Tatiana Bilbao Brings Her Vision to Quito, and Other News

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Botániqo concept by Tatiana Bilbao Estudio and Uribe Schwarzkopf

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Tatiana Bilbao Brings Her Vision to Quito

Quito’s burgeoning Cumbayá neighborhood will soon meet its next landmark: Botániqo, a lush residential complex designed by Tatiana Bilbao Estudio and local building firm Uribe Schwarzkopf. Spanning across three acres, the nine-tower development is awash in greenery and recreational areas thanks to a master plan that prioritizes the needs of people first and foremost. Each of the 277 units will enjoy flora-filled communal terraces within buildings of slightly different design, yet which feel unified thanks to Bilbao’s vision. “Architecture must become a platform for each inhabitant to develop their own existence,” she says. “In Botániqo, the human being is at the center of both the concept and the space itself.” 

Buildings occupy only 35 percent of the footprint, leaving room for public amenities such as quiet garden squares for leisure and a green boulevard and bicycle path that circles the perimeter. That connects Botániqo to a brand-new public transit station made possible by a public-private partnership between the municipality and Uribe Schwarzkopf. When complete, the station will provide safe pedestrian access to Cumbayá’s main square—a crucial addition for a neighborhood that has long lacked sufficient public transit infrastructure.

Charles Zana Mobilier. Photography by François Halard

Charles Zana Unveils a Poetic Line of Pared-Down Furniture

Charles Zana has devoted the past three decades to creating artful interiors that unite a reverence for classicism with sweeping emotion for the likes of Cartier, Goyard, and Kimpton. His latest endeavor, however, reveals an entirely new dimension to his already-impressive practice. Having debuted this past week within a stately 18th-century Parisian townhouse at Hôtel de Guise is the first taste of Charles Zana Mobilier, his inaugural collection of furniture and lighting that evokes the subtle tonalities and delicate atmospheres of his finest interiors. 

Across more than 30 forthcoming pieces including armchairs, chandeliers, coffee tables, and desks, Zana showcases his affinity for fine craftsmanship and simple forms. Highlights include a solid oak armchair upholstered in nutmeg-toned fabric, vessel-like lamps that evoke Giorgio Morandi still lifes, and a sumptuous sofa covered in rich pistachio and cream fabrics that softly bends to embrace its sitters. “As a trained architect and an art lover, I’m guided by three fundamental principles: proportion, elegance, and comfort,” Zana says. “With this new collection, I seek to achieve the same balance between purity of forms, simplicity of volumes, and functionality as I embark on a new quest to create timeless design.”

Air 4 All by PriestmanGoode

A new airline seating prototype aims to make it much easier to fly in a wheelchair.

Boarding an aircraft with a disability can be stressful, physically invasive, and painful; most airline seating simply isn’t tailored for wheelchair users. Air 4 All, a new seating innovation designed by airplane interiors specialists PriestmanGoode, seeks to change that. It comes in two parts: a track installed on the floor of the plane and a bracket installed onto a wheelchair, making it so wheelchair users can drive their device right in to lock in place—a track system not unlike ones seen in car washes. The firm, which plans to unveil a working prototype by the end of the year, is currently in talks with an anonymous carrier to debut the system.  

A hydrogen-fueled Toyota Mirai lasted 845 miles between fill-ups, setting a record.

Over two days in August, a 2021 Toyota Mirai with a full tank of hydrogen added 845 miles to its odometer between fill-ups. The amount shattered the world record, clocking in at more than double the EPA’s official range rating. Driven gently and in higher-traffic, lower-speed settings, the journey minimized compressed hydrogen consumption. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles only produce water vapor—not carbon dioxide—from its tailpipe and are currently only available in California, which offers a thorough network of hydrogen fueling stations. 

Tschabalala Self staged her first-ever performance over the weekend at Performa.

The ascendant New York painter has recently gained renown for her quilt-like portraits of exaggerated female figures that ruminate on Blackness. Over the weekend, she staged her first performance that brings her more familiar motifs to life. Sounding Board, which enjoyed a three-day run at Performa, saw a female and male actor deliver dialogue that unpacks gender roles, power plays, and their own personal desires across three acts. Each element, including the dialogue, sculptures, and furniture setting the scene were all envisioned and designed by Self, conjuring the feeling of walking right into one of her mixed-media works.

Fifteen Fifteen by Büro Ole Scheeren

Büro Ole Scheeren’s Tetris-style skyscraper is ready for construction in Vancouver.

Located in the city’s Coal Harbour neighborhood, the striking Fifteen Fifteen tower includes 202 condos, ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes, 18 Observatory Residences houses in the cantilevered sections, and four penthouses. “My vision for Fifteen Fifteen was to forge an immersive three-dimensional connection between nature, urban living and personal space,” says Ole Scheeren.” The building actively positions the individual within its distinct community and embraces Vancouver’s breathtaking landscape.” Sales kick off in November. 

Austrian astronauts are simulating Martian life in Israel’s remote Negev desert.

Taking place in the harsh, far-flung Negev desert, the AMADEE-20 Mars Simulation program is the latest attempt to recreate the icy conditions on the Red Planet for survival training in the hopes that one day a manned mission is given the green light. Inside a 1,300-square-foot planetary dome near Israel’s Ramon Crater, six suited astronauts are at work conducting around 20 experiments in fields such as biology, medicine, psychology, and geology. The solar-powered titanium habitat mimics the air pressure on Mars, only 0.6 percent of Earth’s, meaning the astronauts must enter and exit fully geared in their metallic suits. The study is a collaboration between 200 researchers from 25 different countries.

Today’s attractive distractions:

Hajime Sorayama’s first NFT collection creates a techno-aquatic fantasy world.

Seattle police dismantle an undercover Lego trafficking operation “brick by brick.”

Facing a bus shortage, a school district is ferrying students to school on a party bus.

Mathieu Lehanneur fashions a “mobile hotel room” inside a Renault concept car.

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