Eleven Madison Park Goes Meatless, and Other News

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Eleven Madison Park

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Daniel Humm announces Eleven Madison Park will reopen in June with a meatless menu.

Former Surface cover star, chef Daniel Humm, announced a June 10 opening date for his lauded Eleven Madison Park restaurant—a moment of triumph for one of the most important American restaurants of the past 20 years after rumors of its demise swirled during the pandemic. In a move that sent shock waves through the culinary world, Humm also announced that EMP will no longer serve meat or seafood—a radical departure for an establishment known for extravagant dishes like suckling pig and lavender glazed duck. “The current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways,” he says. Observers say EMP’s pivot toward plant-based menus could pave the way for others in the fine dining space to follow suit.

Robert Ivy, chief executive of the American Institute of Architects, will retire this year.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced that Robert Ivy, its longtime vice president and chief executive officer, will retire by the end of 2021. Since his appointment ten years ago, Ivy shepherded the organization through a period of financial stability and membership growth, including the past few years marked by political turbulence. Under his watch, the AIA took stands on urgent matters facing contemporary culture, including climate action and racial equity as well as championing “the positive and necessary role architects can play in issues such as sustainability, resilience, school safety, immigration, infrastructure, and shoring up the pipeline for present and future architects by addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the profession and society.” 

LAX Airport Metro Connector by Grimshaw Architects

A new LAX Airport Metro Connector station is expected to break ground this fall.

Grimshaw Architects’ design, which features swooping canopies, skylights, and glazed screens, also calls for a 16-bay bus plaza with capacity for charging infrastructure, a multi-level active transportation and bike hub, a vehicle drop-off zone, a customer service center, public toilet facilities beyond the fare paid zone, commercial space, and a sculpture by Los Angeles artist Glenn Kaino. The station will connect to multiple bus lines and feature a Metro Bike hub. The Airport Metro Connector station’s nearly $900 million budget is a more than $260 million increase from a previous estimate of $637 million. Construction of the station is expected to be completed in 2025.

In Manhattan, a proposal may restore Park Avenue’s pedestrian malls to their former glory.

At one point, Park Avenue was New York City’s first linear park, defined by green swaths of grass and shrubbery nearly 40 feet wide that featured winding pedestrian paths and benches. The park was shaved down by half to accommodate a traffic lane on each side when automobiles started becoming popular. Pedestrians have been virtually absent from the median since, but a new proposal to restore an underground shed used by Metro-North commuter trains may give city planners the opportunity to restore the green space for a post-pandemic age when such space is at a premium. According to Janette Sadik-Khan, a former transportation commissioner, the proposal represents “a once-in-a-century opportunity to right that wrong and transform today’s asphalt partition back into the promenade our city deserves.”

Ackroyd & Harvey with the oak trees at Tate Modern

A forest of 100 oak saplings will be planted outside Tate Modern to honor Joseph Beuys.

The terrace outside London’s Tate Modern is now home to a small forest of 100 oak trees that descend directly from the 7,000 oaks planted by the late artist and environmental activist Joseph Beuys in Kassel, Germany, in the 1980s. That seminal work, called 7,000 Oaks—City Forestation Instead of City Administration—permanently altered the cityscape and marked new grounds in the emerging environmental movement. It’ll receive renewed attention this year, the centenary of Beuys’s birth, with the Tate Modern installation by Ackroyd and Harvey, which joins another Beuys piece, The End of the 20th Century, which comprises 31 rough-hewn basalt rocks placed alongside the trees in Kassel. Both wrap up on November 14, the closing date of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.  

Blu Dot launches Open Studio, an educational initiative that introduces youth to design.

The Minneapolis-based furniture purveyor has announced Open Studio, a new educational initiative across its stores nationwide that will introduce young people to the worlds of design and creativity. Developed with the Walker Art Center’s Education and Public Programs department, the program’s hands-on activities will educate youth about working in creative fields while raising awareness of how design impacts our everyday lives. “In the nine (and counting) cities where we have stores, we see this as a great way to utilize our spaces to spark an interest in design in kids, especially those who may not get this kind of opportunity otherwise,” Blu Dot co-founder and CEO John Christakos says of the program. 

Twergy Collection by Ettore Sottsass for Alessi

Today’s attractive distractions:

Nike drops a women’s Dunk shoe that feels like a technicolor hodgepodge.

Ginori 1735’s latest tableware line draws from Charlotte Perriand photography.

Don’t look down on Arouca 516, the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge.

Alessi celebrates its centennial year with playful new pieces by Ettore Sottsass.

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