Daily digest: MVRDV unveils the towering Sun Rock, an NFT museum will open in Seattle this month, and more

Solar Power Rising

Daily digest: MVRDV unveils the towering Sun Rock, an NFT museum will open in Seattle this month, and more

Located at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park, the Sun Rock will contain offices, operations, maintenance, and public viewing space for Taiwan’s state-owned power company Taipower (© MVRDV)

Good morning and welcome back to another roundup of this week’s breaking news.

Here’s what you need to know today:

MVRDV unveils a towering solar mound for Taiwan’s Taipower

This morning MVRDV pulled back the curtain on another idiosyncratic creation, a towering new operations center for Taiwan’s state-owned Taipower near Taichung. Rising to a bulbous peak, Sun Rock resembles a sloping hill covered in at least 43,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels and certainly lives up to its name—the massing, orientated, and angle of the solar shingles were all intended to collect as much sunlight throughout the year as possible.

Once complete, Sun Rock will contain offices for the government-run power company, but also public galleries, storage and maintenance for Taipower’s power generating equipment, and the “Data Room,” an atrium at the core of the building that will track the company’s operations and sustainable power generation across Taiwan in real-time.

The Seattle NFT Museum will open at the end of this month

While New York City’s NFT museum has seemingly stalled out since it was announced in May of 2021, another project has usurped it as the world’s first such institution. The Seattle NFT Museum is on track to open on January 27 inside of a Belltown storefront and will feature 30 screens on which to display a rotating collection of NFT art. Although founders Jennifer Wong and Peter Hamilton reportedly have very little art experience, they plan on offering NFT education courses as part of the museum’s programming.

H/t to Artnet News

Salone del Mobile officially moves to June

After reports started bubbling up last week that Salone del Mobile would be pushed to June over the unfettered spread of COVID, yesterday festival organizers confirmed that the 60th edition of the international furniture fair would be moved to June 7 through 12, 2022.

“The decision to postpone the event will enable exhibitors, visitors, journalists and the entire international furnishing and design community to make the very most of an event that promises to be packed with new things, in total safety,” said Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, in a press statement.

“As well as celebrating a major anniversary, the event will focus on the theme of sustainability, acting as a showcase for the progress made in this regard by creatives, designers and companies. Moving the event to June will ensure a strong presence of foreign exhibitors and professionals, which has always been one of the Salone’s strong points, and it will also give the participating companies time to plan their presence at the fair as thoroughly as possible given that, as we know, the progression from concept to final installation takes months of preparation. The desire for a Salone is increasingly strong, which is why we are working towards an event that will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy a unique, concrete and exciting experience. We are all really longing for a Salone.”

Bill Gates is revitalizing a small Wyoming town with an experimental nuclear reactor

In the small Wyoming town of Kemmerer, an experimental liquid sodium-cooled nuclear reactor project funded by Bill Gates is breathing new life into the community. The TerraPower project (the company was founded by Gates) is expected to bring scores of new jobs and residents to the town of 2,700, and when operational, could provide power for up 345,000 homes and up to 500,000 when operating at peak efficiency, across the coal-dependent state.

H/t to the Seattle Times

Alabama is plowing ahead with plans to build new prisons with COVID funding

Despite a new ruling from the U.S. Treasury Department that COVID-19 relief funding couldn’t be used by states to build new correctional facilities (in response to rising crime rates), convention centers, stadiums or other prospective drivers of economic growth, Alabama is moving ahead with plans to build at least two new prisons at a cost of $1.3 billion. Of that, $400 million will come from federal COVID relief funding intended to help the state rebuild after accruing a budget deficit as a result of the pandemic.

Alabama is currently selecting contractors and deciding on finalized designs for the new prisons, and is arguing that the money can be spent under the Treasury Department’s lost revenue provision, claiming that the state suffered a $536.7 million shortfall. However, some critics aren’t buying it and the state will need to provide the Treasury Department with written justification for the project to proceed.

H/t to Construction Dive

Zaha Hadid Architects has paid $16 million to keep its name

Zaha Hadid Architects has reportedly paid the Zaha Hadid Foundation $16.16 million (£11.9 pounds) over the last five years for the use of Zaha Hadid’s name—in 2021 the firm paid $4.62 million (£3.4 million) alone. The licensing fee is tied to the firm’s turnover for the year, which hit a record $82.68 million through April of 2021 (£60.9 million) with $12.2 million in pre-tax profits for the same period (£9 million).

H/t to Building Design Online