Daily digest: Architects turn towards big bucks in the metaverse, Londoners complain about the cost of heating their sky pool, and more

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Daily digest: Architects turn towards big bucks in the metaverse, Londoners complain about the cost of heating their sky pool, and more

First unveiled in 2015, the tower-spanning sky pool in London was designed by Arup Associates with engineers Eckersley O'Callaghan and aquarium designers Reynolds. (Courtesy Ballymore)

Good afternoon and welcome to yet another rundown of what’s happening today. With the holidays approaching, if you haven’t gotten a gift for someone you care about yet, why not check out our guide to nonprofits in need of donations this year?

Here’s what you need to know:

Metaverse platform Decentraland is trying to lure architects with big money promises

What is the metaverse? There’s no single unifying digital reality to look to when reading breathless media coverage of how the metaverse will “change everything,” but rather fragmented landscapes looking to emerge as the dominant place for virtual art and real estate collectors to park their NFT superyachts. One such virtual realm looking to make a splash is Decentraland, which is offering design services to deep-pocketed investors through its Decentraland Architects offshoot. With some digital buildings selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, metaverse “landholders” are increasingly looking to entice architects to work for them.

H/t to Archinect

Residents of a London tower with a controversial sky pool complain over winter upkeep

Residents at Embassy Gardens in London, a high-end residential community that drew the internet’s attention (and ridicule) earlier this spring after it opened an 82-foot-long “sky pool” that stretches between the roofs of two towers, are reportedly up in arms over the exorbitant cost of heating the pool in the winter. According to Dezeen, residents are complaining that they’re paying nearly $600 a day to heat the pool in the winter, and it’s still cold, rendering it unusable—and that’s before adding in the cost of the full-time pool staff and security guard. The pool covering has also been lost, and the Embassy Gardens Residents Association will ask Ballymore, the complex’s developer, to close the pool (technically billed as an all-year amenity) for the winter.

H/t to Dezeen

Sasaki unveils the newly completed Dumke Arts Plaza in Ogden, Utah

an arts plaza with sculptures and purple lighting
The Dumke Arts Plaza on opening night (Weber State University/Ben Zack)

The Boston-based Sasaki has completed the new Dumke Arts Plaza in Ogden, Utah, a new public arts space in the city’s downtown for showcasing both major pieces of contemporary art and work from the community. The plaza formally opened on December 3 with installations from sculptor Chakaia Booke, and Sasaki was assisted in the design by Ogden-based firms IO LandArch and Union Creative Agency.

A bridge was stolen in Akron, Ohio

A 58-foot-long bridge in Akron, Ohio, was stolen in November and police have no idea who did it or why. The 10-foot-tall, 6-foot-wide bridge had been stored in a park after being removed from its original home in Middlebury Run Park, and though the city had planned on repurposing it, that was scrapped after the entire structure was discovered missing. Although the modular bridge is (or was, anyways) valued at $40,000, it’s made from a polymer that any thief would have a hard time cashing in on.

H/t to Boingboing

A massive Stonehenge show is coming to the British Museum in 2022

The British Museum has announced a blockbuster Stonehenge exhibition for next year, one that will bring together 430 artifacts from around the time the stone ring was raised (between 4000 and 1000 B.C.) to better contextualize the iconic site. At the heart of The World of Stonehenge, which opens in February, will be “Seahenge,” a ring of upside-down oak trees from approximately 2049 B.C—a wooden analogue to the titular stone site.

H/t to Artnet News