This Mumbai Library Is an Enchanting Forest of Books, and Other News

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The Forest of Knowledge library in Mumbai. Photography by Suryan + Dang

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This Mumbai Library Is an Enchanting Forest of Books

Studio Hinge recently pulled back the curtain on the Forest of Knowledge, an imaginative library located in the heart of Mumbai. Commissioned by the Cricket Club of India, a historic members’ club housed in a splendid Art Deco building dating to the 1930s, the library seeks to recreate the enchanting experience of reading under a tree by recasting concrete columns as evocative tree trunks. The firm integrated shelving that extends upward to create captivating arched forms across the ceiling, connected in places by a wooden lattice. Circular shelves surround each column’s base while seating areas at the floor’s edges provide inviting reading nooks. The library is both a testament to coming together after lockdown—and a paean to the canopies formed by ficus and gulmohar trees found nearby. —Ryan Waddoups

The Champagne & Caviar Bar at RH Guesthouse. Image courtesy of RH

RH opens a champagne and caviar bar underneath their New York City guesthouse.

Caviar is now a fixture on the menus of New York’s nightlife hotspots. RH Champagne & Caviar Bar, located beneath RH Guesthouse in the Meatpacking District, is the latest bar joining the fray. The subterranean lounge, with 32 seats, is offering a diverse menu centered around caviar-focused dishes, desserts, Champagnes, vodkas, and cocktails. The menu features items like caviar cones with toro or salmon, caviar rolls with lobster or crab, various caviar-topped tartars, and traditional caviar service. RH plans to expand this concept to Paris, London, and Aspen over the next three years, focusing on offering a luxurious and private experience in a competitive market. 

Adidas seeks a new trial for a trademark dispute over Thom Browne’s use of stripes.

Adidas has submitted its response to Thom Browne’s motion to dismiss its request for a new trial in their ongoing trademark dispute over stripes. In January, a Manhattan jury found Browne not liable for damages or profits related to the use of four stripes in his products. Last month, however, Adidas uncovered four “bad faith” emails dating from 2016 to 2019, which were not disclosed during the trial’s discovery period. Adidas argues that these emails, cautioning Browne about stripe designs, are relevant and could cause confusion among consumers, warranting a new trial. Browne contends the emails are unrelated to the accused products and should not affect the jury’s verdict. The case awaits the judge’s determination.

Rendering of the new Institute for Contemporary Art Pittsburgh. Image by Atchain, courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University’s art gallery will double its space and take on a new name. 

In 2027, the Institute for Contemporary Art Pittsburgh will unveil a new 29,000-square-foot facility across from the Carnegie Museum of Art. This move signifies a major expansion for Carnegie Mellon University’s art gallery, currently known as the Miller ICA and located on campus. The gallery will relocate to the Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences, a $210 million building designed by ZGF Architects. The new ICA will triple its current space, enhance its presence in Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape, and foster collaboration between communities. Construction on the Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences will kick off in spring 2024.

Other co-working ventures appear to be thriving amid WeWork’s recent bankruptcy.

WeWork, the coworking giant once valued at $47 billion, filed for bankruptcy this week after struggling with debts. The filing has particularly impacted New York City, where WeWork has its largest global presence, leading to a significant number of vacant class B and C office buildings. However, the coworking industry remains resilient. IWG, a Switzerland-based British holding company with brands like Regus and Spaces, reported a 48 percent increase in half-year profit in August and is eyeing WeWork’s soon-to-be vacant spaces. Independent coworking brands like Industrious and Premier Workspaces are also expanding, reflecting a continued interest in flexible office arrangements despite mixed demand trends.

Tadao Ando will design a 260,000-square-foot concrete cultural venue in Sharjah.

Tadao Ando has been commissioned to design Il Teatro, a performing arts center in Sharjah’s Aljada lifestyle community. Developed by Arada, the cultural complex covers 260,000 square feet and embraces Ando’s signature architectural simplicity, featuring a cylindrical concrete structure facing a multi-layered cultural Plaza. The venue includes a 2,000-seat auditorium, a gallery, and a boutique restaurant, serving as a venue for a wide range of performances and events from opera and theater to concerts and art exhibitions. The Plaza, an elevated public space above water, will have an outdoor amphitheater. Construction is set to kick off next year with completion scheduled for 2027.

“The Death of Cardinal Beaufort” (1789) by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Image courtesy of National Trust

Today’s attractive distractions:

Some neuroscientists think psychedelic hallucinations are just a side effect.

New technology has rendered lighthouse keepers obsolete—except for one.

These sealed French love letters were opened for the first time in 265 years.

Restorers uncover a fanged demon painted over in an 18th-century painting.

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