Readers are expressing anger over revelations that cladding used in the renovation of Grenfell Tower was low-cost and flammable in this week’s comments update, and raising concerns over the condition of similar post-war high-rises in the UK.
Red flag: readers say the polyethylene panels used to clad Grenfell Tower were to blame for Wednesday’s tragic fire, which has killed at least 79 residents, amid claims that the material is banned in the UK.
“They covered the building in cheap, flammable cladding so it wouldn’t be an “eyesore” to its rich neighbours,” wrote Jack. “Now it’s an eyesore, and a source of shame for the city and the whole world.”
“Why have a cheaper option if it’s not as safe as the dearer option?” asked Geofbob.”
“Unfortunately that is how the world works,” replied James. “Everything has to be built to the right standards for the right price. You would have to change the complete system to overcome this.”
One commenter asserted that concrete high-rise buildings have never posed a fire risk before:
Was the Grenfell Tower renovation to blame for the fire? Have your say in the comments section ›
Robbed: a drone video surveying Robin Hood Gardens ahead of its imminent demolition sparked a separate debate about post-war housing in the UK.
“What an awful place to live, let’s think of the people,” wrote Kellee.
“If this is a great housing complex, why don’t architects buy apartments and live and work there? Architects, hipsters, artists where are you?” challenged Nikola.
“They aren’t for sale, unfortunately,” hit back a user called Dmiller.
“I always prefer ugly over boring. We keep on demolishing ugly and making boring,” lamented Fred.
One reader wished the apartments could receive the same treatment as a recent Amsterdam development:
BIG numbers: readers are continuing to debate the gender balance in architecture, after Bjarke Ingels hit back at accusations of sexism at his firm.
The 1-11 ratio of female to male partners at BIG sparked a backlash on social media earlier this year – even though the firm’s overall gender balance is almost 50/50.
“This is really annoying!” claimed Berlihingen. “Let businesses hire people who are suitable for them, not your sexual percentages.”
“People who are not white, straight men are going to be less likely to be picked for jobs which they are eminently ‘suitable’ for,” countered Greenish. “People will continue to be prejudiced if they don’t see people who aren’t like them doing well in those roles.”
One commenter decided to lighten the mood by quoting British sitcom The Office:
Spaceship: Wired has published a scathing review of Apple’s new Foster-designed California headquarters, leading readers to chime in with their two cents.
Commenters argued over whether the structure benefited the local area, after the article claimed it will exacerbate economic issues in its suburban location.
“To say that Apple has turned its back on the city of Cupertino is ridiculous. The fact that they stayed in Cupertino is a gift in itself,” said Brennan.
Erick noted the irony. “Why hasn’t Apple fixed Silicon Valley, asks Wired,” he wrote.
Some commenters had their own criticisms. “Big walled garden, just like their ecosystem,” said Joe.
“This monumental structure designed for bird’s view not for human feels very dysfunctional and totalitarian,” wrote Karol. “Apple really is brand of the past.”
One commenter didn’t agree with judging the building so soon:
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