Studio Sofield Unveils Gilded Age Interiors for Steinway Tower, and Other News

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Studio Sofield’s interiors for the Steinway Tower in New York. Photography by Adrian Gaut

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Studio Sofield unveils interiors for Steinway Tower, the world’s skinniest skyscraper.

“​​Studio Sofield has completed the interiors of 111 West 57th Street, also known as Steinway Tower—a supertall skyscraper designed by SHoP Architects in New York City. The interiors mark the full completion of the 1,428-foot-tall skyscraper, which is the second tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the world’s skinniest with a height-to-width ratio of 24:1. Sited on a street bordering Central Park in Midtown known as Billionaire’s Row, the 91-story skyscraper has 46 residences with an additional 14 held in Steinway Hall, and a variety of amenities. Interiors designed by Sofield include the ‘block-long lobby sequence’ that connects the two aspects of the tower. Here, the studio restored the original flooring of the Steinway Hall and used limestone, marble, blackened steel, and velvet accents.” [H/T Dezeen]

Meta’s layoffs appear to have gutted Open Arts, the company’s art and design division.

“Last week’s round of 11,000 layoffs at Meta has gutted Open Arts, the company’s art and design division. It remains unclear how large the department was pre-layoffs, or how deep the cuts went, but a deep dive on LinkedIn suggests it was something of a bloodbath. ‘You may have heard that Meta laid off 11,000 people last week. I was unfortunately one of them. As was most of my (awesome) Open Arts organization,’ Matthew Israel, the former chief curator of Open Arts, wrote on LinkedIn. Rafael Flores, the strategic programs manager; and Anna Brümmer, the communications manager, shared similar messages. It appears Open Arts also let go of Jennie Lamensdorf, partnerships lead; Dina Pugh, lead of strategy and operations; and Kristen Leung, the strategic programs manager. The department has retained its head, Tina Vaz, who joined the social media company in 2019.” [H/T Artnet News]

Visitors at the Guggenheim Museum’s Hilma af Klint exhibition in 2018. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Hilma af Klint’s relatives condemn recent NFTs of the late Swedish artist’s paintings. 

Over 160 NFTs of works from Swedish artist Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Temple series were released for sale by the digital art company Acute Art and Stolpe Publishing on Pharrell Williams’s GODA (Gallery of Digital Assets) platform this week—despite the strong objections of a relative of the artist. ‘Even if you don’t believe in spirits, everyone carries spiritual beliefs and aspirations for something higher in life,’ Hedvig Ersman, the granddaughter of af Klint’s nephew, Erik af Klint, said in an interview with Hyperallergic. ‘Hilma af Klint’s paintings speak to us about that… That they’re being monetized, and itemized, and sold as NFTs—this completely goes against the will of Hilma af Klint.’” [H/T Hyperallergic]

In fashion’s largest deal this year, Estée Lauder will buy Tom Ford for $2.8 billion.

“Tom Ford—designer, film director, art collector, and fashion-world provocateur—can now add one more accolade to his list: billionaire. On Tuesday, Estée Lauder announced it had agreed to buy his company in a deal that totaled $2.8 billion. The deal is the largest in the luxury industry this year and is a testament to the enduring power of perfume. It comes as high-end brands are looking for new avenues for growth as business in China—once the engine for luxury beauty businesses—has become more difficult amid pandemic restrictions. Mr. Ford will stay on with the brand through the end of 2023, though his role beyond is not yet clear. The acquisition was driven by the strength of Tom Ford’s beauty business, which includes fragrance, cosmetics, and skincare, and for which Estée Lauder has had a longstanding licensing agreement.” [H/T The New York Times]

Louis Vuitton will transform its Paris office into a major complex anchored by a hotel. 

“Michael Burke won’t be enjoying his office at Louis Vuitton’s Paris headquarters for much longer. The chairman and CEO of the French luxury brand revealed plans to transform Louis Vuitton’s corporate offices into a sprawling complex including the world’s first Louis Vuitton hotel and its largest store worldwide—and that involves giving up his office, with its sweeping vistas of the historic center of Paris. Parent company LVMH has radically transformed the neighborhood in the last 18 months with the unveiling of the renovated La Samaritaine department store and Cheval Blanc hotel, and the opening of the first Paris branch of its Italian pastry stores, Cova. And he revealed that Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, is only getting started, with plans to attract more offices, stores, housing, restaurants, and cultural activities to the area.” [H/T WWD]

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station by Alain Fournier’s EVOQ Architecture. Photography by Alex Fradkin

The Canadian architect Alain Fournier will receive this year’s Ernest-Cormier Prize.

“Canadian architect Alain Fournier has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Ernest-Cormier Prize by the Government of Quebec. The EVOQ Architecture founder was honored for his advocacy work and educational contributions as well as his commitment to environmental justice and improving the quality of life for First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada. The award’s announcement likewise mentioned his ‘profoundly human approach to architecture’ pursued in lieu of a ‘signature style’ in order to serve as a ‘vehicle for emancipation’ through which members of the Indigenous communities can better assert their social objectives and culture.” [H/T Archinect]

Part-time faculty at the New School walked out to protest pay and working conditions.

“Part-time faculty members at the New School, a historically progressive university most famous for its Parsons School of Design, walked out en masse on Wednesday to protest pay and working conditions. The strike is a culmination of years of contentious relations between the adjunct faculty and the university’s administration. Teaching staff complained that administrator salaries were high compared to those of faculty, most of whom are part-time. Adjunct professors at the university have not received a raise in four years, and as a result, their real earnings have not kept up with inflation and are down 18 percent from 2018, according to A.C.T.-U.A.W. Local 7902, the union organizing the strike. The union said that while the university had offered a 3.5 percent wage increase during negotiations, it was not sufficient given record inflation in recent months.” [H/T The New York Times]

Image courtesy Nik Bentel

Today’s attractive distractions:

In a bear market, the ever-changing NFT scene has started embracing goblins.

Fashion’s current drink of choice? Nik Bentel’s Absolut espresso martini bag.

The new second issue of “anti-beauty” magazine Circus is endearingly absurd

Scientists discover wondrous new deep-sea animals near the Cocos Islands.

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