Daily digest: A $1 billion solar farm is scrapped over land art impact, Queens’ tallest tower is complete, and more

Slippery When Wet

Daily digest: A $1 billion solar farm is scrapped over land art impact, Queens’ tallest tower is complete, and more

One of the channels of Double Negative, carved into the eastern side of Mormon Mesa in Nevada (Clf23/Wikimedia Commons/Accessed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Welcome back to another roundup of art, design, and architecture news to start your week off with.

Here’s what you need to know today:

The largest solar farm in the U.S. canceled over impact to Michael Heizer’s Double Negative 

The $1 billion Battle Born Solar Project was supposed to have been the largest solar farm in the United States, covering the Moapa Valley hilltop in the desert north of Las Vegas. Then, last week, developers withdrew their application with the Bureau of Land Management after locals complained that the solar panels would overshadow local attractions and destroy the area’s tourism economy. Opponents claimed that the solar farm, which would have covered 9,000 acres across the 150,000-acre Mormon Mesa, would have negatively impacted endangered wildlife in the area and destroyed the context for Michael Heizer’s enormous work of land art, Double Negative. Built in 1969, Double Negative sees two 50-foot-deep trenches carved into the mesa at the end of an eastern valley, and was donated to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 1984.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

Dubai is generating artificial rainstorms to beat the heat

Sure, it’s hot and dry in the U.S. right now (so much so that the megafires wracking California have actually merged) but Dubai has regularly been hitting 115 degrees and above this summer. It’s gotten so bad that scientists in the United Arab Emirates have been ramping up their experiments in cloud seeding; spraying particulates in clouds to create surfaces for water droplets to coalesce on, then shocking them with electricity to (hopefully) induce rainfall. Last week, the UAE released footage of a rainstorm over Ras al Khaimah and other areas that it claims was prompted by the technology. Although only in its nascent stages, the government hopes to use cloud seeding to bring regular rain to the historically dry kingdom as temperatures increase.

H/t to CBS News

A typhoon is the latest disaster to hit the Tokyo Olympics

A typhoon is expected to touch down in Tokyo tomorrow, June 27, swamping an already troubled 2021 Summer Olympics. Although only a 3-out-of-5 on the meteorological scale, the storm has forced Olympic organizers to change some events around, such as archery and tennis; an additional hurdle for the games, which have seen 100-plus-degree temperatures punish participants and coronavirus outbreaks both in the city proper and athletes’ village.

H/t to the AP News

The tallest tower in Queens is finally complete

The 778-foot-tall, 68-story Skyline Tower is finally complete in Long Island City, Queens. The residential tower at 23-15 44th Drive, designed by Hill West Architects with Whitehall Interiors serving as interior designer, is now the tallest building in the borough. While Skyline Tower is expected to hold that title for the foreseeable future, design-wise the building sits right at home among the other tall glass boxes that have sprung up across Long Island City in recent years (for better or for worse).

H/t to New York YIMBY

Grace Farms will reopen September 8 with new installations

Grace Farms will reopen its 80-acre New Canaan, Connecticut, campus September 8 and has announced a slew of new shows and initiatives to mark the occasion. That includes architecture and astronomy tours, lectures, book launches, community dinners, and the debut of Alyson Shotz’s new site-specific sculpture, Temporal Shift, a stainless-steel hoop installed alongside SANAA’s River building. A full list of events, initiatives, and art exhibitions coming up in the fall can be found on the Grace Farms website.

Moody Nolan is designing a home in every city where it has an office and giving them away for free

Moody Nolan, with 11 offices across the U.S., is the largest Black-owned architecture firm in the country. In 2017, the company launched the Legacy Project to give back to the communities it is entrenched in, designing one home in every city where it has an office. Intended for families who can’t afford a mortgage but can pay for upkeep, the first Legacy Project house has already been completed in Columbus, Ohio, where the firm is headquartered. The second, in Nashville, has reportedly received its construction permits.

H/t to Fast Company