Daily digest: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Vilnius railway station, the MTA’s in dire straits (again), and more

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Daily digest: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Vilnius railway station, the MTA’s in dire straits (again), and more

The winning entry, Green Connect, will overhaul the central Vilnius railway station and bridge the active rail lines to a new public plaza. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects/Rendering by Negativ)

Good morning and welcome back to yet another recap of the day’s important news to know.

Here’s what’s going on:

Zaha Hadid Architects wins competition to reimagine the Vilnius railway station

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has been named first in an international design competition to overhaul the Vilnius railway station in the titular Lithuanian city. The winning entry, ‘Green Connect,’ will not only renovate and upgrade the existing station but will include a new bridge spanning nearly 500 feet over the existing railroad tracks topped with a swooping roof in line with ZHA’s design canon. Green roofs and a sunken public plaza with twists mimicking the bridge are also included in the redevelopment.

The MTA could run out of money by 2025

In what perhaps should not be too shocking of news, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is reportedly facing down disaster (again). After narrowly avoiding “draconian” service cuts earlier this year after the Biden administration provided federal funding to keep the beleaguered bus and train administrator afloat, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reportedly warned yesterday that the authority could blow through its $14.5 billion in aid by 2025. If ridership doesn’t return to pre-pandemic levels and congestion pricing fails to make a dent in the MTA’s annual operating deficit (it won’t be able to collect funds from the program until 2023), massive service cuts and staff layoffs could potentially send the system into a death spiral as riders flee. The MTA currently owes $48.5 billion.

H/t to Crain’s New York

Airbnb pulls East Village “glamping” vans after they go viral

Paying $97 a night to camp out in the East Village sounds like a deal that’s too good to be true… because it is. Airbnb has reportedly pulled listings for a series of “glamping” vans permanently parked around the Manhattan neighborhood after a YouTuber stayed in one and drew attention to whoever listed them. Listings for seven converted vans (without bathrooms, it should be noted) were pulled from the site, likely because leaving a converted van on the street for over 24 hours is illegal in New York City—many of them had already racked up thousands in tickets.

H/t to Curbed

The National Academy of Design welcomes eight new academicians

The National Academy of Design has named eight new National Academicians, and the cohort will be formally inducted into the academy at a ceremony on October 27. Each academician, nominated for their contributions to contemporary American art and architecture, will donate a piece to the academy. So far more than 2,300 academicians have donated work since the academy was formed in 1825.

This year’s group includes:

  • Architect Andrew Freear of Rural Studio in Newbern, Alabama
  • Artists Joanne Greenbaum,
  • Peter Halley,
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock,
  • Rashid Johnson,
  • Julie Mehretu,
  • Joanna Pousette-Dart, and
  • Gary Simmons

Italian politicians protest after the unveiling of a sensual monument to farm laborers

A monument to farm laborers in the Italian town of Sapri is drawing criticism for its… cheeky take on the subject matter. Designed by sculptor Emanuele Stifano, La Spigolatrice instantly drew mockery online when it was revealed earlier this week over its ample and scantily clad butt and sultry gaze. Italy’s female politicians complained that the statue was an inappropriate way to honor farmers and objectifying, but Stifano defended his work to Artnet, saying he always “celebrates” the human form no matter the assignment.

H/t to Artnet News