Greetings and welcome back to another warm Wednesday, the last of July. Despite the summer slowdown, there’s plenty going on that’s worth staying on top of this week.
Here’s what you need to know:
Copenhagen is named the UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2023
UNESCO has had a full slate of programming on its hands over the past week, and one of the major declarations that came out of the Extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee in Fuzhou, China, is the news that Copenhagen is the official World Capital of Architecture for 2023. The decision was made jointly with the General Assembly of the International Union of Architects (UIA), and the Danish capital will celebrate with a series of architecture tours, events, lectures, and more designed to showcase the city’s architectural heritage. A World Capital of Architecture designation lasts for three years, and the current holder of the title is Rio de Janeiro.
Renderings vs. reality: MVRDV’s Marble Arch Mound in London gets savaged
Visitors to MVRDV’s manmade climbing hill in London at the edge of Hyde Park are leaving disappointed, going so far as to call it “a monstrosity.” What was promised in renderings as a lush oasis in the middle of the busy city arranged as an 80-foot-tall artificial edifice has instead been realized as climbable scaffolding covered with a veneer of greenery panels. The $2.7 million Marble Arch Mound was realized with public money as part of a broader neighborhood revitalization scheme by the Westminster Council, but the installation has been so poorly received that the council has been offering refunds to unsatisfied visitors (yes, tickets to climb the slope start at over $6).
H/t to the New York Times
Theaster Gates is heading up the $4.5 million transformation of Chicago’s Kenwood Gardens
Artist, educator, urban planner, and 2022 Serpentine Pavilion designer Theaster Gates is still hard at work on his ongoing projects to revitalize the South Side of Chicago, even as he prepares to embark on a series of London exhibitions. The latest is the $4.5 million revitalization of the 1.3-acre Kenwood Gardens, an overgrown plot of land currently being turned into a community garden and space for artists and residents to gather. While Gates has already raised $1.5 million of the needed total and owns the lot, $3 million more is still needed in fundraising. Work is ongoing and Gates hopes the new and improved garden will open by 2025.
H/t to the Chicago Tribune
Claudia Wieser’s first public art installation will open at the Manhattan Bridge tomorrow
Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser will debut her first public art installation tomorrow, July 29, at the foot of Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of Washington Street. Sponsored by the Public Art Fund, Rehearsal will drop five sculptures of varying sizes, each clad in tile, mirror-polished stainless steel, and photos of Greek and Roman antiquities, in the park to create a gathering place and informal forum. The show will run through April 17, 2022, allowing the public the opportunity to explore each piece in all four seasons.
Shuttered I-40 bridge in Memphis gets a reopening date
The Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis carries a vital traffic arterial of I-40 between Arkansas and Tennessee but has been closed ever since a fracture was discovered in one of its steel beams back in May. Now, the nearly-50-year-old bridge, which was used by approximately 50,000 vehicles daily before closing, will reopen in a limited capacity next week. In a joint statement, the Arkansas and Tennessee departments of transportation announced that the eastbound lanes of the bridge would reopen in a limited capacity on August 2, and the westbound lane would reopen on August 6. This comes after workers installed 17 steel plates to shore up the affected beam.
H/t to the Seattle Times