Snøhetta’s U.S. Workers Attempt to Unionize, and Other News

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Svart, a hotel in Norway by Snøhetta. Image courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes

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Around 90 workers at Snøhetta announce an attempt to unionize in the United States.

Employees of Snøhetta, a Norway-founded architecture firm known for its work focused on the outdoors, announced their attempt to unionize. The firm’s employees hope to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and become the second architecture firm to unionize in the U.S., following Bernheimer Architects’ successful voluntary recognition in 2022. The staff, who are already unionized in Norway, want to transform the industry by filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for an election and better understand how joining a union might impact their culture and business.

Future Fair returns to New York City with a clever plan to support emerging galleries.

Future Fair, a young gallery and space support platform, has returned to Chelsea Industrial for its third in-person event with 57 participating galleries. Focusing on fresh and trendy paintings, the fair aims to operate differently from the traditional model by introducing a profit-sharing agreement where 35 percent of profits generated are evenly distributed among the founding galleries. Another innovation, the Pay It Forward fund, distributed $10,000 in mutual-aid grants to nearly a dozen young and diverse participating spaces, allowing galleries to request to be a recipient and contribute to the fund.

Image courtesy of Sonic Sphere

The Shed will bring Karlheinz Stockhausen’s spherical Kugelauditorium to life in June. 

The Sonic Sphere, a modern realization of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen’s spherical concert hall, will be unveiled at the Shed in Manhattan next month. The eleventh and largest iteration of the Kugelauditorium concept features more than 100 meticulously arranged speakers throughout its geodesic frame, suspended within the Shed’s cavernous McCourt space, for an entirely new kind of listening experience. The sphere’s programming (June 9–July 7) includes playlists by Yaeji and Carl Craig, live performances by artists such as Igor Levit and a visual accompaniment by Rirkrit Tiravanija.

After a string of short-lived creative directors, Peter Do takes the top job at Helmut Lang.

Helmut Lang, the highly influential cult fashion label founded in 1986, has announced Peter Do will be taking the top job as creative director. Do, who cut his teeth in the ready-to-wear atelier at Phoebe Philo’s Céline and launched his eponymous label in New York in 2018, is known for his severe, sharp tailoring and downtown-cool appeal, which aligns with the brand’s ethos and heritage. Do will oversee both men’s and women’s collections, and his first for Helmut Lang will be presented during New York Fashion Week in September.

The Flatiron Building’s deed-holders sue its would-be new owner for failing to pay.

The Flatiron Building in New York City, which has been in the news after its recent auction and the subsequent failure of the highest bidder to pay, has become even more controversial as current deed-holders have sued the would-be new owner for failing to pay the down payment. The suit alleges the winning bid was fraudulent and the Abraham Trust, the entity that put forth the bid, did not actually have the means to pay. The drama has resulted in the property being put back up for auction on May 23 with stricter rules for participation.

Image courtesy of Four Seasons

Ken Fulk overhauls Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel with vibrant new public spaces. 

Ken Fulk has transformed the public spaces of the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, which include the lobby, bar, and restaurant. The entrance features European-style black-and-white tiles and a mural inspired by Maxfield Parrish’s art, while the lobby now houses smaller, more intimate lounge spaces. Coterie, the new bar and restaurant, features botanical illustrations, vintage lighting, brass accents, and a cocktail menu featuring custom-made botanical gin and honey from the hotel’s rooftop hives. Additionally, a renovated library and garden terrace offer guests a peaceful oasis, and a new coffee concierge lets guests order through the hotel app.

A major new growth plan will transform parts of L.A. and address the housing crisis.

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted in favor of plans that will lead to a significant expansion of residential development in Hollywood and Downtown L.A. The new plan for Hollywood will add 35,000 housing units, while Downtown L.A.’s plan, called DTLA 2040, will create 100,000 housing units and add 175,000 residents. The plan includes an “inclusionary” housing requirement that dictates every new project in the area must contain an affordable housing component, which could serve as a model for future community plan updates. Despite delays due to community review, the pandemic, and disruptions caused by a federal investigation into a play-to-play scheme with real estate developers, the approval of the plans signals a significant step forward in addressing L.A.’s housing crisis.

Image courtesy of The Boring Company

Today’s attractive distractions:

Archaeologists discover unusual Roman military camps in Saudi Arabia.

Greece is outfitting hundreds of beaches with wheelchair-friendly ramps.

The new film Maestro’s real star is Leonard Bernstein’s country house.

Elon Musk is planning to build 69 stations for the Las Vegas Hyperloop.

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