Daily digest: Ellen hosts a furniture design competition, timber prices soar, and more

Daily Digest

Daily digest: Ellen hosts a furniture design competition, timber prices soar, and more

New Yorkers can soon get vaccinated under a life-sized blue whale, which has called the American Museum of Natural History home since 1969 (Courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History)

Welcome back and happy Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know to start today off right:

Ellen DeGeneres is hosting a design show for HBO Max

HBO is giving Ellen a second chance after a year of blowback over her alleged on-set treatment of staff and guests at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Starting this Thursday, April 22, HBO Max is streaming Ellen’s Next Great Designer, where up-and-coming designers will tackle “innovative” furniture design challenges until only one winner remains.

Ellen might be hosting, but judging the competition will be actor Scott Foley (who will also double as a host, it seems DeGeneres will pop in and out), L.A.-based interior designer Brigette Romanek, and artist and ephemeral designer Fernando Mastrangelo.

New Yorkers can soon get vaccinated under the American Museum of Natural History’s blue whale

The transformation of New York City’s iconic cultural sites into vaccination hubs is continuing apace as officials ramp up efforts to get needles into arms. First it was the Javits Center (off of an ultimately unsuccessful turn as a COVID triage hospital), then Yankees Stadium, and now New Yorkers can get their shots underneath the AMNH’s life-sized whale.

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that starting April 23, the museum would turn the Hall of Ocean Life into a vaccination site open to all New Yorkers. (At the time of writing, anyone over 16 across all 50 states is eligible for vaccination.) Plus, getting vaccinated at the museum will net participants a general admission pass for 4 guests, so expect registrations to fill up quickly.

Appointments (available here) at the American Museum of Natural History are available Fridays through Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

RIOS is designing the Warner Music Group’s new headquarters in Downtown L.A.

RIOS (formerly Rios Clementi Hale Studios) has been tapped to design a new Los Angeles headquarters for the Warner Music Group. Last week, developer Hines reportedly filed plans for a 13-story, mixed-use tower that artfully blends brick and sheer glass facades at 2045 E. Violet Street. From the renderings, it seems the 217-foot-tall, 450,000-square-foot office building will make ample use of saw-tooth rooflines throughout, a visual nod to the industrial Ford campus to the south.

H/t to Urbanize Los Angeles

The U.K. is ramping up its pledge to cut carbon emissions

Ahead of this coming Earth Day on April 22, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly looking to make its emission targets even stricter. The United Kingdom is already legally mandated to transition to a net-zero emission economy by 2050, and had pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 68 percent by 2030; now, the government plans on moving to a 78 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2035.

What does that mean for architecture and construction in the U.K.? Unfortunately, without government guidelines in place for the AEC industries, or tax credits or support for retrofitting older buildings to be more efficient, it’s a bit unclear how this might actually be achieved.

H/t to the The Architects’ Journal

Timber prices hit new record highs

Driven by a boom in housing, surge in DIY projects and remodels, and the effects of tariffs, the price of timber for construction continues to hit record highs. Although logs are cheaply available across the American South, timber futures hit $1,326.70 per 1,000 feet of board, and lumber mills are cashing in on that price difference (or spread).

Although the high price of timber is actually cutting into home development at this point, and though trade groups have appealed to the Biden Administration for relief, it appears wood will only become more valuable in the near future as supply chain logjams get sorted out and mills expand their capacity.

H/t to Forbes

Kengo Kuma wins the ARCA Wynwood Design Challenge

Stone, tile, and wood manufacturer ARCA has named the winner of its international design challenge Balance as it Relates to Nature. ARCA and jurist Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture, selected Kengo Kuma & Associate (KKAA) as the winner of the competition to reuse 38 ARCA marble bricks in a sculpture at the new ARCA Wynwood showroom in Miami.

For the winning entry, KKAA stacked the tiles into a breezy masonry wall that both celebrated the materiality of the bricks but also allows for air and light to pass through to create a sense of permeability. ARCA will reportedly build a larger-scale version of the winning design.

H/t to Architect Magazine