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As the tenth Performa Biennial approaches on November 1, the organization is preparing to bring its Assaf Kimmel-designed hub to life in Lower Manhattan. For every biennial since 2009, the organization has tapped artists and architects to create its popup headquarters, called the Performa Hub. This year’s edition will come to life at the intersection of Broadway and Canal, with electric blue interiors that will create a dazzling backdrop for everything from the opening night artist party to “Protest and Performance: A Way of Life,” a series of commissions organized around the through line of performance art’s political power.
In addition to hosting screenings, artist talks, and performances, the Hub’s adaptive design will allow it to serve as a co-working space and lounge where biennial attendees can connect with each other. Much of the programming, such as a talk with Kimmel, “Protest and Performance,” and dozens more, will be free and open to the public. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz
The Sagrada Familia, a Barcelona landmark designed by Antonio Gaudí, has made significant progress with the completion of five of its six central towers. The towers, dedicated to biblical figures, recently saw the completion of those for Evangelists Matthew and John, crowned with sculptures by Xavier Medina-Campen. A special mass is set for Nov. 12 to inaugurate the towers, which will light up during the holiday season. The church, which has been under construction for 140 years, plans to complete its final tower, dedicated to Jesus, by 2026. This coincides with the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death and Barcelona’s role as the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture. The project has faced multiple delays, especially since some of Gaudí’s original designs were lost. In 2019, the site finally received a building permit and agreed to pay a $41 million penalty for public transportation improvements in the area.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is launching a major renovation to modernize the visitor experience. A large store off the Great Hall will be transformed into an 11,500-square-foot gallery dedicated to Costume Institute exhibitions. Additionally, an entrance under the main staircase will become a retail space and restaurant, accessible even when the museum is closed. The project, dubbed “the Great Hall Gallery Project,” is estimated to cost more than $50 million and will be spearheaded by Anna Wintour. The renovation aims to alleviate overcrowding during popular exhibitions and will also feature a revamped plaza entrance at 83rd Street and Fifth Avenue. The two-phase project is slated for completion by 2026.
MVRDV has transformed a skyscraper in Shenzhen into a multi-purpose hub dedicated to women and children. The building, originally completed in 1994, now features a colorful gridded facade designed to reduce thermal heat gain. Inside, the center offers a range of facilities including a library, auditorium, children’s theater, therapy rooms, and staff offices. The redesign also introduced a “tower crown” that covers a roof terrace, offering panoramic views of the city. This terrace was once a car park but has been converted into a public space with a food court. MVRDV’s renovation aligns with a broader initiative to promote adaptive reuse and sustainability, saving 847,000 cubic feet of concrete from the original structure.
Recur, the NFT startup backed by hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, is closing amid a stagnant NFT market. Once valued at $333 million, the company offered Web3 capabilities including brand-specific NFTs and a royalties feature for artists. Despite nearly 400,000 minted NFTs and partnerships with well-known brands like Sanrio and Emoji, Recur couldn’t weather the market downturn. The company also faced legal troubles as former employees filed a class-action lawsuit for violating the WARN Act after two mass layoffs in 2022 reduced its workforce from 300 to less than 100. Users had until August 31 to withdraw NFTs and cash out balances, with remaining NFTs moving to the decentralized InterPlanetary File System.
Harriet Pattison, a trailblazing landscape architect, recently died at 94 at her home in Newtown Square, PA. She gained prominence for her collaborations with architect Louis Kahn, notably at the Kimbell Art Museum and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. Pattison’s innovative approach to the Kimbell project involved adding a slope to make the building appear more integrated with its surroundings, as well as redesigning a water feature to create a dynamic, cascading effect. She worked on numerous other projects, including a master plan for the Hershey Company’s headquarters and designs for private homes. Despite facing societal scrutiny for her unconventional personal life and being a single mother, Pattison persevered to build a distinguished career. Her work was celebrated in 2016 when she was named a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She also authored a memoir, detailing her complex relationship with Kahn and her journey in the world of design.