BIG's skyscraper in Quito with pixelated facade and next door building

"The first BIG design I like" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing BIG's completion of the tallest building in Quito, Ecuador.

A facade of cascading balconies defines the concrete IQON tower near La Carolina park in Quito, which is Danish architecture studio BIG's first completed project in South America

The 133-metre-high skyscraper is now the tallest building in Ecuador's capital. Comprising 20 residential apartments and a mix of commercial and office spaces, it is part of the boom in contemporary architecture in Quito alongside Safdie Architects' recently-completed neighbouring building.

Exterior of Iqon tower in Quito by BIG
The building in Quito features a facade of cascading balconies

"The first BIG design I like"

Apsco Radiales was among a handful of commenters who weren't impressed. "There are shapes, there are planes, there are massings, there are things flying all over the place. Where is the harmony?" they asked.

"Brutalism revamped", commented Luther Blissett. Other commenters agreed, with Devin du Plessis saying "It's brave, strong and tastefully balanced – but then, I am a brutalism fan".

Puzzello joked "the concrete is my favourite part".

Mr Marsden also admired the concrete. "Really beautifully executed design and construction. These ultra complex cast-in-place slabs and walls are extremely hard to coordinate and to pour as cleanly as these seem to have been done", they said.

Kay joined the debate, reflecting that this is the "first BIG building I can stand behind and genuinely connect with – the combination between delicate playful glass facade and dark brutalist core."

Floooo echoed that sentiment: "The first BIG design I like... Nice combination of brutalism and contemporary architecture".

Ecuadorian architecture student Martina Avila was less enamoured with the building. "I'm kinda disappointed with this project. BIG claims to be a sustainable and forward-thinking practice but all I see here is tons and tons of concrete and a building not designed for the conditions experienced in Quito," they commented.

What do you think of BIG's concrete tower in Quito? Join the discussion ›

Bacchanalia London
The main dining room features five monumental statues anchored to columns by British artist Damien Hirst

"Please don't let my acid kick in while I'm here!"

Interior architect Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has created a classical Greek and Roman mythology-informed restaurant complete with sculptures by British artist Damien Hirst in Mayfair, London.

Named Bacchanalia London, the restaurant is located on a corner site that was previously a Porsche showroom.

Jb thought it was "decadently delicious".

Walter Astor wondered "what would happen if I go up to the bar and ask for a couple of pints of cider?"

"This is so over-the-top tacky that I... kinda like it?", said Eric. Another fan, James Needham, commented "I actually think the Hurst sculptures look pretty good".

Meanwhile, dcinDC was just praying "please don't let my acid kick in while I'm here!"

Would you enjoy eating dinner at Bacchanalia London? Join the discussion ›

St Nicholas Greek Orthodox church at the World Trade Center site New York
The St Nicholas Greek Orthodox church at the World Trade Center site New York has officially opened

"A magnificent Calatrava masterpiece!"

Readers were enamoured with the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which replaces a church destroyed in the 9/11 attack and has officially opened at the World Trade Center site in New York.

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the building replaces a 19th-century church that was destroyed on 11 September 2001.

Romeo Reyes was in awe, calling the church "a truly magnificent Calatrava masterpiece! A wondrous creation worthy of perpetual acclamation".

Ati-st thought the project exhibited "such fun, and a beautiful revisit of the Byzantine design language".

Lots of readers admired the unique illumination of the building. "The lighting is beautiful! A beautiful building takes a team of talented professionals," commented Melanie Taylor.

JZ agreed saying "the building is lovely. Architects always do better with some poetic constraints. High commendations to the lighting designer both for the shell and the main space".

Is Calatrava taking you to church? Join the discussion ›

OMA Brooklyn skyscraper
OMA has completed this pair of stacked skyscrapers on the Brooklyn waterfront

"A spectacular structural tour-de-force"

Architecture studio OMA has created a pair of skyscrapers called Eagle + West in the Greenpoint neighbourhood of Brooklyn that consist of stacked volumes with cantilevers and concrete panelling.

Zea Newland said the project "looks a bit bleak from afar due to its repetitive facade pattern. Up close the cladding looks surprisingly nice". JZ felt similarly saying "the cladding was a nice surprise. I think weathering will add some dimension and character over time".

"It all works together and creates modern harmony," said Ken Steffes about the project. Pa Verreon agreed – "a spectacular structural tour-de-force," they commented.

However, Alfred Hitchcock thinks the scheme has "all the elegance of badly stacked old shoe boxes. What has Brooklyn done to deserve this!?"

What do you think about this latest pair of Brooklyn skyscrapers joining the New York skyline? 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.