Duda Paine places sculptural glass office on top of terracotta base in Austin

"Thor's Hammer flattens another 13-storey parking ramp" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing North Carolina architecture studio Duda Paine's 405 Colorado office building in Austin and other top architecture and design stories.

The architecture studio was commissioned to create a parking structure, but realised that the space could be better utilised with an office element on top and was given the go-ahead by the developer.

Duda Paine places sculptural glass office on top of terracotta base in Austin
Duda Paine places sculptural glass office on top of terracotta base in Austin

"Chop off the top half and I love it"

Commenters were unsure about the idea of creating the office tower as a sculptural addition to the terracotta-clad parking structure. "Thor's Hammer flattens another 13-storey parking ramp," joked Gene Dieken.

Dc2bcn liked the idea but pointed out that, according to him, the "proportions are not well-resolved at all."

"I'm starting to think that all that is taught in architecture schools these days is engineering," continued the reader. "It's rare to see a commercial building that respects the fundamentals of aesthetics (proportion, composition, detailing) – especially here in the USA and Canada."

Kj Johnson was rather disappointed: "What should we expect from an office building put on a 13 story parking base?" "It's more than half parking," he continued. "How depressing! And all the good design went into the parking structure."

"Chop off the top half and I love it," added Zz.

What are your thoughts on the project? Join the discussion ›

Foster + Partners completes long-awaited 425 Park Avenue in New York
Foster + Partners completes long-awaited 425 Park Avenue in New York

"I like it but it has more than a whiff of the 1980s about it"

Commenters reacted to Foster + Partners' recently completed skyscraper in New York, which is the "first full-block office building" to be built on Park Avenue in over 50 years.

Designed to push "the boundaries of workplace design", the 47-storey tower, named 425 Park Avenue, features double-height planted terraces as well as an external structure that gives rise to column-free interiors.

Readers seemed to have mixed feelings about the new highrise. Romeo Reyes was impressed and said that the new building is a "superbly-executed Foster masterwork that truly oozes an aura of architectural brilliance."

Andy disagreed with the statement, saying that the building was not "quite as bad as the travesty they have designed in Sydney." "The Salesforce tower is literally the worst building in Sydney," the reader continued.

"I like it but it has more than a whiff of the 1980s about it," said Alfred Hitchcock.

Do you like the new skyscraper on Park Avenue? Join the discussion ›

Microsoft's open-source design for Pride flag incorporates 40 communities
Microsoft's open-source design for Pride flag incorporates 40 communities

"It's not up to a tech corporation to redesign the Pride flag"

Readers debated Microsoft's kaleidoscopic new version of the Pride flag that represents 40 different LGBTQIA+ communities and can evolve to include even more.

Ken Steffes didn't think it was right to change the pride flag, arguing that "the original pride flag is the only true pride flag." "This is a new flag that does not have the same meaning as the original flag," he added.

Crankyd said that the preferred solution would be to expand the meanings of the flag's colours, not the actual colours. "If a colour for each and every group continues, this flag will always change, which might be a good thing," the reader added. "But again, from a design standpoint, it’s an absolute mess."

"It's not up to a tech corporation to redesign the Pride flag," commented Zea Newland.

What are your thoughts on the flag? Join the discussion ›

SOM unveils design for Singapore's first supertall skyscraper
SOM unveils design for Singapore's first supertall skyscraper

"Watch seas rise from the top floor"

Commenters are not entirely convinced by SOM's designs for 8 Shenton Way, a supertall skyscraper in Singapore that will be the city's tallest and has a design that was informed by bamboo forests.

"To demolish a 52-storey tower on the site of OXO tower and talk about sustainable design is nonsense," argued Alec. "The embodied carbon in the existing building is sure to outweigh any savings of the new structure."

Toby Briggs agreed: "The environmental impact of these ridiculous structures must be huge, which makes the whole issue of climate change and the environment impact lip service."

"Watch seas rise from the top floor," mocked Don Bronkema.

Do you like 8 Shenton Way by SOM? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

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