Daily digest: Zaha Hadid Architects moves to employee ownership, China takes over the Evergrande Guangzhou Football Stadium over debt, and more

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Daily digest: Zaha Hadid Architects moves to employee ownership, China takes over the Evergrande Guangzhou Football Stadium over debt, and more

A rendering of the completed Guangzhou Evergrande Football Stadium (Courtesy Gensler)

Good afternoon and welcome back to yet another roundup of what’s happening today. There’s a lot, so let’s dive right in.

Zaha Hadid Architects transitions to employee ownership

Today, international architecture firm and parametric giant Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) announced that it had moved to an employee ownership model, freeing it from the demands of outside investors. The firm has established an Employee Benefit Trust, and will reinvest its profits back into the business and its employees—the firm currently has more than 500 workers worldwide.

China seizes the world’s largest football stadium from its indebted developer

The Gensler-designed Guangzhou Evergrande Football Stadium is slated to be the world’s largest soccer stadium once it’s completed in 2022, but who will actually own the arena seems to be up in the air at the moment. Construction on the $1.86 billion stadium has reportedly halted for the moment as developer China Evergrande Group, struggling to repay the $300 billion in debt it owes for projects across China, has ceded control to the central government. Now, China plans on reselling the stadium and land it sits on—and if there are no bites, the state-owned Guangzhou City Construction Investment Group could reportedly purchase the plot.

H/t to Reuters

Artist Michael Kagan brought a floating space capsule to Miami

NFTs and climate change awareness seem to have (paradoxically) taken center stage at this year’s Miami Art Week, but Brooklyn-based painter Michael Kagan is instead trying to raise excitement for space exploration. To that end, Kagan has set APOLLO 2021 adrift in Biscayne Bay, a life-sized space capsule fabricated by Fatum Arte in Madrid, and the sculpture is currently for sale for $175,000.

H/t to Artnet News

The new O’Hare people mover is up and running after 6 years of delays

Eight years after the project was first announced (and three after it was supposed to have been completed), the new Airport Transit System at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is finally finished and open to the public. Plagued by the complexity of the design, inflating costs, supply chain snarls, and eventually the pandemic, construction on the automated people mover system only began in 2017, one year before the original completion date. Now the updated system (O’Hare’s original people mover debuted in 1993) can carry approximately 4,800 passengers per hour, twice the capacity of the old system thanks to longer cars. The people mover is currently in operation from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., but will expand to 24/7 service in 2022.

H/t to the Chicago Sun-Times

Explore a chic mobile home from the ’80s that can fold up to save space

Thirty-five years after Dutch architect Eduard Böhtlingk first unveiled designs for a camper that can unfold its accordion-like “wings” to go from portable to livable, you still can’t (and never could) actually buy one. That all might change, as Böhtlingk’s design, which uses clear plastic to create a light and airy environment despite the small square footage, will go on display at OPEN HOUSE in Geneva next year, an exhibition dedicated to novel mobile housing solutions, presenting the design to a new generation of enthusiasts.

H/t to Designboom

This gallery in Manchester showcases the beauty of rust

Artist Stephen Raw has been documenting the beauty of rust for most of his life, and Hyperalleric took a trip to his newly opened “rust gallery” in Manchester, England, where his artifacts are on display. Rust is change and decay, and visitors to Rust: The Art Gallery are encouraged to touch (and ultimately fragment) the pieces, each getting wetter and rustier every time it rains thanks to a coal shoot that pierces the property.

H/t to Hyperallergic