Happy Friday and welcome back to another roundup of the art, architecture, and urbanism news.
Here’s some reading to keep you rolling into the weekend:
The Whitechapel Bell foundry in east London will become a boutique hotel
The historic foundry that cast Big Ben’s bell and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell can officially be converted into a high-end hotel, according to the United Kingdom government. The controversial decision published yesterday by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, caps years of debate over the future of the east London foundry, which was originally established in 1570. Preservationists are chuffed, calling it a money grab that will destroy a vital part of England’s history.
H/t to The Art Newspaper
The internet is relentlessly mocking David Hockney’s London Tube redesign
Speaking of artistic goings-on in London, the internet has dogpiled on artist David Hockney after his redesign of the Piccadilly Circus station branding was revealed. His (probably intentional) childlike reinterpretation was touted by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as part of the city’s domestic tourism campaign to get people out and about again, but commentators have called it low effort and wondered why a newer, less established artist couldn’t have been hired instead. Decide for yourself below:
Brilliant work from David Hockney in Piccadilly—the first of a series of major art projects we’ve commissioned as part of our brand new #LetsDoLondon campaign. Lots more to come very soon! #DavidHockney pic.twitter.com/djW8BGSNuu
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) May 11, 2021
H/t to Artnet News
Brexit could cause the U.K. to run out of construction materials
One last story from across the pond: a construction boom is already causing material shortages across the U.K., but the backlog in certifying those materials could lead to a full-blown crisis. The chief executive of the Construction Products Association has warned that the U.K. government’s slow changeover from CE Mark (the E.U. standard certification for material safety and performance) to its own system could grind the supply chain to a halt.
H/t to Building Design Online
The Metropolitan Museum of Art acknowledges that it sits on Lenape land
Yesterday, May 13, Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it had installed a new plaque on its facade acknowledging that the building sits on Lenape tribe land. The full text is as follows:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is situated in Lenapehoking, homeland of the Lenape diaspora and historically a gathering and trading place for many diverse Native peoples, who continue to live and work on this island.
We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, and future—for their ongoing and fundamental relationships to the region.
H/t to Hyperallergic
New York’s Open Streets program is officially permanent
It’s on the books: New York City’s Open Streets program was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday. A full list of the participating streets can be found here. The Mayor also announced $4 million in funding to keep the program running through 2022. Communities across the five boroughs are encouraged to submit applications to expand the program where street closures are needed most.
Jason Young named the new dean of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Architecture and Design
Jason Young has been named the new dean of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Architecture and Design. Young, who currently teaches and serves as director of the School of Architecture at the university, will take over his new post effective July 1. In his new role, Young will oversee four departments: “architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and design.”