An Art-Filled Wine Bar Opens in London's Historic Connaught Hotel, Ini Archibong's Short Film for Ultimate Ears, and Other News

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The Vibe at This Historic London Hotel’s New Wine Bar: Art Collector’s Home

Behind a velvet curtained doorway, through the historic Connaught Hotel champagne lounge, the Red Room bar is an art-filled refuge designed by Bryan O’Sullivan Studio that celebrates female artists and the color red. Owner and art patron Paddy McKillen curated six major works for the space, including scarlet, vermillion, and crimson-hued pieces by pioneers Louis Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer, and newer artists such as Trina McKillen and Tia-Thuy Nguyen. A pair of stained glass panels by British painter Brian Clarke are the sole pieces of artwork made by male hands.Organic forms, bijou lamps, and soft-edged sofas outfit a collection of intimate seating areas where an extensive wine list of rare vintages and first growths is served via a custom marble trolley. Even in the shadow of the famed Connaught Bar, which won the World’s Best Bar distinction this year, Red Room is a gem.

Ini Archibong and Hassan Rahim Team Up With Ultimate Ears

A new short film by designer Ini Archibong and artist Hassan Rahim, made in partnership with Ultimate Ears, takes an artistic approach to the nostalgia surrounding every adolescent’s discovery of music. “The film is about the internal journey that you go through when you’re 16 years old and you hear a CD for the first time,” Rahim says. “As an artist, it’s the journey you want art to take you through with your imagination. It’s about the layers of your mind that you can unlock with art and music, and showing that in an emotive way.”

Produced during the pandemic, the film—“An Odyssey In Sound”—focuses on a dancer who, after inserting the custom-made earbuds, is transported to a realm of visceral sonic landscapes. Sometimes harrowing and sometimes serene, they evoke the internal emotional experience of hearing excellent music for the first time, aided by Ultimate Ears’ superior audio technology. “Ultimate Ears was started by artists that wanted the ultimate experience — they wanted the best sound, the best quality, and were trying to push the bar,” Rahim says. “What’s exciting to me about this project is the quality of the technology in CSX Earphones.”

Plans are underway to develop a $9.5 billion terminal by Gensler at JFK Airport.

Located on the former sites of Terminals 1, 2, and 3 on the airport’s southern side, the new $9.5 billion international terminal will be built out in phases starting next year with the first of its 23 gates anticipated to go live in 2026. Terminal One will not only become the airport’s largest, but per a news release “aspires to be among the top-rated airport terminals in the world.” Amenities will include free high-speed wifi, abundant natural light, public art, and spacious check-in and security areas.

The Bronx Museum of Arts will undergo an expansion by local design firm Marvel.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Bronx Museum of Art has embarked on a $21 million expansion project to build a multi-story entrance and lobby designed by local firm Marvel. The institution, which has carved out an identity for championing programming related to social justice and amplifying BIPOC and LGBTQ voices, has experienced unprecedented growth in attendance in recent years, seeing annual visitor figures rise from 25,000 to more than 100,000. The expansion is expected to be complete by 2025.

Strang Design and Rafael de Cárdenas team up on a housing block in Coconut Grove.

Overlooking the waters of Biscayne Bay is the Fairchild Coconut Grove, a 26-unit multifamily residential building spearheaded by Strang Design and Rafael de Cárdenas. To create the building’s distinct look and feel that echoes Coconut Grove’s mid-century architecture, the two studios mixed clean lines, distinct geometries, and local stones such as Florida keystone and oolitic limestone. “I didn’t want this building to be one of the ubiquitous white boxes that proliferate across the Miami skyline, Strang Design principal Max Strang tells Wallpaper. “I took inspiration from Alfred Browning Parker’s famous Woodsong Residence and a nearby botanical garden.” Perhaps the standout feature is the rooftop pool and cabanas, which seamlessly balances openness with privacy and comfort.

TEFAF postpones its Maastricht fair in March as the Omicron variant looms large.

Even though art and design fairs around the world picked back up in 2021 amid the vaccine rollout, the Omicron variant is throwing a wrench in those plans. Yesterday, the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) announced it will be postponing its upcoming fair in Maastricht, originally scheduled for early March. “This was a difficult, but necessary decision, guided by three concerns,” TEFAF chairman Hidde van Seggelen said in a statement. “First is the unpredictable nature of Covid-19; second, the significant financial risk to both TEFAF and our exhibitors should the fair be canceled in the lead up to March; and third is, as always, the health and safety of the TEFAF community, our exhibitors, visitors, sponsors, and partners.”

Crystal Williams succeeds Rosanne Somerson to become RISD’s first Black president.

The Rhode Island School of Design has appointed Crystal Williams as its next president. The teacher and poet succeeds longtime predecessor Rosanne Somerson, who announced her retirement in June after revealing a plan to tackle multiple racist issues at the school, to become the private art and design school’s first Black president. “I entered this search because I believe in the value of art and design to elevate and amplify the human experience, and to narrate who we have been and who we can become,” Williams told Dezeen. “To lead an institution dedicated to amplifying that, and the creatives with the vision and courage to enact that vision, is to have an essential opportunity to help be part of and catalyze positive change in the world.”  Williams currently serves as the vice president and associate provost for community and inclusion at Boston University. She starts her new position on April 1.

The Thompson Center, a postmodern gem by Helmut Jahn, is saved from demolition.

After years of speculation about the Thompson Center’s future and rumors of demolition, Illinois governor Jay Robert Pritzker has revealed a plan that will save the beleaguered building. The office of Helmut Jahn, the late architect who originally designed the postmodern landmark in the ‘80s, will oversee its renovation into a mixed-use property. “The architectural history is full of examples where such repurposing has brought new life to structures like this,” Jahn said when he first proposed redesign schemes. “This will require changes to be made. The building will only survive this way, and will become a landmark for the 21st century.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

In true Carmen Sandiego style, a bridge mysteriously vanishes overnight in Akron.

This new range of children’s furniture is designed to be assembled like a puzzle. 

Melania Trump debuts an NFT platform that offers collectors with “amulets to inspire.”

Wutopia Lab converts an old water tower into an everyman memorial in Shanghai.

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