

What do you think about skiing in the desert? Join the discussion ›

The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station has completed. Photo by Jason Hawkes

"Undeniably epic!"

In the UK, architecture studio Wilkinson Eyre unveiled the redeveloped Battersea Power Station, which now contains over 100 shops, 46,000 square metres of office space and 254 apartments.

"The sheer scale of the project astonishing," said Logomisia, while JZ agreed that it was "undeniably epic".

However, Alfred Hitchcock thought "the setting of this important listed landmark building has been completely compromised by all the dreadful, crap new apartment buildings constructed so close".

"This very successful renovation only highlights how uninspired all of the newer buildings surrounding it are," added Dc2bn.

Franc Lea was disappointed about what has been done with the revamped power station: "It's sad there is no affordable housing in the actual revamped power station – especially when you think of the hands that built Battersea Power Station and those who worked in it, across its lifetime," they commented.

Puzello and Haviva Even both wondered "how Herzog & de Meuron would have handled it", while Ken Steffes thought the scheme completed by Wilkinson Eyre was a "fantastic reuse project".

What do you think of Battersea Power Station's rebirth? Join the discussion ›

Much of the MAD Architects stadium in Quzhou is located underground

"Mowed by goats"

This week also saw the completion of architecture studio MAD Architects' sinuous concrete stadium embedded into the ground in Quzhou, China.

Jack Woodburn drew parallels between the project and the plans for the Saudi ski resort. "So watering in the desert and mowing all that lawn and grass is environmentally conscious how?"

Devin du Plessis countered that they'd "never before heard the argument that lawns are unsustainable", while Don Bronkema suggested the lawns could be "mowed by goats".

Hello Peril wasn't sure about the landscape design surrounding the stadium, and contested the use of "millions of tonnes of concrete to prop up millions of tonnes of soil and grass for no apparent reason".

However, Flexible Fotography loved the project: "They actually dug into the hillside and created support for the soil and vegetation that was already there. Then also made a beautifully curvular [sic] sports stadium – with a canopy and a view! How great is that?!"

How do you feel about MAD's stadium embedded in the earth? Join the discussion ›

A liquid polymer dress was sprayed onto Bella Hadid's body at Paris Fashion Week

"Obviously invented by a man"

It wasn't only giant architectural projects provoking commentary from Dezeen readers. At Paris Fashion Week, French label Coperni used Fabrican's sprayable, liquid fibre to spray a dress onto model Bella Hadid at its Spring Summer 2023 show.

The Pixinator wasn't impressed and suggested an alternative use for the technology: "I can't think of a single woman I know who would wear this. However it'd be a great way to re-cover my sofa in a fraction of the time and at minimal cost – there's an application of spray-on fabric I can get behind!"

"Obviously invented by a man", added HiKoo. "Let's see it on a male model."

But Amanda J Read was transported: "I laughed at first when I saw the more diminutive of the three men at the front – the Oompa Loompas came to mind from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I half expected the dress to be eatable, too – perhaps too far in the future. I love it, but I'm not sure how I'd look in it. I am a Miriam-Margolyes-lady of 5ft 2in. Thank you for showing that designers have humour and a sense of fun."

Would you wear a spray-on dress? 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 and subscribe to our weekly Debate newsletter, where we feature the best reader comments from stories in the last seven days.