Rockwell Group Turns Union Station Into an Oscar-Worthy Setting, and Other News

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Rockwell Group’s transformation of Union Station into a setting for the Oscars. Photography by Spencer Lowell

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David Rockwell turns a landmark L.A. train terminal into a glamorous setting for the Oscars.

One of design’s most cinematic names worked his magic (again) for the 93rd Academy Awards. Having conceived the sets for Hollywood’s big night in 2009 and 2010, David Rockwell returned during a challenging year to transform the 1939 Union Station terminal into an ornate setting fit for the COVID era. For inspiration, he looked to the ceremony’s origins nearly a century ago when the event was a more intimate affair, creating a “room within a room” inside the Art Deco landmark.     

Claudio Luti, the longtime president of Salone del Mobile, announces his resignation.  

Just four days after Salone del Mobile confirmed its postponed edition would run in September, the fair’s longstanding president, Claudio Luti, announced his resignation. According to the Italian press, Luti resigned amid his dissatisfaction that this year’s event would be downsized due to fewer attendees and exhibitors. His resignation follows the cancelation of the 2020 event and the delay from its traditional slot this year in April to September due to the ongoing pandemic.  

Saint Laurent reveals a short film, French Water, that debuts the summer 2021 collection.

Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director of Saint Laurent, teamed up with Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé for the first part of their spring/summer film series. Unveiling the summer 2021 collection, the latest nine-minute vignette features Charlotte Gainsbourg, Indya Moore, Julianne Moore, and Chloé Sevigny as friends at a dinner party that ended, but the night is just beginning. Leo Reilly co-stars as the waiter still serving libations—French water, to be exact—in an act that seems to signal this summer’s promise of bringing back pre-pandemic life, a time when nightlife was alive and people wore clothes instead of sweatpants. 

An $8 billion development in Boston has been designed to withstand rising sea levels.

When planning the redevelopment of the former Suffolk Downs racetrack near Boston Harbor, HYM Investment Group contracted the engineering and planning firm VHB to plan for future climate change–induced rising sea levels. The site, which will include 10,000 housing units, 5.2 million square feet of offices, 850,000 square feet of hotel and retail space, and a 40-acre network of public open areas, sits less than a half-mile away from the Atlantic Ocean and has a creek running through it. The solution: a series of floodable linear parks, which the modeling showed would be the most likely to be inundated during extreme weather events. 

The giant blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History

New Yorkers can get vaccinated under the American Museum of Natural History’s giant whale.

It’s not necessarily news that New York City landmarks are being converted into mass vaccination sites, but none are more exciting than the giant blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History. The 94-foot-long polyurethane and fiberglass model, which was first installed in 1969, will now hover over New Yorkers seeking protection against the coronavirus. As a bonus, anyone who gets vaccinated there will receive a voucher for complimentary future admission for a part of four. “In years to come, I really can imagine this, we will look at images of New Yorkers getting vaccinated under the whale and it will be a snapshot of New York and New Yorkers fighting back, caring for themselves, caring for one another, and of the time when things started to turn for the better,” Ellen Futter, president of the museum, told the New York Times. You can register for a vaccine appointment at the museum using this link.

Andrew Cuomo reveals two potential redesigns for the oft-maligned Penn Station.

One of New York’s most maligned transportation corridors will soon undergo a dramatic reinvention. New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled two potential redesigns for Penn Station that would transform the dreary subterranean labyrinth into a light-filled transit destination. Designed by FXCollaborative and WSP, the two options resulted from a year-long “strategic re-envisioning” of the maligned terminal undertaken by the MTA, NJ Transit, and Amtrak. The agencies determined that increased concourse space to reduce congestion, streamlined station operations, improved circulation, ADA compliance, and new retail opportunities would be crucial to the redesign. It’s also back to the drawing boards for Cuomo’s Empire Station Complex General Project Plan, which previously sought to clear several existing blocks nearby to make room for ten new skyscrapers. The project has been temporarily suspended after a widespread public outcry.

Casino Caracas

Today’s attractive distractions:

An illegal former casino in Caracas gets transformed into a cultural hub.

Using AI, scientists make major strides toward decoding whale language.

Floyd debuts a circular marketplace to sell refurbished pieces of furniture.

JR unveils a poignant new film about Australia’s agricultural emergencies.

All Stories