Daily digest: Heatherwick Studio debuts a “tropical opera house,” a fund for rehabilitating Ukrainian heritage sites, and more

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Daily digest: Heatherwick Studio debuts a “tropical opera house,” a fund for rehabilitating Ukrainian heritage sites, and more

Bird's eye rendering of Hainan Performing Arts Centre. (Heatherwick Studio/Devisual)

As we inch toward the second weekend in April, here’s a fresh batch of news to keep you informed and in the know:

World Monuments Fund announces Ukraine Heritage Response Fund

Today, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) announced the launch of the Ukraine Heritage Response Fund, a resource for the country’s preservationists to support future rehabilitation of heritage sites threatened or damaged during the ongoing war with Russia.

“World Monuments Fund deplores the loss of life that is taking place in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” said Bénédicte de Montlaur, WMF President and CEO, in a statement. “As an organization committed to safeguarding our shared global heritage, we believe that the destruction of cultural heritage is a loss for humanity as a whole. Our decades-long experience in crisis response around the world continues to reveal the lasting consequences of this destruction on communities.”

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation donated an initial $500,000 to the fund. 

In recent years, WMF has responded to crises all over the globe, including those in Japan, Iraq, Yemen, Tanzania, Mexico, and Peru.  

Heatherwick Studio debuts a “tropical opera house” in Haikou, China

London’s Heatherwick Studio is bringing a performing arts center to Haikou, the capital of China’s Hainan province. Renderings of the Hainan Performing Arts Centre depict an opera house, a concert hall, and a theater grouped underneath a colorful tri-peaked roofline with a jagged edge that lifts up like a petticoat at the front references the area’s rugged volcanic landscape. The project will be Heatherwick Studio’s first-ever music venue (if that’s not too lowbrow a descriptor for a program that includes an opera house).

Heatherwick won a competition put on by the Haikou Tourism and Culture Investment Holding Group, which wanted to commission a “cultural landmark” for Haikou. Construction on the project will begin later this year.

H/t Building Design

Redevelopment of Detroit’s landmarked United Artists Building begins

Construction has commenced on the long-vacant United Artists Building in downtown Detroit. The 18-story, almost-100-year-old Detroit landmark will be redeveloped into approximately 150 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Twenty percent of the units will be affordable housing, available to those with incomes at 80 percent of the area median. In addition to apartments, the redevelopment will include 10,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. 

Bagley Development Group LLC and Olympia Development are leading the project, according to Urbanize Detroit. The team tapped local architect Hobbs + Black for design. The project to redevelop the renaissance revival high-rise, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was first announced in 2017 and is part of the District Detroit plan for development near the Little Caesars Arena. The United Artists Building housed a grand theater that opened in 1928 and closed in 1975 after a long decline. The rest of the building was shuttered in the 1980s.

H/t to Urbanize Detroit 

James Florio wins the 2022 Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award

The Julius Shulman Institute (JSI) at Woodbury University has bestowed its Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award on artist James Florio. To coincide with the honor, an exhibition of his work entitled On Light, Time, and Materiality will be shown at The BAG, a new architect-run  gallery space in Los Angeles. The opening reception will be held on the evening of April 22. 

Florio’s work centers the built environment, including the effect of time on buildings and landscapes. Right now, he’s an artist-in-residence at Montana’s Tippet Rise Art CenterThe 2021 award winner, the Chicago-based photographer and writer Lee Bey, will present the award to Florio. In addition to Bey, other past JSI Excellence in Photography Award honorees include Catherine Opie, James Welling, Victoria Sambunaris, Benny Chan, Livia Corona Benjamin, and Iwan Baan. 

Tweet of the day: Supertalls ≠ housing

Architect and UCLA urban planning professor Kian Goh shared a supertall critique on Twitter today:

Readers, do you agree?