Snøhetta Touches Up a Norwegian Glacier Hotel, and Other News

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Hotel Finse 1222 by Snøhetta in Norway’s Hardangerjøkulen glacier

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Snøhetta Touches Up a Norwegian Glacier Hotel

When it came time to give Hotel Finse 1222 a spruce, the architecture firm Snøhetta knew to leave well enough alone. The humble century-old lodge on the outskirts of Norway’s Hardangerjøkulen glacier has hosted a wide variety of guests since it first opened in 1909 as a place for railroad workers to rest their heads. The visitor log includes everyone from Prince Charles and Norwegian figure skater Sonia Hennie to Stormtroopers—scenes from the Star Wars classic, The Empire Strikes Back, were filmed there in 1979—and thanks to a nip here and a tuck there, Finse is primed for another run. In the dining room, the decorative plaster ceiling has been preserved and appointed with historically appropriate brass-stemmed lamps; the floral-print William Morris wallpaper is new, though the inspiration for the motif comes from the upholstery Snøhetta discovered covering old furniture in the attic. 

Up at the highest point along the Bergen Railway, sunset drinks are taken at Blue Hour—named for the cobalt hues that fill the sky at dusk. Guests take it in from the wide-windowed lounge, where plush blue sofas and benches draped in furry throws await along with an unexpectedly dynamic wine list for such a remote outpost. (Finse even has its own custom blend thanks to a partnership with Tuscany-based wine producer Coffele.) Nearby, the hulking fireplace has been restored to its former glory and is the spot to retreat to come night, perhaps with a book from the library’s polar literature collection. Though all of the 45 rooms have been tastefully refreshed, book one of the two new Jøkul suites if available. Tucked beneath the property’s sloping roof, floor-to-ceiling windows provide sweeping views of Hallingskarvet National Park and, from the boxy bathtubs, Lille Finsenut mountain. —Nate Storey

Daniel Libeskind’s design for the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

Daniel Libeskind unveils his design scheme for Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.

“The caretakers of the Tree of Life synagogue intend to transform the site of the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history and expand its mission. Newly released design plans show a revitalized complex housing a sanctuary, museum, memorial and center for fighting antisemitism—unified symbolically and physically with a dramatic skylight running the length of the structure. The new design is by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, whose previous works include Jewish museums, Holocaust memorials and the master plan for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center after 9/11.” —[H/T The Times of Israel]

Jean Paul Gaultier teases an upcoming collaboration with Lotta Volkova on Instagram.

“Jean Paul Gaultier only picks the best of the best when it comes to creative partnerships. Now, JPG has taken to Instagram to reveal an upcoming collaboration with stylist and creative Lotta Volkova. Starting off as a key part of Vetements’ early success alongside Demna, Volkova has since worked with some of the biggest labels in the industry, including styling Miu Miu’s Mountain Club collection as well as the label’s Fall/Winter 2022 runway show.” —[H/T Highsnobiety]

New York will soon receive an interactive museum dedicated to female empowerment.

“This summer, a new Museum of Women is coming to Soho and its founders intend to empower women with over a dozen experiential, colorful and immersive exhibits to get those fierce hormones flowing. Founder Abby Trott said she has brought in a team “of amazing, talented women” to design the upcoming exhibits at 480 Broadway between Broome and Grand streets. Different rooms will highlight the female experience and inspire women through their interactions with the art.” —[H/T New York Post]

Rendering of the AIA’s reimagined headquarters by EHDD

The AIA shares plans for turning its Brutalist headquarters into a net-zero building.

“In late April, the organization unveiled a schematic design by San Francisco’s EHDD for a long-planned headquarters renovation that it hopes will pull the building from behind the curve to ahead of it, and make a case for the AIA’s—and the profession’s—leadership in confronting contemporary crises. Its designers say that the project will achieve the rare feat of fully compensating for its carbon impact: not only is it aiming to achieve net-zero operation, but it will also offset the carbon emitted in construction through a novel arrangement in which the AIA will donate solar panels for use by low-income homeowners.” —[H/T Architectural Record]

Gucci will become one of the first major fashion labels to accept cryptocurrency.

“Gucci is tapping into the crypto crowd. The brand will accept cryptocurrency payments in some US stores at the end of this month, and plans to extend the pilot to all of its directly operated North America stores this summer. The move marks a major validation for the currency from a leading luxury brand. In-store crypto payments will be made with a link sent via email to the customer; the link contains a QR code that allows them to execute the payment from their crypto wallet.” —[H/T Vogue Business]

The ICA San Francisco is offering empty gallery space to abortion rights activists.

“As soon as news hit on the night of 2 May that the US Supreme Court prepared a draft of its majority opinion to strike down Roe v. Wade, many artists and curators began making strong statements online supporting legalised abortion and a woman’s right to choose. Images of Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground), which the artist originally made in 1989 and plastered over the streets of New York, quickly proliferated on social media. But conspicuously missing were any statements from leading American museums. The ICA San Francisco for its part, which considers social justice part of its DNA, is offering its new gallery space (set to open to the public this autumn) free of charge to abortion-rights activists.” —[H/T The Art Newspaper]

Sphinx House by John Outram in Moulsford, Oxfordshire. Photography by James O Davies, courtesy the Historic England Archive

Today’s attractive distractions:

The three inventors of the sports bra overcame an “endless series of challenges.”

John Outram, dubbed an “architectural terrorist,” now graces T-shirts and mugs.

This new variety of vegan meat turns air into protein without releasing methane.

Janelle Monáe went from an early Goosebumps enthusiast to best-selling author.

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