Milan’s Underground Tunnels Set To Become a Design Hub, and Other News

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Rendering of Dropcity. Image courtesy Dropcity

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Milan’s Underground Tunnels Set To Become a Design Hub

For more than a century, the tunnels beneath the Milano Centrale Railway Station have housed essential components of local communities. Originally, the linked warehouses that give the complex its name, Magazzini Raccordati, held materials used to build the Central Station itself, the city’s second largest and, with its Late Liberty and Deco influences, most beautiful. In WWII, it was a weapon depot; in the peacetime that followed, a welcome center for immigrants. In 2017, Grandi Stazioni Retail began collaborating with neighborhood associations to revitalize the Magazzini Raccordati, a project dubbed Dropcity that will wrap in 2024.

From June 9–17, locals will get a taste of what’s to come, as architect Andrea Caputo stocks more than 100,000 square feet inside 28 tunnels with a variety of galleries, robotics and carpentry workshops, and libraries devoted to materials and publications classified according to an environmental impact criteria. “In [the city that] is called the capital of design, students and recent graduates have difficulty finding suitable spaces for their needs,” says Caputo. “Dropcity is a project born from the bottom up to accommodate the needs of young architects who need adequate spaces to practice their profession. Places that offer a vertical program of integrated services for those who belong to the project culture which forms an ideal environment for architectural debate.” It’s an idea whose time has come. —Jesse Dorris

Rendering of One Beverly Hills. Image courtesy Foster + Partners

Aman will open a hotel, private club, and branded residences at One Beverly Hills.

“At the Aman resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands, guest villas come with infinity pools and butlers who serve you a private romantic dinner on the beach. In a remote Utah desert, Aman guests can “camp” in tented pavilions with plunge pools and king-size beds. Now the celebrity-beloved ultra-luxe hospitality brand is coming to Beverly Hills as part of a $2-billion garden-like residential complex called One Beverly Hills. Its developers revealed Thursday that Aman will operate the hotel, a private club and some Aman-branded residences in a lushly landscaped oasis next to the storied Beverly Hilton hotel, where stars gather for the annual Golden Globe Awards.” [H/T The Los Angeles Times]

The Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious art prize, names this year’s shortlist.

“The shortlisted artists nominated for Canada’s most prestigious contemporary art prize, the Sobey Art Award, have been revealed. Now in its 20th year and doling out a whopping C$400,000 (around $318,000) in prize money—C$100,000 going to the winner, C$25,000 to each of the other shortlisted finalists and $10,000 each to those longlisted—the artists in the running for the top honor have been winnowed down to just five names, each representing a region of the vast country. Still in the hunt, as announced by the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada, are Tyshan Wright (from the Atlantic region), Stanley Février (from Québec), Azza El Siddique (from Ontario) Divya Mehra (from the Prairies and north) and Krystle Silverfox (from the West Coast and Yukon).” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Paris Hilton, a recent crypto evangelist, will lead LACMA’s digital art acquisition fund.

“The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is creating a new acquisition fund for digital art made by female artists. The initiative is spearheaded by none other than Paris Hilton, the socialite-turned-reality star who has become an NFT evangelist in the past year. The institution has acquired two artworks to kick off the fund: Krista Kim’s Continuum: Los Angeles (2022) and Shantell Martin’s The Question (2022).” [H/T Artnet News]

CIBC Square Building in Toronto by WilkinsonEyre. Photography by James Brittain

WilkinsonEyre wraps a Toronto skyscraper in glass that resembles 3D diamonds.

“London architecture studio WilkinsonEyre has completed the CIBC Square skyscraper in Toronto, Canada, which is surrounded by undulating glass facades. Created as the headquarters for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the 250-meters-tall (820 feet) skyscraper stands in Toronto’s central business district. Named CIBC Square, the building has a glass facade that covers the distinct volumes that make the building look like it is two conjoined skyscrapers.” [H/T Dezeen]

Newly discovered “superworms” can eat polystyrene and help reduce plastic waste. 

“One of the noticeable things about microbiologist Christian Rinke’s lab is the startlingly loud crunching noise of wormlike larvae chewing their way through polystyrene, burrowing into blocks of the plastic foam. Before he discards a chewed-through block, Rinke says he raises it to his ear to check for stragglers. Rinke and his colleagues have been feeding plastic to Zophobas morio beetle larvae—dubbed “superworms” for their large size—to see if the microbes and enzymes in their gut might offer insights into how to break down some of the staggering amount of plastic waste humans generate. The researchers have found that these superworms can survive on a diet of nothing but polystyrene, which is used in a vast array of products, ranging from cups to packing peanuts.” [H/T Scientific American]

The ultra-fast fashion behemoth Shein has launched a $50 million fund to tackle waste.

“This week, fashion’s sustainability power players gathered in Copenhagen for the industry’s premier event focused on tackling its environmental and social impact. It took place against a backdrop of mounting urgency. The unequal relationships that underpin poor conditions in fashion’s supply chains have been laid bare by the pandemic, and the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing. Meanwhile fashion’s emissions and production volumes are continuing to increase. And there was one bombshell: Shein, a company that has become the industry’s poster child for wasteful overconsumption, launched a $50 million fund to tackle waste and offset its impact. The disconnect between the Chinese company’s ultra-fast fashion business model and its new commitment felt jarring. But it’s a page straight out of fashion’s sustainability playbook.” [H/T Business of Fashion]

Sketches of Ghibli Park. Image courtesy Studio Ghibli

Today’s attractive distractions:

Studio Ghibli’s upcoming theme park shares even more teaser illustrations.

Remains of a 1,700-year-old Roman stone also reveal carvings of a phallus

Is it no longer fashionable to be “fashionably late” in the remote work era? 

Gear up for an unprecedented sriracha shortage that could last for months.

All Stories