Dezeen Magazine

Vaulted arcade of Morland Mixité Capitale
David Chipperfield adds vaulted arcades to revamped office complex in Paris

"To be both bland and overly grandiose seems difficult" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers discussed an opinion piece arguing against awarding the Pritzker prize to David Chipperfield and continued debating 15-minute cities, following an interview with its creator.

Chipperfield's work is "on the whole bland, unimaginative and overly grandiose" wrote architecture critic Aaron Betsky in an opinion piece for Dezeen, following his Pritzker Architecture Prize win.

Readers rushed to the comments section.

Theatre foyer, Ceramic Art Avenue Taoxichuan by David Chipperfield Architects
Ceramic Art Avenue Taoxichuan by David Chipperfield Architects

"What Betsky calls bland, I call quiet"

"What Betsky calls bland, I call quiet. It is a matter of taste," offered the sagacious Rd.

AA argued "old-style architectural criticism of this kind is constantly mired in the optics of things – it's a shallow appreciation of the art and the profession".

"I appreciate Betsky's attempt to back up his opinion by discussing specific aesthetic criteria, but this doesn't really read as much more than his personal top ten list," thought Heywood Floyd

"I agree with this article but disagree that Chipperfield's work is borderline irrelevant. It is just underscoring the challenge of selecting a single architect for an award from across the entire world," added Archi.

Other commenters also turned their lens onto the Pritzker prize itself. "The Pritzker 'jury' are desperately seeking conflict and publicity to promote an award that is irrelevant," asserted Certa Cito.

If Betsky finds Chipperfield unusually bland, grandiose or unimaginative, Whateverandeveramen thinks he "should probably read the list of previous winners".

Adrain Chaffey was upvoted more than a dozen times for saying "to be both bland and overly grandiose seems like a difficult combination to bring off."

What do you think? Join the discussion ›

Night view of The Arches townhouses by The DHaus Company
Monumental brick arches outline London townhouses by The DHaus Company

"The proportions are all off"

Architecture studio The DHaus Company has completed a row of six brick-clad townhouses in a north London conservation area. On the whole, Dezeen readers were in favour of the development.

"Beautiful pure forms!" commented Frank. "Love the colonnade-like feel."

Zea Newland found them "absolutely lovely" and Jb agreed, describing the project as "sensitive, respectful and creative".

However, some were more balanced in their appraisals. JZ found the project "robust and luxurious, but I don't get the scale decision".

"I would have pulled up the building by a floor, pulled it to the street and flipped the plan to put the living room/courtyard on the quiet side," they continued.

"Beautiful details and design, but the proportions are all off," chimed in Mac Burns.

What do you think? Join the discussion ›

Carlos Moreno, inventor of 15-minute city
"My fight is not against the car" says 15-minute city creator

"Rage against the 15-minute city is mostly fabricated by media"

In the past month urbanist Carlos Moreno's 15-minute-city concept, which proposes creating communities where people can access key amenities by travelling no more than 15 minutes on foot or by bike, has become the basis of viral conspiracy theories.

In an exclusive interview with Dezeen, Moreno responded to the "shocking" conspiracy theories and commenters were ready to join the conversation.

"Rage against the 15-minute city is mostly fabricated by media who profit from hatred," said Cranky Franky. "The 15-minute city being a good story, fake news media want to generate outrage against it – to sell advertising."

"I suggest to Carlos Moreno that he should simply ignore imbeciles writing nonsense on social media," said a supportive Alfred Hitchcock. "People who strive to achieve good things for the benefit of others are importan"t

"We are all restricted," commented Tony365. "Cars and suburban planning only give the illusion of freedom. A 15-min city is not 'globalist', it is localist."

Gytis Bickus posted the most popular comment under the story when they said "stop giving the limelight to this vocal minority of people with too much time on their hands. The real conspiracy is who is the shepherd behind these sheep? Follow the money, who loses out to 15-min cities?"

What do you think? Join the discussion ›

Exterior of Forest Bath housing in Eindhoven by GAAGA
Tree trunks animate facade of demountable Forest Bath housing in Eindhoven

"Are we not painting it a bit green?"

Dutch architecture studio GAAGA has created a residential building in the forested Bosrijk park in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which is wrapped by colonnades of tree trunks. Readers shared their thoughts in the comment section.

Marius queried the sustainability credentials, asking "are we not painting it a bit green? It is a concrete structure with steel columns on a concrete base with exposed wood cladding and a row of tree-trunk balcony supports. Very nice though."

But Stef was effusive in their praise. "Just beautiful and texture-rich. Would like to live in this wooden palace... Exquisite details. Bravo!"

"This reminds me why I like Dutch architecture so much," added Mkgr4

Stutelf put it simply, saying "this made me smile."

What do you think? 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.

The lead image is of the Morland Mixité Capitale in Paris, by David Chipperfield Architects. Photography by Simon Menges.