Lately the Architecture world has seen great advances in buildings, and in a number of cases the work has just as much of a sculptural contribution to the built environment as an Architectural contribution. However, budgets are soaring and it poses the question: how much is art and Architecture worth? Buildings like the Disney Concert Hall have been transformative for entire urban regions, and buildings like the Bird’s Nest have been iconic but not necessarily transformative. The latest budget controversies are from two of the star Architects: Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center train station and Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Stadium. The train station is well under way and is an incredible testament to the poetry of design and the expense that it can have. The design has hundreds of tapered cantilevers that fan over the terminal, creating a beautiful array of light and space. I am not going to make any conjectures to the financial repercussions of a multi-billion dollar project, but I think that the project will be iconic and provide substantive tourist revenue to the region. In this case it seems appropriate and perhaps fitting to a region with a marred history. The World Trade Center epicenter isn’t a region that needed any help gaining tourist revenue, but there are enough invested interests to appropriately honor the tragedy that it seems worth the financial investment. In Japan’s Olympic stadium, Hadid’s proposal has recently been rejected and the design is under consideration. While some in the Architecture realm might see this as a disappointment, I see it as a realization of financial appropriation that is healthy. While all of Hadid’s has some significance in ground breaking design and construction, financial constraints are realities and I can’t see the benefit of an expensive designer stadium for a culture that is already saturated in design. The reality is Japan needs to have an Olympic games that provides positive revenue and displays the value of their ingenuity to lock in investments. In time things will inevitably balance, either from an intelligent adjustment or a natural force of financial reality. At the very least, construction techniques are being automated and developed to accommodate the new demands. In time, this will create a more intelligent work force and hopefully that will enable our society to be more responsible and protective of our communities. At the end of the day, people only really need a primitive hut, food and water. How will the future of design and construction provide for societies basic needs, necessary investments and desired indulgences?