Lifeguard Stands Become Beach Sculptures at Toronto’s Winter Stations, and Other News

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The Hive by Kathleen Dogantzis and Will Cuthbert at Toronto’s Winter Stations. Photography by Jonathan Sabeniano

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Lifeguard Stands Become Quirky Beach Sculptures at Toronto’s Winter Stations 

The winners for Toronto’s annual design competition, which transforms beach lifeguard stations into temporary structures during winter, have been announced. Ranging from abstract to practical, the three winning designs were inspired by the theme of resilience. “Over the course of the last year and a half, we have so clearly witnessed the immense ability of people to withstand and push through challenging and unprecedented times,” said the organizers of Winter Stations. “In recognition and celebration of this courage, the theme chosen for the 2022 edition is Resilience: the ability to withstand adversity and recover from difficulties.”

An apartment at The Gessner. Photography by Way of Life

The Gessner is bringing members club–inspired living to London’s rental market.

Property company Way of Life has teamed with Fettle Design to develop 164 fully furnished rental properties in north London’s Tottenham area. Called The Gessner, the project takes on a hospitality–driven members club format, with retro-inflected interiors and communal gathering spaces such an on-site cafe, kitchen, and gym designed to offer hotel-style amenities to residents.   

Wealthy Russians are spending big on luxury jewelry to help preserve their savings.

Sanctions on Russia have closed the stock market and sent the ruble tumbling, so wealthy Russians have been spending on luxury fashion and jewelry in order to prevent their savings from eroding. The Italian jeweler Bulgari reported increased sales at its Russian stores. “In the short term, it has probably boosted the business,” CEO Jean-Christophe Babin told Bloomberg. “How long it will last is difficult to say, because indeed with the SWIFT measures, fully implemented it might make it difficult if not impossible to export to Russia.” European luxury brands have continued operating in the country even as Apple and Nike have pulled out. The trade publication Business of Fashion, meanwhile, has urged retailers to shut down Russian stores and not ship products online in order to take a “strong moral position.”

House of Giza by Badie Architects

Badie Architects twists and bends an organic-shaped stone house in Egypt.

Dubbed the “House of Giza,” an idiosyncratic residence in Egypt is turning heads for its unusual exterior that resembles the form of a boulder. “Nature is our relief. It empowers us to follow its flows, be flexible, adaptable and celebrate the spirit of youthfulness,” says local studio Badie Architects. “By blending the edge between the human habitat and the natural world, and stripping it from the past, present, or future ties, we are creating a sympathetic and well-integrated structure with its surroundings to be part of a unified world.”

Yinka Shonibare opens an artist residency in Nigeria that will foster cultural exchange.

After years of planning, the British-Nigerian artist has opened an art space and residency called Guest Artists Space (G.A.S.) Foundation in Lagos and on a rural farm in Ijebu. The program will offer exhibitions and workspaces for artists from Africa and the diaspora that will foster exchange between artists of different cultures. Shonibare funded both sites himself, with the residencies and programs receiving support from his foundation and through various partnerships. “The art world needs to evolve,” Shonibare told The Nation. “There’s a rich vein of talent out there, but we might lose them if the status quo of the last 30 years remains. We’re working with the local community, whilst opening doors for the next generation, equipping them to thrive, not just survive.” 

“Rumors of War” (2019) by Kehinde Wiley. Image courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery

A heroic bronze by Kehinde Wiley is headed to an HIV/AIDS nonprofit in St. Louis.

Kehinde Wiley’s sculpture Rumors of War (2019) may at first resemble typical heroic male statues found throughout the United States, but a closer look reveals a Black protagonist wearing a hooded jacket and high-top sneakers. The bronze is currently heading to the new campus of Doorways, a nonprofit located in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Jeff-Vander-Lou, St. Louis, that offers affordable housing to those living with HIV/AIDS. “The Doorways campus is in a part of St. Louis that has not often had public sculpture, and not of this monumental scale and important content,” Lisa Melandri, executive director of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, told Hyperallergic. “It’s truly ‘public art,’ truly accessible, and it will allow a whole new array of audiences to experience it.” 

More than 6,500 Russian architects condemn the invasion of Ukraine in an open letter.

More than 6,500 architects, designers and urban planners in Russia have signed an open letter that condemns the invasion of Ukraine and “demands the immediate end of violent war.” Published online by Project Russia, the letter states “we, the architects and urban planners of Russia, consider the invasion of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine unacceptable. Political issues must be resolved exclusively by peaceful means! War cannot be an instrument of politics in the 21st century.” The letter further notes that “war devalues the very essence of the activity of an architect and urban planner, no matter what country they are in.” 

Neon’s NFT vending machine. Image courtesy of Neon

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