Daily digest: Architect Alexis Sablone is skateboarding at the Olympics, Alan Jones bashes the RIBA board, and more

An Online Hermitage

Daily digest: Architect Alexis Sablone is skateboarding at the Olympics, Alan Jones bashes the RIBA board, and more

Edwin’s Place, a new supportive housing complex designed by RAMSA in Brooklyn (Francis Dzikowski)

Welcome back to the top of another Tuesday. If you’re, well, anywhere in the United States right now, be warned that haze and smoke from the wildfires raging across California is blanketing the entire country.

Here’s what you need to know today, in non-fire news:

Architect Alexis Sablone is representing the U.S. in Olympic skateboarding

Brooklyn-based architect and MIT and Columbia grad Alexis Sablone has been shredding it up at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The 34-year old Connecticut native is representing the United States at the inaugural women’s skateboarding competition, and although she made it through the semifinals, Sablone ultimately ended her run in fourth, just a hair away from qualifying for a medal. Sablone’s work focuses primarily on smaller-scale installations, and she has two forthcoming sculptures planned for Stockholm and West Palm Beach, Florida.

H/t to Archinect

Alan Jones comes out swinging at the RIBA board, accusing them of intimidation

A week after Alan Jones announced he was stepping down from the Royal Institute of Royal Architects’ (RIBA) board, the soon-to-be-former president has come out swinging against his employers. In a July 25 internal memo obtained by the Architects’ Journal, Jones claims that his complaints against current RIBA CEO Alan Vallance were gagged by the institution in return for his reinstatement as president last year (following a sabbatical after an extramarital and potential blackmail claims came to light). He also claims that there were complaints raised against Vallance last year that the board chose to either disregard or insufficiently investigate. The RIBA board, for its part, refuted Jones’s claims in a separate memo sent the day after on July 26.

H/t to the Architects’ Journal

L.A. reveals design of its first street-legal tamal cart, at a hefty price

After years of health inspectors and police in Los Angeles hassling streetside tamal vendors, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has given the green light to an official, standardized cart. Designed by food truck engineer Richard Gomez, the new carts were created to pass the DPH’s stringent food safety requirements (which, somewhat unfairly, are the same standards used for full brick-and-mortar restaurants). The new carts will sell for approximately $7,500, which is out of reach for many food vendors; accordingly, a number of local vending advocacy nonprofits are currently working to develop loans for interested buyers.

H/t to L.A. TACO

A Robert A.M. Stern Architects-designed affordable housing complex opens in Brownsville

Edwin’s Place, developed by supportive housing nonprofit Breaking Ground and designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, has officially opened in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The eight-story, 115,500-square-foot building features 125 units with support for the formerly homeless and low-income New Yorkers, and the massing of the building drops back over the entrance to make clearance for the adjacent elevated subway tracks.

Jony Ive and Prince Charles launch a climate change design lab

Jony Ive, the former Apple industrial designer and architect, is teaming up with Prince Charles to launch the Terra Carta Design Lab; a climate change-focused initiative at the Royal College of Art. The lab will last 100 days and culminate with the start of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November, where students will show off their designs for tackling everything from greenhouse gas emissions to new economic models for sustainable trade. The shortlist will be chosen during the conference and a winner will be announced sometime in 2022.

H/t to Dezeen

The Hermitage will auction off NFTs of its most famous holdings

If you thought a venerated institution like Russia’s Hermitage Museum was above selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs), you thought wrong. Earlier this week, the 257-year-old art museum announced that it would be selling digital tokens of five great works on the Binance marketplace; according to Artnet News that includes:

“Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna Litta (1490); Giorgione’s Judith (1504); Vincent van Gogh’s Lilac Bush (1889); Wassily Kandinsky’s Composition VI (1913); and Claude Monet’s Corner of the Garden at Montgeron (c. 1876).”

Prices for the digital works have not been disclosed but the proceeds will go toward the museum.

H/t to Artnet News