Álvaro Siza Finishes His First Building in the U.S., and Other News

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611 West 56th Street by Álvaro Siza in Manhattan. Photography by Evan Joseph

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Álvaro Siza wraps up an unusual tower in Manhattan, his first building in the U.S.

“Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza has revealed the 611 West 56th Street skyscraper in Manhattan, which is the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect’s first building in the United States. The 450-foot-tall residential tower is sited on the Upper West Side between Riverside Park and Central Park near Danish architecture studio BIG‘s Via 57 West residential tower. In line with the 88-year-old architect’s usual style, the building is clad entirely in Perla Bianca limestone. The slender tower rises from a thicker base with a 53-foot windowless block, crowning the building, giving it a form that Siza likened to that of a giraffe. The 37-storey building has 77 luxury condominiums with residences ranging from one to four bedrooms including the larger “maisonettes” and a grand penthouse.” [H/T Dezeen]

Travis Scott will donate the proceeds from a Nike raffle to his initiative Project Heal.

“Travis Scott’s Nike collaborations are back in full swing, despite the tragedy and controversy surrounding the rapper’s Astroworld music festival. While Scott’s fanbase doesn’t seem concerned over his return—a recent raffle for the artist’s Air Trainer 1 sneaker reportedly received over one million entries—Travis seems to be making amends by donating the proceeds of his Nike drop to his own philanthropic effort, Project Heal. As noted on the official Cactus Jack Instagram, a donation will be made to the charity following the sneakers’ release on May 27, although a specific amount isn’t listed.” [H/T Input]

A Dubai developer will build a luxury tower on the site of the Surfside condo collapse.

“DAMAC Properties, a Dubai luxury real estate developer, has agreed to pay $120 million for the site where 98 people died in June when the Champlain Towers South residential tower collapsed in Surfside, Florida. Owned by billionaire Hussain Sajwani, who is known as the “Donald Trump of the Middle East,” DAMAC set the $120 million minimum bid for the nearly 2-acre beachfront property last year. When no competing bids were submitted by last Friday’s deadline, an auction scheduled for May 24 was canceled. DAMAC plans to build a luxury residential tower, likely a for-sale condo project, on the site.” [H/T Construction Dive]

“Tree of Trees” by Heatherwick Studio at Buckingham Palace. Photography by Matthew Chattle

Thomas Heatherwick unveils a 70-foot-tall tree sculpture honoring Queen Elizabeth II.

“It’s been 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II took the British throne, and to celebrate this milestone, one of the U.K.’s most prominent designers Thomas Heatherwick has created a unique structure. Standing 70 feet tall in honor of the Platinum Jubilee, his “Tree of Trees” was unveiled outside of Buckingham Palace just yesterday. Stateside, Heatherwick Studio’s most recognizable work is probably the Vessel in Manhattan, the honeycomb shaped Hudson Yards structure. Like the Vessel, the “Tree of Trees” presents a contemporary industrial imagining of an organic form, though the London structure actually incorporates that which it references. With 80 steel tube branches, the sculpture supports 350 young potted trees that are splayed out to create the silhouette of a single tree.” [H/T Architectural Digest]

Sotheby’s will auction an unburnable edition of The Handmaid’s Tale made of cinefoil.

“A record number of books have been banned in the U.S. in the last year, part of a push by conservatives to rein in discussion of issues that some find distasteful. Now, author Margaret Atwood is responding to the rise in censorship by auctioning a fireproof edition of her novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which ranks among the most frequently banned books in the U.S. In a video posted on Sotheby’s for “The Unburnable Book,” Atwood is shown with a flamethrower as she takes aim at the edition, which is printed on pages made from heat-resistant Cinefoil, sewn together with nickel wire. The flames lick at the book, but the pages remain intact. The auction, which places the expected sale range at $50,000 to $100,000, will direct all proceeds to PEN America, a group that advocates for free expression and that plans to use the money to support those efforts.” [H/T CBS]

The Royal College of Art’s new building at the Battersea campus designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Photography by Iwan Baan

Herzog & de Meuron unveils a new brick research complex for the Royal College of Art.

“Earlier this week, London’s Royal College of Art formally unveiled its new studio and research complex in Battersea, a sprawling district on the ever-transforming south bank of the Thames best known for its landmark power station and namesake park. Spanning nearly 170,000 square and featuring workshops, studio spaces, research facilities, and exhibition venues, the RCA’s flagship Battersea campus building will enable the storied London institution to expand into new fields of research and study—namely computer and materials science, robotics, advanced manufacturing, complex visualization and data science, and intelligent mobility.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

Foscarini has acquired a majority stake in the German lighting brand Ingo Maurer.

Foscarini strengthens its distinctive role in the field of decorative lighting design globally with the acquisition of Ingo Maurer. The goal is to enhance its distinctive aesthetic language—spectacular, provocative, playful—guaranteeing the German brand a future development consistent with its prestigious historical identity. The transaction involves the acquisition by the Italian company founded and directed by Carlo Urbinati of 90 percent of the shares of Ingo Maurer, with the remaining 10 percent that will continue to be held by Sarah Utermöhlen, daughter of the famous German designer and entrepreneur. [H/T Interni]

Jardin Majorelle. Photography by Ryan Never

Today’s attractive distractions:

This cheap gel film can magically pull buckets of drinking water out of thin air.

Health companies are leaning on this ethical new app to book medical services.

Foster + Partners whips up a “paw-inspiring” dog kennel with a geodesic shell

A house right next to Morocco’s beloved Jardin Majorelle officially hits the market.

All Stories