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This is the Coolest Faucet Showroom You’ll Ever See
Coalbrook’s stunning new experiential showroom and co-working space in London’s Clerkenwell neighborhood is an ode to the heritage of its hometown in England’s Midlands region, where metalsmiths built the world’s first iron bridge and spurred the Industrial Revolution. Local studio Holloway Li tapped a network of master craftspeople to fashion machine-era vignettes for Coalbrook’s products. In the ground-floor gallery spaces, translucent orange and amber resin casts of a traditional Victorian bathroom are the result of a collaboration with a company that typically fabricates moulded interiors for English buses.
Two massive boilers anchor the basement, whose moody atmosphere recalls a subterranean engine room. A set of cast iron panels crafted at a foundry in Essex serve as backdrops for Coalbrook shower displays. Connecting the two floors is a limestone staircase cut from a single block by a stonemason near the market town of Stamford. “We explored forms and atmospheres which have a place in our collective cultural memory, whether as a result of live encounters or through references we have seen on film and television,” says Praveen Paranagamage, project lead designer at Holloway Li. “These industrial forms are markers of a bygone era, and their power derives from their ability to conjure lost processes.”
A teahouse in downtown Helsinki receives an ethereal revamp by local studio Yatofu.
A neighborhood teahouse in downtown Helsinki is showing off a thoughtful refresh, courtesy of local studio Yatofu. The vision: to create a space that reflects the tactile characteristics of the tea leaves and craftsmanship behind the brewing process—Teemaa cafe serves traditional Chinese and Japanese teas without artificial additives. Diffused light, hand-hewn oak furniture, and a putty-colored kitchen suite accented with teapots and ornate Japanese-style teacups are a few of the standout elements. “A grounded palette of honest and textural materials was extracted from those used in the process of tea making,” Yatofu states. “These were reinterpreted into a contemporary space through the use of modern forms, with a focus on handmade qualities to create a visual dialogue that speaks to the markings of time and craftsmanship.”
The sudden popularity of balaclavas has sparked comparisons to Muslim hijabs.
If you haven’t noticed, balaclavas have become a fashion staple this season. The hoodlike accessory, which covers the head and neck, has dominated social feeds and become widely available in department stores and Instagram shops. Some have noted their resemblance to the hijab, a religious head scarf worn by Muslim women as a gesture of modesty but whose meaning often differs depending on the wearer. Considering that Muslim women in hijabs are often discriminated against and that Western countries have placed restrictions on hijabs in recent years, the balaclava fad has become the subject of scrutiny. “White people are considered unthreatening in the U.S. and Western Europe, and so they’re given much more freedom to wear whatever they wish,” Anna Piela, author ofWearing the Niqab, tells theNew York Times. “In the context of the balaclava fad, it’s not just whiteness—it’s the white femininity that’s read as non-threatening. It’s the whiteness of some wearer that makes it mainstream and conventional.”
Victoria Siddall, the global director of Frieze fairs, has announced her departure.
After an 18-year run at the global art fair and publishing company, Victoria Siddall has announced her departure. Throughout her tenure, she helped grow Frieze from overseeing one fair and a magazine to a global brand that launched its fourth fair in Los Angeles with an edition in Seoul soon to follow. She also played an instrumental role in launching the more historical-minded Frieze Masters fair in London. Following her departure, each Frieze fair will instead be overseen by its own director. Siddall will remain involved and stay on the board, though she also has more external projects in the pipeline.
MAD Architects unveils a surrealist International Cruise Center on the Yangtze River.
Inspired by the color of the orange gantry cranes—”living alien creatures with a sense of surrealism”—installed across the freight terminal, the structures that make up the Cuntan International Cruise Center resemble a futuristic, free-walking city. Situated on the Yangtze River in the Chinese city of Chongqing, the international cruise terminal and mixed-use complex will offer a new hub for travelers replete with shops, restaurants, green space, and a glittering port. “Chongqing has mountains and waters. However, the Yangtze River is more than just a natural landscape in Chongqing. Because of human activities such as shipping traffic and industrial transport, this mountain city is also full of energy and movement. We want to transform this energy in Chongqing from traces of industry into an energy that stimulates the imagination. People can feel the kinetic energy of the city here, but also imagine the public spaces of the future,” says architect and MAD founder Ma Yansong.
According to public health experts, cloth masks won’t prevent the spread of Omicron.
Throughout the pandemic, face masks in custom colors and decorations have emerged as a novel way to project one’s personal style. Unfortunately, many of these alternatives are made out of cloth and simply won’t cut it against the highly transmissible Omicron variant, according to public health experts. Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, is urging the public to wear high-quality masks such as the N95, a surgical-grade mask that filters out 95 percent of airborne particles. Cloth masks, according to her, are “little more than facial decoration” and shouldn’t be considered an acceptable form of face covering moving forward. The Center for Disease Control recently said they’re exploring options to make high-quality masks more readily available as Omicron continues to surge.
A new Indigenous cultural center in Ontario will pay tribute to victimized populations.
Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Smoke Architecture have been selected to spearhead the new Indigenous center, Mukqua Waakaa’igan. Located on the campus of Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, their proposal was developed in homage to the triadic directions of Memory, Present, and Future presented in a native text called The Sweetgrass Path. “In carrying out this project with the utmost compassion toward victims of the aforementioned institution, as well as being conscious of the ongoing investigation currently happening there, our aspiration is to mark a step forward in the reconciliation process,” Moriyama & Teshima Architects says. “The project signifier, the bear, represents healing.”
Today’s attractive distractions:
Gruyere cheese can still be called gruyere, even if it’s not from Switzerland.
Cop Takashi Murakami’s pixelated flower pancake pan on the NTWRK app.