Daily digest: Apple unveils a major L.A. office expansion, NFTs are undermining art world sustainability pledges, and more

Apple Of The Emmy's Eye

Daily digest: Apple unveils a major L.A. office expansion, NFTs are undermining art world sustainability pledges, and more

Rendering of Apple’s planned Culver City expansion, which will add another 550,000 square feet to its extant 500,000-square-foot presence in the L.A. area. (Courtesy Apple)

Good afternoon and welcome back to another roundup of the day’s important goings-on, chock-full of news to get you through to the weekend.

Here’s what’s happening today:

Apple will beef up its Los Angeles presence with two new office buildings

Apple is expanding its presence in the L.A. area dramatically (perhaps not so coincidentally as the company expands its streaming aspirations). The tech giant has revealed it plans to build 550,000 square feet of office space across two new connected buildings in Culver City, doubling its footprint at the headquarters of Apple TV+. The two mid-rise, pagoda-like buildings will reportedly be powered 100 percent by renewable energy, but Apple has yet to share when the project will break ground or its expected opening date, or the architect.

H/t to the Los Angeles Times

The art world pledged to go green, but NFTs might be undermining that goal

As art fairs the world over strive toward sustainability, cutting down on travel and making their work accessible digitally to move towards a new paradigm, all of that work could be undone by the proliferation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). As The Art Newspaper breaks down, the pandemic showed the biggest auction houses and galleries that there was an alternative way of doing things that would also help them hit their sustainability targets; but by selling NFTs, which by consequence of the energy required to actually exchange the digital tokens on a blockchain, all of that work could easily be dwarfed by the associated carbon emissions.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame reopens after a CambridgeSeven renovation

Interior of a basketball court
The Court of Dreams (Kwesi Budu-Arthur/CambridgeSeven)

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, is finally open again after a $25 million renovation courtesy of the Cambridge-based CambridgeSeven. In addition to revitalizing the building’s iconic dome topper and adding interactive elements to the museum’s exhibitions, the new “Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams” invites guests to play ball on a full-sized basketball-court-slash-multistory-atrium.

Katerra’s gone. What happens to the future of modular construction now?

Modular and prefabrication construction startup Katerra officially went under in June of this year, and the fallout could have major repercussions across the industry for years to come. In its latest Deep Dive feature, Construction Dive breaks down what the company got wrong and where it fell apart, from attempts to vertically integrate every aspect of construction too quickly, to a failure to woo over contractors from their existing subcontractors. Still, Katerra’s death hasn’t deterred an ongoing avalanche of funding towards construction technology companies, many of whom will need to navigate the same hurdles that killed their predecessor.

H/t to Construction Dive

Diana Kellogg Architects’ The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School will open next month in India

A round sandstone school in a desert
(Vinay Panjwani)

The New York-based Diana Kellogg Architects has completed an oval-shaped girls’ school in India’s Thar desert, and the complex is set to open next month. The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School is the first of three new buildings to rise as part of The GYAAN Center, which will be dedicated to providing young women with education and employment skills. The school, build from Jaisalmer sandstone hand-carved by local craftspeople, relies heavily on passive ventilation and shading to mitigate the brutal desert heat.

The City of London actually won’t take down its controversial slaver statues

The City of London is reportedly reversing course on a promise to rehome two statues of prominent politicians with links to the British slave trade. In January, the City of London (its own autonomous county with separate leadership and police than London proper) voted to take down two statues of William Beckford and Sir John Cass at a time when the United Kingdom, as a whole, was instead offering to protect and “recontextualize” monuments to problematic figures. Now, the City of London has backpedaled and the installations will remain.

H/t to The Observer