Amazon Reveals First Images of HQ2, and Other News

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Amazon shares a first look inside its controversial new campus in Arlington, Virginia.

The opening of Amazon’s first building in Arlington’s HQ2 is imminent while the project’s second phase is on hold. Known as Metropolitan (Met) Park, the ZGF and NBBJ-designed development aims to establish the Virginia city as a tech hub and diversify the region’s employment opportunities. The project prioritizes environmental efficiency, incorporating features such as low-carbon concrete, mass timber, 100 percent renewable energy, and water conservation measures. Additionally, the construction materials have been significantly diverted from landfills. The building’s exterior reflects Amazon’s Seattle home while the interior features exposed concrete columns, timber ceilings, and a cafe-style design.

Art dealer Lisa Schiff files for bankruptcy after fraud and embezzlement accusations.

Lisa Schiff, a New York art advisor, is facing a second lawsuit from art collector Candace Carmel Barasch, alleging fraud and embezzlement. The initial lawsuit claimed Schiff operated a “Ponzi scheme” and failed to distribute $1.8 million in profits from an art sale. Schiff has filed for bankruptcy and assigned her business assets to repay her debts. The new lawsuit accuses Schiff of diverting more than $2.5 million from the Barasch couple to fund her lifestyle and other art purchases. Numerous artworks purchased through Schiff’s consultancy were either not initiated or paid for despite the couple wiring the funds.

Saudi Arabia announces two new major museums as part of the AlUla heritage site.

The development of the AlUla heritage region in Saudi Arabia is progressing rapidly with the launch of two significant museums: a contemporary art museum and one dedicated to the Incense Road. The institutions are part of a 15-year plan that includes 15 cultural assets. The contemporary art museum, designed by architect Lina Ghotmeh, will feature collections focused on artists from the regions surrounding the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean. The Incense Road Museum, designed by architect Asif Khan, will celebrate AlUla’s cultural legacy as a hub of exchange between civilizations along ancient trade routes.

Photography by Andrew Frasz and Jonathan Morefield/Field Condition

A new glulam timber bridge will connect Manhattan’s High Line with Moynihan Station.

SOM and James Corner Field Operations have unveiled Timber Bridge, a timber truss bridge connecting Manhattan’s High Line to the renovated Penn Station. The 300-foot-long bridge is constructed using glued-laminated timber (glulam), offering a sustainable structural solution with minimal ground connections. As part of the Moynihan Connector project, the bridge forms a union with another bridge called Woodlands Bridge, introducing immersive landscaping with trees and plantings along a diagonal pathway. The Moynihan Connector is set to open in June 2023 and represents a $50 million public-private partnership.

OpenAI has released an official free mobile app for its popular ChatGPT AI chatbot.

OpenAI has released an official iOS app for its ChatGPT AI chatbot, allowing users to access it on the go. The free app offers voice input and enables users to interact with the chatbot for various purposes, including asking questions, seeking advice, and conducting research. The release of the app could potentially impact Google and Apple’s Siri, as it provides an ad-free alternative for users and expands the availability of AI-powered assistance on mobile devices.

Disney cancels a major office project amid a feud with Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

In March, Disney criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for attempting to tighten oversight of the company’s theme park resort near Orlando. Last month, Disney sued the governor and his allies, highlighting the potential loss of $17 billion in planned investment in Walt Disney World. On Thursday, Disney’s CEO Robert A. Iger and chairman Josh D’Amaro canceled a $1 billion office complex project in Orlando, which would have brought more than 2,000 jobs to the region. The decision is seen as a response to the ongoing battle between Disney and DeSantis, with Disney citing changing business conditions as the reason for the cancellation.

“Sky Above Clouds/Yellow Horizon and Clouds” (1976-77) by Georgia O’Keeffe. Image courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society, New York

Today’s attractive distractions:

Scientists discover a new method for pulling human DNA from air and water.

Stars on The Real Housewives must be prolific in drama to keep their jobs.

Here’s how TikTok and Reels have transformed how restaurants serve food. 

Georgia O’Keeffe’s works made when blind speak to her enduring artistic vision.

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