An Organic Essence Fills an Eclectic Stay in Mexico, and Other News

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Flavia in Oaxaca designed by Rootstudio. Photography by Lizzet Ortiz y Deslior

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An Organic Essence Fills an Eclectic Stay in Mexico

Perched on a slope on the fringe of Oaxaca’s nature reserve, Cordillera de la Sierra Norte, Flavia is in harmony with its surroundings. Known for his organic approach to architecture, João Boto Cæiro of Rootstudio adapted the property to the terrain and tapped Luis Zárate, who spearheaded the city’s Ethnobotanical Garden, to bestow the gardens and courtyards with endemic vegetation: cacti, pochote trees, pitayas, and aquatic plants. 

Constructed of raw concrete, the brutalist shell is warmed by an interior palette of earthy hues and tropical timber. The 11 rooms feature custom furniture by local artisans and stunning idiosyncratic touches. The Bunker, for instance, is a subterranean abode with a James Turrell–esque skylight pouring sun rays onto a standalone cement tub. At the restaurant, Cruz Cocina Mixta, creative Mexican dishes (white wine–flamed chocolate clams, black mole chicken enchiladas) are served up with panoramic views of the Oaxacan cityscape. —Nate Storey

The Thompson Center in Chicago. Photography by Eric Allix Rogers

Google will purchase Chicago’s Thompson Center and renovate it into an office suite.

“Google will take over the Thompson Center in The Loop, officials announced Wednesday. The tech giant has agreed to buy all of the building for $105 million after it is renovated by other organizations. The Thompson Center will be “entirely redeveloped” into an office suite for Google’s workers as part of the deal, Gov. JB Pritzker said at a news conference. The sale will benefit the company, as well as Illinois taxpayers and Chicagoans, he said. As part of the deal, the state will receive $30 million in cash and will get 115 S. LaSalle St. That will be renovated, and state employees will then work from there.” [H/T Block Club Chicago]

San Francisco designs three trash can prototypes to replace the city’s aging inventory.

“The perfect garbage can is hard to find, and Beth Rubenstein has spent a lot of time looking. As deputy director of policy and communications for the city of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works, she’s been trying to find a good trash can to replace the city’s aging inventory of more than 3,000 sidewalk garbage receptacles. The ideal replacement, Rubenstein realized, did not exist. So the city set out to design a better solution. In consultation with various city departments, the city’s contracted garbage hauler, and industrial design firm the Institute for Creative Integration, the city has unveiled three prototype designs for a new city trash can. They balance ease of use, ease of unloading, durability of locks and hinges, and an integrated system for automatically detecting when they’re getting full.” [H/T Fast Company]

Austin becomes the world’s first city to require all parks to achieve SITES certification.

“Amid the sweltering, climate change–fueled heat wave sweeping across the U.S., the city of Austin is doing its part in sustainability and environmental health. The capital city announced on Monday that it has adopted a SITES certification requirement for its Parks and Recreation Department projects—becoming the first city worldwide to do so. SITES is administered by Green Building Certification Inc., a leading global health and sustainability certification entity; the program grants certifications to commercial, residential, and institutional, streetscaping, and landscaping projects of at least 2,000 square feet. It primarily examines a project’s landscaping, ensuring its terrain is working to reduce water and energy consumption and improve air quality and human health.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

Apple’s new London outpost designed by Foster + Partners. Image courtesy Apple, Inc.

Apple’s latest outpost in London will showcase the tech giant’s renewed focus on AR.

“Foster + Partners’ design for the Brompton Road Apple store in London is ready for its debut, showcasing the company’s renewed focus on AR and other consumer technologies in what is the latest in a long string of retail commissions between the British architect and the  California tech giant. Apple said the store will be inaugurated with a new immersive AR experience called “United Visions” that was inspired by the poetry of William Blake and created by the Getty Museum with the help of digital artist duo Tin&Ed.” [H/T Archinect]

The FTC is taking a major step to try to block Meta’s monopoly within the metaverse. 

“The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint to block Meta’s acquisition of Within, the VR developer behind fitness game, Supernatural. The regulatory group alleges that since Meta already owns Beat Saber, letting it own the app’s premium competitor not only reduces competition but has already influenced the development of future VR apps.” [H/T Input]

Scientists are considering “sun-dimming” technology to help stave off climate change.

“As fossil fuel use continues apace and a hotter planet edges close to passing safety limits, some scientists are exploring a controversial technological stopgap: spraying chemicals into the atmosphere to reflect away some of the sun’s warmth. Deploying the technology, using special planes, would be relatively cheap and simple, costing a few billion dollars a year, its backers say. And it could—if maintained—hold down global average temperatures, potentially staving off increasingly deadly climate-change impacts such as heatwaves, they argue.” [H/T Reuters]

Image via Associated Press

Today’s attractive distractions:

Enter the iron-pumping Alphaland, Houston’s new Disney World for bodybuilders. 

Solar kerosene” made of sunlight, air, and water vapor may soon replace jet fuel.

At 170 carats, the largest pink diamond in 300 years was just unearthed in Angola. 

A pop-up restaurant that pays homage to the Golden Girls opens in Beverly Hills.

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