Emeco’s New California Hub Keeps Things Casual, and Other News

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Emeco House. Photography by Martin Tessler

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Emeco’s New California Hub Keeps Things Casual

When Surface visited Emeco’s factory in Hanover, Pennsylvania, longtime CEO Gregg Buchbinder likened the all-American furniture company’s range of durable chairs to Levi’s. “The jeans were sort of industrial, and then somebody put a blazer on, and they became cool,” he says. Since Buchbinder took over the business from his father, in 1998, the company has expanded its range of chairs from its flagship product, the simple aluminum 1006 Navy Chair originally built to withstand military submarines, to modern classics by Barber & Osgerby, Naoto Fukasawa, and Jasper Morrison that adhere to sustainable principles and fit squarely within the brand’s DNA.

Upholding that legacy even further is Emeco House, an idyllic live-work space that recently opened in a derelict sewing shop in Venice Beach, California. Buchbinder and his daughter Jaye, the brand’s head of sustainability, envisioned a casual coastal gathering space following four years of weekly morning surfing sessions. That ethos translates inside, where warm tones and an apartment-style layout help forge a convivial atmosphere. The property is also net-zero thanks to such eco-friendly features as thermally efficient glazing, biodegradable insulation, solar panels, lime plaster that absorbs carbon, and minimal interventions by architects David Saik and Keith Fallen. Though Emeco’s own furnishings are situated throughout, the space is no showroom—Buchbinder first and foremost intends for Emeco House to become a community hub for Venice’s burgeoning creative sphere.

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “Dune” (2013). Image via IMDb

Despite legal complications, a crypto group plans to create an animated Dune series.

Spice DAO was widely mocked online when it came to light that the crypto group spent $3 million on a book of Dune concept art to create an adaptation, only to learn that the purchase didn’t grant them any such intellectual property rights. Despite this, the group is forging ahead with an animated adaptation about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unmade Dune film anyway. Among Spice DAO’s plans are to make all the images public and produce an original animated series inspired by the book that will be sold to a streaming service. “Our research over the past two months has only increased our respect for their project,” the group wrote on Medium. “And we were so inspired by the book and learning more about its creation that we saw how we could develop our own intellectual property that we own 100 percent and control all aspects of the production of an original animated limited series.” 

The Bronx building where a fire recently killed 17 was once a model of public housing. 

Earlier this month, a devastating fire broke out at Twin Parks Northwest, a public housing building in the Bronx, and killed 17 people. While a space heater was likely to blame for the blaze and the New York Fire Department continues its investigations, some are questioning the role of architecture. Writing for Architectural Record, Suzanne Stephens notes the building as “a model of public housing” when it was built in the 1970s by Prentice & Chan, Ohlhausen as part of a larger development. Each of the architects “came up with concepts based on typologies that had roots in avant-garde social housing abroad, such as Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseille. In addition, the designers imaginatively rethought how public spaces could tie the residential blocks into the neighborhood.” 

Virgil Abloh painted by Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe for Teen Vogue

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe paints a touching tribute to Virgil Abloh for Teen Vogue.

Gracing the latest cover of Teen Vogue is a touching tribute to late fashion powerhouse Virgil Abloh painted by rising painter Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe. The magazine chose the painter, who splits his time between Accra and Portland, Oregon, because both he and Abloh share Ghanaian heritage. In the painting, Abloh is depicted in a green jacket and orange zip-up sweatshirt while staring back longingly at the viewer. Quaicoe’s star has been on the rise: the painter recently gained representation through Roberts Projects and Almine Rech thanks to friend and fellow painter Amoako Boafo, and the Rubell Museum selected him for its prestigious artists-in-residence program. 

Art Basel’s owner will launch a fair at Paris’s Grand Palais, replacing stalwart FIAC.

MCH Group, the parent company of Art Basel, will take over Parisian art fair Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain’s (FIAC) October slot at the Grand Palais starting next year. The Swiss firm signed a seven-year contract with the Reúnion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, the cultural body that manages the Grand Palais, to launch an international contemporary art fair until 2028. RX France, the organizer of FIAC and Paris Photo, wasn’t consulted beforehand, igniting a firestorm of controversy within the art world. Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler notes the new fair won’t be Art Basel Paris, and confirmed that James Murdoch’s private investment company Lupa Systems, which took a controlling stake in MCH in 2020, has been engaged in the Paris expansion. 

Adele reportedly feuded with set designer Es Devlin before canceling her Vegas shows.

Tabloids are reporting that Adele was feuding with set designer Es Devlin before canceling her Caesars Palace residency, called Weekends With Adele, at the last minute. The superstar wasn’t happy with the multimillion-dollar set, which was built by the live production company Solotech and was hauled out of the megaresort’s Colosseum on Monday. According to reports, the show was to feature a 10,000-gallon lake on stage, a full choir, and Adele’s dramatic entry on an aerial rig. In a video shared on social media the day before the first show, the singer tearfully cited Covid cases among her cast and crew as reason for the show’s cancellation, which drew ire from fans who shelled out thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, and tickets. Devlin, who has previously worked with Kanye West, Billie Eilish, and Beyonce, also designed the sets for Adele’s 2016 world tour. 

Art Museum and Bridge for Creative Learning. Photography by Zan Wimberley

Australia unveils a sprawling climate change–themed museum on a picturesque estate.

Occupying a 2,471-acre New South Wales estate that once belonged to famed painter Arthur Boyd, the Art Museum and Bridge for Creative Learning is a distinctive arrival to Australia’s culture scene. Composed of a stunning bridge structure housing guests rooms and restaurants, raised especially high to avoid floodwaters, and an art museum sequestered inside of a hill to protect against wildfires, the institution is designed to adapt to current and future climate disasters. Dreamed up by local firm Kerstin Thompson Architects, solar panels power the entire museum. “Art museums have historically run with high energy consumption,” Bundanon CEO Rachel Kent explains. “Both cooling and heating systems are needed, for example, to maintain a stable temperature critical to the conservation of artworks. With the current climate crisis, this is clearly unsustainable. It is vital that museums and galleries, like other industry sectors, actively seek solutions that aim to have a net-zero energy target.”

A cutting-edge “15-minute” community and innovation hub is set to rise in Utah.

Located in Salt Lake City’s south valley, an area the tech world has coined Silicon Slopes for its abundance of startups, The Point is a next-wave development being master-planned by SOM to eliminate the need for cars. Instead, extensive biking, walking, and transit systems such as an autonomous electric circulator will purportedly get residents anywhere in the community within 15 minutes. Situated on the site of a former prison, the “innovation hub” will feature strategic mixed-use zoning to homes easily accessible to jobs, schools, and essential services. “Because it’s a state project, we’ve got an obligation to residents throughout Utah, not just here,” says Alan Matheson, executive director of the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority. “Part of that obligation is creating a model community that can demonstrate good approaches and teach lessons that other developers can follow to address some of the challenges that we face in our state, like air quality, getting people active and improving public health, reducing infrastructure costs, and encouraging more of a sense of community.”

Glow-in-the-Dark Sushi Bar by Bompas & Parr

Today’s attractive distractions:

Bompas & Parr’s pop-up bar serves glow-in-the-dark sushi and cocktails.

Joseph Veazey documents Atlanta’s rich hip hop history in the form of a map.

A group of polar bears have settled in an abandoned Russian weather station.

The latest BBC Winter Olympics ad features wondrous 3D-printed animations.

All Stories