Dezeen Magazine

Photo of Quinto do Rei

"This is the kind of brutalism I can support" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing an angular home in Portugal defined by stacked layers of warping glass and concrete.

Located at the highest point of the Portuguese city Leiria, Quinta do Rei was designed by local studio Contaminar to function like a watchtower and features long spans of windows that frame views of the surrounding landscape.

Commenters likened the dwelling to "a very interesting parking garage".

Photo of Quinto do Rei
Contaminar stacks concrete layers to enclose twisting Portuguese home

"A sculpture that should have stayed a sculpture"

"If the facade had been done with thin metal or wood blades, this would be a triumph," wrote Mr. Marsden. "But using those huge concrete ring beams has rendered it a complete disaster. It looks like a very interesting parking garage."

Kevin B was on the same page: "the interior photos look like a prison. Not sure how this is a machine for living. It really is just a sculpture that should have stayed a sculpture."

For Pa Varreon, Quinta do Rei's "nightmare" interior is merely a "challenge for open-minded clients and architects".

VKTR liked the design but issued a word of warning for the occupant, commenting "there is a lot I absolutely love here – that being said (and this is me being cheeky), it reminds me of those concrete brutalist viewpoint structures that always smell like urinals".

Christopher, meanwhile, thought the project was indicative of "our wildfire-proof future," while Marc Sicard had nothing but praise, saying "this is the kind of brutalism I can support. A bit unsettling, but very interesting, with a strange effect on the perception of size. An excellent work."

Which camp are you in? Join the discussion ›

Skyscrapers on East River in Brooklyn under construction
Twin porcelain-clad skyscrapers by Selldorf Architects rise on the Brooklyn waterfront

"Deep breaths, people"

Also splitting opinion in the comments section this week was a pair of porcelain-clad skyscrapers on the Brooklyn waterfront. Designed by Selldorf Architects at the Domino Sugar Refinery redevelopment site on New York's East River, the twin skyscrapers have nearly reached their full height of 168 and 137 metres.

Commenters thought the towers, which will be the studio's first completed residential skyscrapers, a little too "beige" for Brooklyn.

"Imagine getting an opportunity to create architecture on this scale, with this budget and in this location, but proposing this," wrote Davvid. "This project is so painfully banal."

"Why did they choose to finish it with kitchen/bathroom cladding?" wondered Pa Varreon of the iridescent porcelain tile that will clad much of the skyscrapers' facade.

"Surely these awful things were designed by AI – no qualified human could be so unimaginative and insensitive," posited AlfredHitchcock, to which Joao Batista replied "where do you think AI steals its soulless designs from?"

Not all commenters were quite so pessimistic.

"Hard to say from these images but if the towers are as elegant as [Selldorf Architects'] smaller commissions, we should be just fine," wrote MKE Tom. "Deep breaths, people."

Do you think Brooklyn could do better? Join the discussion ›

The Rome Edition opens in converted 1940s bank building

"Beautifully lush"

One project commenters could reach a consensus on this week was The Edition group's first outpost in Italy, The Rome Edition.

Commenters like JZ thought the hotel was suitably "cinematic and sophisticated".

"I love these splashes of colour: emerald green curtains in the lobby, Yves Klein blue in the restaurant and that Jade bar, wow!" wrote LNDCNTMPRY. "A simple but elegant design approach, perfectly complementing the city of Rome."

M was similarly captivated by the hotel's Jade Bar, wondering "when can I move in?"

"Stunning re-use of a building," agreed Kevin B, while jb hailed it as "beautifully lush".

Apsco Radiales, meanwhile, was dreaming of a Roman holiday. "In spite of the hot summer and irresponsible tourists, I so badly want to go to Rome again!"

Is it "do as the Romans do" or don't, for you? 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.