Londoners Hate MVRDV’s Marble Arch Mound, and Other News

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Marble Arch Mound in London by MVRDV. Photography by Matt Dunham/Associated Press

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MVRDV’s brand-new Marble Arch Mound isn’t meeting Londoners’ expectations. 

Londoners are lamenting what was long billed as the city’s newest visitor attraction but amounted to little more than a pile of scaffolding. Marble Arch Mound, an artificial hill designed by Dutch firm MVRDV that towers more than 80 feet high, promised an Arcadian landscape at one end of Oxford Street that would offer spectacular views of nearby Hyde Park. Since opening earlier this week, Londoners have mocked the project as an eyesore covered in haphazard patches of vegetation that only offer views of nearby buildings. The complaints were so severe that refunds were offered to people who booked tickets. 

Hospitality guru Danny Meyer institutes a vaccine mandate at his restaurants.

Danny Meyer, the founder of New York–based Union Square Hospitality Group, which encompasses institutions like Gramercy Park Tavern and Union Square Café, announced that all staff and indoor diners will be required to show their vaccination cards at his restaurants, save for the ubiquitous chain Shake Shack. “We feel like we’ve got an amazing responsibility to keep our staff members and our guests safe,” Meyer told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “And that’s what we’re going to do.” While some restaurants have already implemented vaccine mandates, some observers are wondering if the policy change by someone of Meyer’s stature—he recently became chair of the New York Economic Development Corporation—will influence other hesitant restaurants to follow suit.  

“Not Your Mother’s Tiffany.” Campaign by Sharif Hamza, street photography Maxwell Schiano for Tiffany

Tiffany’s latest campaign suggests a major brand overhaul under LVMH.

A polarizing campaign from Tiffany perhaps indicates both an aesthetic shift and their expanding consumer base. “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany,” which debuted this month, challenges the brand’s signature look as it forgoes the delicate Tiffany Blue for a distressed guerrilla-style scheme. LVMH’s acquisition of the 184-year old brand may have forecasted rifts in Tiffany’s brand identity, yet the $16 billion question lingers: How does a brand buried in heritage appeal to a new market without alienating longtime customers? As the jewelry superpower plans to amp up the campaign in the fall, it says “our marketing approach moving forward will continue to speak to our loyal and very diversified customer base while appealing to a wider set of new individuals and connecting with them where they are.”

Japanese talents unveil pavilions around Tokyo to honor the 2020 Olympics.

Punctuating the Olympic atmosphere with a tongue-in-cheek exploration of public space, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government partnered with Arts Council Tokyo and the Watari-um Museum to launch Pavilion Tokyo 2021 as part of the Tokyo Tokyo Festival running through September 5. The initiative invites a cohort of Japanese artists and architects to create nine contemporary pavilions to pop up in plazas surrounding the National Stadium by Kengo Kuma. The roster includes Kazuyo Sejima, Sou Fujimoto, Junya Ishigami, and Yayoi Kusama.

The Henderson in Hong Kong, where Christie’s will relocate in 2024. Rendering by Arqui9, courtesy of Christie's.

Christie’s will quadruple its footprint in Asia’s art market with a new office.

Christie’s is preparing to expand within the booming Asian art market after securing a 10-year lease at The Henderson, an upcoming skyscraper in Hong Kong designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The British auction house will settle into an expansive 50,000-square-foot space across four floors, with 30,000 of that operating as exhibition spaces, more than quadrupling the 7,000 at its current headquarters. The relocation, planned for 2024, will enable Christie’s to host six week-long sales in-house throughout the year. 

A Holocaust memorial by David Adjaye will be built near the UK Parliament. 

A Holocaust memorial and education center designed by Adjaye Associates has been approved for construction. Located near UK Parliament in the heart of Westminster, the memorial bears the testimonies of 112 survivors while honoring the six million Jews lost, as well as the deaths of Roma, gay, and disabled people. Despite its powerful message, locals objected to the memorial’s impact on public green space while raising issues about flood risk, security, and damage to mature trees. The government approved the $140 million project, which is slated for completion in 2025.

“The Venturer” mask by Nike

Today’s attractive distractions:

Les Filles de Illighadad drop an album of their show at Pioneer Works.

Krispy Kreme is cooking up the “Nexus Level Doughnut” with Xbox.

Britney Spears takes up painting again amid her conservatorship battle.

Nike’s high-performance mask is gracing the faces of US Olympians.

All Stories