Daily digest: BIG unveils a hotel covered in birdhouses, the Eiffel Tower gets even taller, and more

It's For The Birds

Daily digest: BIG unveils a hotel covered in birdhouses, the Eiffel Tower gets even taller, and more

Once complete, the BIG-designed Biosphere will be wrapped in 350 birdhouses. (Courtesy BIG)

Good afternoon and welcome back to another daily news roundup. While today’s top story may have been Francis Kéré’s groundbreaking Pritzker Prize win, there’s still plenty going on that’s worth mentioning.

Here’s what you need to know:

BIG’s Biosphere is a Swedish hotel sphere covered in 350 birdhouses

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has unveiled a single-room hotel to be strung in the trees of a remote Swedish Lapland forest, the latest contribution to the sprawling Treehotel development there. Dubbed Biosphere, the glass box will be wrapped in 350 birdhouses, which BIG is hoping will encourage visitors to erect birdhouses at home once they leave. Of course, commentators were quick to point out on Twitter that the birdhouses face away from and obscure the windows (not to mention the cleanup that will be required across the curtain wall after the birds depart given that the structure is mainly wrapped in glass). Only time will tell how the design shakes out when it’s actually built.

H/t to Dezeen

The Eiffel Tower gains another 20 feet

The Eiffel Tower now measures in at 1,083 feet tall, up from 1,063 feet, after a communications antenna was installed earlier today via helicopter. Originally completed in 1889, the Parisian landmark first measured “only” 1,024-feet-tall before an earlier transmitter addition in 1957.

H/t to the AP

A fabled roller-skating rink will reopen at Rockefeller Center

Roller skating is returning to Rockefeller Center starting April 15, as today plans to reintroduce “Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace” in place of the iconic Midtown Manhattan ice skating rink in the warmer months were formally unveiled. The original Flipper’s was a family-owned rink in West Hollywood, California, that operated for only three years from 1979 to 1982, but the new incarnation will be a seasonal endeavor. Tickets will be $20 (excluding the cost of skate rentals), and can be reserved at

Berggruen Arts & Culture will take up residence in the newly restored Palazzo Diedo in Venice

Venetian architect Silvio Fassi has been tapped to restore the 17th century, neoclassical Palazzo Diedo, which will reopen in 2024 as the new home of Berggruen Arts & Culture, a new multifaceted exhibition space for the Italian city.  The new venue is intended to foster artmaking in Venice by providing space for an artist-in-residence program, and the first to do so will be Sterling Ruby; the first part of his multi-year A Project in Four Acts installation will debut in April of this year.

“As someone with a deep love of Venice, I have wished for a long time to provide a place where art can be inspired by this city and created in the city,” said Los Angeles-based investor, philanthropist, and collector Nicolas Berggruen, who is donating some of the works that will be put on display, in a press release. “We are thrilled to now realize this dream by renovating the Palazzo Diedo—a magnificent building long associated with one of Venice’s historic families—and making it accessible to the broad public as a base for the wider Berggruen Arts & Culture initiative. We look forward to seeing innovative artists from the city itself and around the world come to Palazzo Diedo to make new work and put forth new ideas, returning Venice to its eminence as a site of artistic creation.”

The demolition of a Brutalist megamall in Scotland is dividing preservationists

A Brutalist mall in Cumernauld, Scotland, called Centre Cumbernauld could soon be on the chopping block for a much squatter town center with retail, schools, and healthcare options, but preservationists are hoping the megastructure, which originally held a mall and penthouse apartments, can be saved. The North Lanarkshire Council has purchased the building with the intent to tear it down and replace it entirely (though no architect has been announced for the project yet). Although the center was expanded in 2007, it has been largely neglected and left to decline, and opponents of preserving the structure are arguing that replacing it could boost the economy by hundreds of millions of dollars.

H/t to the Architects’ Journal