Daily digest: First photos of the wrapped Arc de Triomphe, preserving Brutalism in Hong Kong, and more

Keeping It Under Wraps

Daily digest: First photos of the wrapped Arc de Triomphe, preserving Brutalism in Hong Kong, and more

Fabric panels being unfurled in front of the outer walls of the Arc de Triomphe, September 12, 2021 (Matthias Koddenberg/ © 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation)

Good afternoon and welcome back to another roundup of fresh news stories. Summer may be winding down across the U.S., but we aren’t out of the woods with extreme weather just yet; Tropical Storm Nicholas is currently making landfall across Texas and Louisiana, putting millions of residents at risk for flooding.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Check out the first photos of Christo’s wrapped Arc de Triomphe ahead of its debut

Work on Christo’s Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped has nearly wrapped. Ahead of the installation’s September 18 opening, architectural photographer Jad Sylla has documented the process of draping the 185-year-old Parisian monument in silver polypropylene fabric. (Red ropes will cinch the piece together.) The idea for swaddling the icon—and reducing it to pure, abstract form in the process—had long been a dream of Christo and partner Jeanne-Claude. Plans got off the ground while Christo was still living (Jeanne-Claude died in 2009), but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them back until after his passing last summer. Like the duo’s other large-scale, ephemeral works, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped will only be on view for a few weeks, running through October 3. If you can’t get to Paris in that narrow period, be sure to catch the livestream.

H/t to Archdaily

A “clean shipping” business is sailing goods up and down the Hudson River without emissions

A shipping venture is ferrying local goods from the Hudson Valley to New York City along the Hudson River using just wind power. The Apollonia has been making the 100-mile trip since May of 2020 and, when it reaches the city, relies on solar-powered electric bikes and even horse-drawn carriages to make last-mile deliveries. Of course, the Apollonia isn’t the first sailboat to attempt wind-powered freight trips on the river; per the Times, similar businesses have previously failed, with crews facing numerous challenges.

H/t to the New York Times

Architects fight to preserve Hong Kong’s Brutalist legacy

Although Brutalism has long been a part of Hong Kong’s architectural landscape, it has escaped the attention of the international press and architects the world over. With Unknown, a group of local Brutalism lovers is looking to change that. The exhibition, now open at the OpenGround Cafe in Hong Kong through September 19, highlights 15 (of 70 documented) exemplars of the style, ranging from religious and cultural structures to recreational hubs. New and archival photographs, hand-drawn elevations, and cement boards imprinted with facade textures allow visitors to get hands-on with each building. It’s hoped that the show will draw attention (and preservation care) towards these relics of the past.

H/t to the South China Morning Post

Paul Revere Williams’ Los Angeles home under consideration for monument protection

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission unanimously voted to consider the Jefferson Park home of late architect Paul Revere Williams for inclusion on the city’s Historic-Cultural Monument List. Williams, who was one of the most accomplished Angeleno architects of his time, designing homes for the wealthy and famous, lived at 1271 W. 35th Street from 1921 to 1951; but as the commission noted, he did not design his own house. Rather, because of his race, Williams was forced to settle for a less-than-desirable location—a fact that was was integral to the home’s nomination. Although inclusion on the monument list wouldn’t spare the building from demolition, it would allow preservationists to delay demolition by 180 days—and up to 360—so that an alternate resolution may be found.

H/t to NBC Los Angeles

Detroit’s Dearborn Hyatt Regency will be sold and turned into an apartment complex

Detroit’s monolithic, C-shaped Dearborn Hyatt Regency hotel has been shuttered since December 2018, but the 45-year-old building will be getting a new life. A New York–based developer is reportedly under contract to purchase the former 773-room hotel and convert it into an apartment building with 375 units (possibly with a hotel component). The sale is expected to be made final in the next few weeks.

H/t to the Detroit Free Press