Daily digest: A lunar wobble will make flooding worse, UCLA modernizes Paul Revere Williams’s Pritzker hall, and more

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Daily digest: A lunar wobble will make flooding worse, UCLA modernizes Paul Revere Williams’s Pritzker hall, and more

The eight-story, 125,000-square-foot Pritzker Hall was recently overhauled to bring it in line with modern seismic and sustainability requirements. The gridded facade was intended to blur the distinction between the building’s classrooms and windowless clinic rooms. (Photo by Kim Rodgers)

Welcome back to the top of another Thursday. More Summer Olympics news continues to trickle in as we inch closer to the opening ceremony, including concrete design details.

Here’s what you need to know today:

NASA warns that moon wobbles in the 2030s could cause record flooding

Climate change is driving higher tides, but unfortunately, fluctuations in the moon’s orbit will also drive potentially catastrophic flooding throughout the 2030s according to a new report from NASA. The moon regularly “wobbles” as it travels its 18.6-year orbit cycle, half of the time driving higher low tides and lower high tides. Throughout the coming decade, we’re due for the inverse, and the additional high tide height could be the tipping point that sees flooding in previously safe areas—and for areas already prone to flooding, water will push its way even further inland.

H/t to NPR

UCLA completes a total modernization of Paul Revere Williams-designed Pritzker Hall

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has completed a thorough modernization of the Paul Revere Williams-designed Pritzker Hall, a 100-foot-tall (and wide) cube with a distinct, deeply gridded facade. CO Architects handled the renovation, which involved converting the 1967 building’s single-story entrance into a double-height space, adding seismic dampeners to six of the building’s eight above-ground floors (there are three subterranean levels), and bringing the energy efficiency in line with contemporary standards. The 125,000-square-foot hall, which houses the school’s psychology department along with classrooms and laboratories, will reopen to students this summer.

A 4,000-year-old city is dug up in southern Iraq

A team of Russian archaeologists and Iraqi collaborators have uncovered a full 4,000-year-old city in Dhi Qar, in southern Iraq. The area is abundant in ancient archeological sites (the new discovery sits among 1,200 others) and the city could reportedly be the capital of a lost pre-Babylonian state.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

The medal podiums at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were 3D-printed from plastic waste

Japanese artist Asao Tokolo has designed the modular podiums that will be used to award the medals at this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo with accessibility and sustainability in mind. Each of the cubic structures keeps athletes six feet from each other to observe social distancing regulations (Japan is in a COVID crisis) and can be folded down to accommodate mobility impaired Paralympic athletes. The 98 podiums were 3D printed from more than 400,000 recycled laundry detergent bottles, collected at more than 2,000 collection boxes installed in schools across Japan, that were then turned into printer filament and infused with color.

H/t to Dezeen

As Italian museums reopen, tracking tech will quantify guests’ viewing habits

Museums in Italy are slowly reopening as COVID vaccination rate rises, and some are taking the opportunity to track visitors’ viewing habits to better optimize the galleries. Through a new program sponsored by Italy’s technology agency, ENEA, fourteen “ShareArt” trackers have been installed at the Istituzione Bologna Musei to document which pieces are getting foot traffic and how long guests are looking at them. Additionally, the sensors will be able to let the museum know which parts of the composition visitors are focusing on the most, which should help them tweak the positioning of each piece and the museum’s layout.

H/t to Bloomberg CityLab

Five Broadway theaters will get much-needed accessibility upgrades ahead of reopening

New York City’s stretch of world-class theaters is slated to reopen in September after having closed for over a year during the pandemic; but before that happens, five such Broadway theaters will gain wheelchair access. As part of a settlement brought by an Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint, the Al Hirschfeld, August Wilson, Eugene O’Neill, St. James, and Walter Kerr theaters will reportedly add 44 new wheelchair-accessible seats and remove over 200 potential barriers.

H/t to the New York Times