Latvia’s Art Nouveau-Rich Capital Welcomes a Striking Hotel, and Other News

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A22 Hotel by CBP Design in Riga, Latvia. Photography by Marks Litvjakovs

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Latvia’s Art Nouveau-Rich Capital Welcomes a Striking Hotel   

Known as the Quiet Centre, Riga’s Art Nouveau district is welcoming a new hotel that pays homage to the neighborhood’s roots while adding a little midcentury modernism to the equation. The property, named A22, has set up shop inside the bones of the 1930’s US Embassy building, debuting a tasteful remake by local interiors firm CBP Design. 

The 20 guest rooms and communal spaces display a mix of original Art Nouveau touches (restored wall moldings, parquet floors) and contemporary midcentury–style layers (dark wood paneling, curvaceous furniture), while the exterior of the property has been painted black and adorned in brass window frames making it a striking juxtaposition to the area’s leafy boulevards and verdant parks. At the restaurant and bar—dubbed John and Jackie, a reference to JFK’s visit in 1939 as a young Harvard student traipsing through Europe—chef Kristaps Silis prepares artful presentations with hyper-seasonal ingredients cooked on the purest-favorite Josper charcoal grill, from Scotch beef to Latvian pike perch.

Goddard & Gibbs at One Hundred Shoreditch hotel in London

A London restaurant debuts with a hulking yellow rock sculpture as its centerpiece. 

“The sculpture is based on my memories of trips to the seaside as a child and making towers from piles of rocks on the beach,” says Lore Group creative director Jacu Strauss of the massive yellow work perched atop a table in Goddard & Gibbs. Taking over the space that once housed the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, the design of the seafood restaurant is tinged with subtle nautical themes such as sandscape artworks and seaweed-green banquettes. On the menu: dishes prepared with ethically sourced ingredients and inspired by the fishing villages and seaside towns of the British coastline. 

Gyo Obata, influential architect who helped spearhead global firm HOK, dies at 99.

Throughout his career, Gyo Obata masterminded buildings that have become recognizable emblems of Modernism, from the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and Priory Chapel—both in his adopted hometown of St. Louis—to King Said University in Saudi Arabia and the Sendai International Airport terminal in Japan. After receiving a scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he studied with Eliel Saarinen, Obata joined the firm now known as HOK, where he worked as the partner in charge of design. His influence reverberated widely: “He originated the design culture of HOK,” Bill Hellmuth, the firm’s president and CEO, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But more importantly, he gave us humility and humanity to everything we do. We were founded in the Midwest, we have Midwestern values. That humanity and humility are pieces of our culture that still exist today.” 

“Floating Ocean Chunk (South Pacific for North Atlantic)” by Ashley Bickerton as seen through CollectAR. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin

Lehmann Maupin debuts an augmented reality experience from Ashley Bickerton.

Ashley Bickerton is venturing into the virtual realm with the launch of three NFTs on Nifty Gateway and three augmented reality artworks through Lehmann Maupin. The project, called CollectAR, will see three of the artist’s “Ocean Chunk” series installed at the Manhattan gallery, the neighboring High Line, and on Pier 55 in Hudson River Park. Stepping into augmented reality, according to Bickerton, is “something that I’ve always wanted to do, but never seemed to find the time or the right tech partners. Suddenly I was given both.”  

Italy will transform a derelict island prison into an open-air museum and tourist hub.

The island of Santo Stefano hosted some of Italy’s most notorious criminals for centuries until 1965, when the government shut it down. The panopticon-like structure has sat vacant ever since, but Italian officials now plan to transform the site into an open-air museum about the history of the prison and its inmates, as well as an academic hub with artist ateliers. “It’s been shut down for decades, in total decay,” Silvia Costa, the Italian government official behind the project, tells CNN. “There’s no light, no running water. Access is tricky. The renovation focuses on telling the story of the pain suffered in this jail, preserving this symbolic place of memory but looking toward the future.” The project is currently slated for completion in 2025. 

Police identify the suspect who stabbed two employees at the Museum of Modern Art.

Over the weekend, a man who was denied entry at New York’s Museum of Modern Art jumped over the reception desk and stabbed two employees. Police are still looking for the suspect, Gary Cabana, a Manhattan resident who was a regular at the museum and would often attend to watch films but whose membership was recently revoked due to disorderly conduct. The victims, a 24-year-old woman and 24-year-old male, were taken to Bellevue Hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. 

Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa, also known as the “rose-veiled fairy wrasse”

Today’s attractive distractions:

This newly discovered technicolor fish could be the “My Little Pony” of the sea.

Take a look back at how the Batcave’s architecture has evolved over the years.

Vogue visits a Queens party palace that’s a community hub for Bukharian women.

Investors buy a Caribbean island near Belize to found their very own micronation.

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