Sydney Opens an Airy Community Hub With Aboriginal Nods, and Other News

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The George Street Plaza and Community Building by Adjaye Associates and Daniel Boyd. Photography by Trevor Mein

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In Sydney, an Airy Community Hub With Aboriginal Nods

Sydney’s bustling Circular Quay neighborhood has welcomed its latest attraction, a cultural venue and community hub designed by Adjaye Associates that melds contemporary design ingenuity with Aboriginal nods. That fusion starts with the site’s anchor, a steeply pitched A-frame structure clad in black corrugated steel that references early shelters built by the region’s settlers. Angled slats allow for abundant natural light to stream inside the cavernous interior, where flexible space can accommodate a variety of uses.

Outside, a towering canopy’s random array of circular perforations cast riotous bursts of sunlight onto the newly formed George Street Plaza. It’s the brainchild of Daniel Boyd, an artist of Kudjla/Gangalu Aboriginal descent whose clever concept references both Gestalt psychology and traditional painting. “[It] provides a space to extend knowledge of experience,” Boyd says, “a multiplicity of experiences and narratives extending back 60,000 years through the connection of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.” The site was inaugurated last week with a smoking ceremony, an Aboriginal tradition that promises to cleanse people and places. Ashes are being donated to the building’s operator. —Ryan Waddoups

“Three Seed Multi” (2023) by Maya Lin. Photography by Maya Lin, courtesy of Pace Verso and Art Blocks

Maya Lin will release a series of NFTs stemming from her Ghost Forest installation.

Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest project, which planted 49 Atlantic white cedar trees in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park, served as a reminder of the precariousness of the natural world in the face of climate change. Now, the Surface cover star is taking her project one step further with “The Secret Life of Trees,” a series of generative art NFTs that uses complex algorithms to recreate the growth patterns of underground root systems. The project will be released in June and hosted by Pace Verso

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art closed for a day in support of Israel’s “day of paralysis.”

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel’s oldest art museum, participated in nationwide protests against the Israeli government’s controversial judicial overhaul. The museum closed its galleries in protest against “the government’s intensification of steps towards approving anti-democratic legislation.” An Israeli art exhibit remained open as a “stance of support for local creation.” The museum’s statement of support for the protests referred to its mission to “promote freedom of thought and expression” and its “unreserved commitment to the values of the [1948] Declaration of Independence, on which Israeli society is founded.”

The Flatiron Building sells at auction for $190 million, ending its protracted legal battle.

New York City’s iconic Flatiron Building, known for its triangular shape, was sold last week for $190 million at auction to Jacob Garlick, an outsider bidder from investment firm Abraham Trust. The building was put up for auction after four owners sued for a partition auction to oust the fifth owner, Nathan Silverstein, who was reportedly blocking renovations. The building has been unoccupied since 2019 and requires $100 million in upgrades before it can be rented.

A whiskey distillery for Blue Run Spirits in Georgetown, Kentucky. Image courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

Bjarke Ingels Group envisions a twisting distillery for Blue Run Spirits in Kentucky.

Blue Run Spirits has commissioned Bjarke Ingels Group to design its new whiskey distillery and rick house structure, called Meander. The 35,000-square-foot distillery, which will begin construction later this year, will be located at Lanes Run Business Park in Kentucky. Renderings depict a sequence of four interconnected pavilion-like structures that create bends and banks, inlets, and outlooks as the whiskey-making process meanders through the gentle hillsides, and a shingled roof of photovoltaic tiles twists to maintain optimal orientation.

After parting ways with Adidas, Beyoncé seeks to reclaim her Ivy Park activewear line.

Beyoncé and Adidas have ended their partnership, according to a source close to the situation. In 2018, the singer partnered with Adidas to relaunch her Ivy Park activewear line, but creative differences have led to the split. Beyoncé is looking to reclaim her brand and maintain creative freedom, and previewed her latest Adidas x Ivy Park collaboration called Park Trail, a day before she performed a private concert in Dubai in January. The singer will embark on her Renaissance World Tour in May across Europe and North America.

Maarten Baas lights up the entrance of a Utrecht library with colorful LED signage.

Maarten Baas has designed an eye-catching installation called Intellectual Heritage that adorns the arched main entrance of the Central Library in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The colorful signage and digital screens are inspired by roadside advertising and graphics, and feature literary-focused words and sayings in Latin, English, and Dutch, as well as the names of famous authors and graphic shapes. The piece also includes programmable LED displays with moving red text, pointing out the library’s uses and how the city engages with it, promoting the space as a place where students can congregate.

The Electric Cord Bag by Nik Bentel. Image courtesy of Nik Bentel

Today’s attractive distractions:

This energy-saving coating may very well be the world’s lightest paint.

Florida parents freak out because a school taught Michelangelo’s David.

Nik Bentel wraps a 25-foot-long electric cord into a new statement bag.

Scarlett Johansson wants you to forget that she launched a beauty brand.

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