A Serene Boutique Hotel Channels the Aegean Sea, and Other News

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The lounge space at Apollo Palm Hotel. Photography by Jules Lanzaro

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A Serene Boutique Hotel Channels the Aegean Sea

Set in the vibrant Psyrri neighborhood of Athens, the Apollo Palm Hotel heralds a new wave of hospitality, echoing the area’s blend of ancient history and modern creativity. The hotel, a brainchild of promising Parisian firm Mariette Sans-Rival Studio, is a tribute to Greece’s rich seafaring heritage, encapsulated in two 20th-century buildings reimagined into 48 tranquil guest rooms and several luminous common spaces. 

Nautical curves reminiscent of the Aegean Sea and a creamy palette evoke serenity while amplifying the buildings’ verticality. Custom furniture, crafted in collaboration with local artisans, threads through the hotel, their soft lines tracing around the golden hues of the fabrics and textures. (One such piece, a chair from the hotel’s Lucie Collection, was featured in the design exhibition “Trônes” at the Galerie Downtown Paris.) Grab a bite at the casual Patio Wine Bar and Bistro located in a street-level courtyard or head to the rooftop “spritzeria” where the cocktail menu by Alekos Alexiadis, founder of the cool-kid haunt Santa Rosa nearby, comes with Acropolis views. –Nate Storey

The Astra Carta seal. Image courtesy of Sustainable Markets Initiative

Jony Ive’s LoveFrom designs a seal for King Charles III’s space responsibility initiative.

Jony Ive and his LoveFrom team have designed a new seal called the Astra Carta for King Charles III, representing the UK’s call for responsible and sustainable use of outer space. The animated circular badge features the words “Astra Carta” in Latin, a blue dot representing Earth, celestial elements like constellations, the Sun, the Moon, and Venus’s path. The design reflects a connection between celestial rhythms and life on Earth and follows the Terra Carta seal created in 2021, aligning with Ive’s style of combining elegance and sustainability.

New research suggests that microplastic exposure makes microbes more virulent.

Microplastics and antimicrobial resistance, two major concerns for public and environmental health, are teaming up to create a new worry. Researchers led by microbiologist Sasha Tetu from Australia’s Macquarie University have discovered that chemicals leaching from marine microplastic pollution can change the composition of microbial communities, making them more virulent and increasing antimicrobial resistance. The scientists conducted laboratory experiments using seawater samples mixed with leachates from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and found that the plastic-exposed bacteria exhibited an increased abundance of genes related to higher virulence and antimicrobial resistance. While more research is needed to fully understand the impact of plastic leachates on microbial communities, these findings raise concerns about the potential consequences of plastic exposure.

HOK and PAU’s renderings of a renovated Penn Station

HOK and PAU unveil new, more restrained proposals for Manhattan’s Penn Station.

HOK and Practice for Architecture and Urbanism have unveiled new designs for the renovation of Manhattan’s Penn Station, addressing previous delays and proposing a more restrained approach. The plans include a new entrance on Eighth Avenue, a renovation of existing structures, and the installation of a glass box adjacent to Madison Square Garden to improve passenger exits. The project aims to restore the station’s civic importance and will feature glass ceilings, skylights, and increased accessibility. Estimated to cost $6 billion, the proposal is expected to take six years to complete.

Artsy lays off approximately 15 percent of its workforce amid economic uncertainty.

Artsy, an online art brokerage, has laid off approximately 15 percent of its workforce, amounting to 35 employees, amidst uncertain economic forecasts. In an email obtained by ARTnews, CEO Mike Steib explained that despite stable business and revenue growth, economic challenges and a slowdown in the art market made profitability unattainable, posing a risk to the company’s mission. While Artsy confirmed the layoffs, stating the decision was made to ensure sustainable operations and support for gallery partners and artists, Steib expressed regret and apologized to the affected employees for the difficult situation.

The U.S. Copyright Office declares most AI-generated art to be “unclaimable material.”

Generative AI tools are facing a setback as the United States Copyright Office (USCO) recently declared that anything produced solely by AI is “unclaimable material” under copyright law. While modified works with AI elements can still be registered, the AI-generated parts are excluded from copyright protection. USCO considers AI-generated content to be equivalent to giving instructions to a commissioned artist. The decision raises questions about enforcement and the implications for the future of AI-generated content.

“World Flag #2 (United States)” (2023) by John Gerrard. Image courtesy of the artist and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Today’s attractive distractions:

John Gerrard’s new NFT series confronts climate woes by depicting “future deserts.”

Dubbed the “world’s hardest dish,” stir-fried stones are sparking culinary curiosity. 

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are banking on psychedelics to expand their minds.

Silenced by a previous gig, Cornelia Parker is speaking up about climate change.

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