Daily digest: Zaha Hadid Architects converts World Cup tents into refugee shelters, Biggie statue lands in Brooklyn, and more news

Sculptures and Shelters

Daily digest: Zaha Hadid Architects converts World Cup tents into refugee shelters, Biggie statue lands in Brooklyn, and more news

Tents designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be used as refugee shelters. (Courtesy Education Above All Foundation)

It is Wednesday, my dudes! From World’s Fair architecture in San Antonio to fancy historic estate renovations in Upstate New York, here’s the news you need to know today as we make our way toward the upcoming holiday week.

(Luke Hayes/Courtesy Education Above All Foundation)

Zaha Hadid Architects donates its World Cup tents to organizations that assist refugees

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), in partnership with Education Above All (EAA), is donating 27 of the modular tents it designed for this year’s FIFA World Cup to refugee communities in Syria, Turkey and Yemen. The structures will be used as clinics, schools, and temporary shelters. International Organization for Migration (IOM) is taking 15 tents for ten schools and five clinics in Yemen and Turkey. Qatar Red Crescent is taking the remaining tents to Syria to serve as shelters.

Three ZHA-EAA tents are currently in use in Pakistan and Turkey for hundreds of Pakistani and Syrian refugee children.

“We have a like-minded partner in Education Above All who is committed to investing in innovative design for the better good of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities,” Zaha Hadid Architects Project Architect Gerry Cruz said in a press release. “Together, we developed a robust, cost-effective, and lightweight modular architectural system with fabric envelope to build structures that can be adapted in many variations to meet the conditions and lives of displaced children and children on the move.  We hope that these newly donated tents will bring safety, learning and play to thousands in Yemen, Syria and Turkey.”

The Tower of the Americas in San Antonio is slated for major renovation

The City of San Antonio issued a Request for Proposals to upgrade The Tower of the Americas. It will be the first comprehensive revamp of the Space Age structure since its opening during the World’s Fair in April 1968.

Work will be concentrated on the tower’s observation deck,  to repair a leaky interior, update plumbing, and repair stucco soffits, among other fixes. It’s not the first time the building has got some work done: crews carried out minor repairs in the 1980s, and the rotating restaurant was renovated in 2006.

Department of Public Works Assistant Director Luis Maltos told the San Antonio Business Journal that the structure’s height will be a main challenge for the construction team.

“As you can imagine, it’s a structure that’s 750 feet up in the air,” Maltos said. “The majority of the cost is accessing the tower.”

RFP submissions are due January 10. If all goes according to plan, work will kick off in early 2024.

H/t to KSAT

Rendering of the Frederic Church Center (New York State Parks)

Architecture Research Office designs education and visitor center at home of famous Hudson River School painter

Earlier this month New York Governor Kathy Hochul revealed that the Hudson, New York estate once owned by a notable Hudson River School painter will undergo extensive renovations, with the addition of a new education and visitor center.

The property was owned by Frederic Edwin Church, a 19th century artist known for landscape paintings including The Heart of the Andes. Now known as Olana State Historic Site, the landmarked home and gardens attract over 200,000 visitors each year. 

Groups will enter the Frederic Church Center for Art and Landscape lobby via a stepped terrace and linked to outdoor paths that connect to Olana’s historic carriage road network. Inside, there will be a multipurpose room and cafe. The new building will be designed by New York City–based Architecture Research Office.

In addition, the exterior of Church’s house will be painted, a maintenance facility will be constructed, and native species will be planted, among other improvements next year.

“The new projects will build on the legacy of Olana—the visionary home, studio and landscape design of artist Frederic Church and his family,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “The Frederic Church Center will add to this canvas and help to welcome patrons to one of the most strikingly beautiful places in New York State.”

All in all, the new construction and renovations are expected to cost $25 million.

Brooklyn Bridge: Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings by artist Sherwin Banfield was recently installed in downtown Brooklyn. (Noemie Trusty)

New sculpture near the Brooklyn Bridge honors The Notorious B.I.G.

Earlier this month leaders from the DUMBO Improvement District and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) gathered near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge to unveil a sculpture honoring one of Brooklyn’s most famous residents: Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G” Wallace.

Brooklyn Bridge: Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings, celebrated the 1990s hip hop legend famous for tracks like “Juicy” and his posthumous number one hit “Mo Money Mo Problems.”

Artist Sherwin Banfield explained the inspiration for the sculpture in a statement: “‘It was all a dream,’ the opening lyric from The Notorious B.I.G.’s hit track ‘Juicy,’ exemplifies my dream of creating this monument … [delivering this project means so much to me personally, my story and artistic development as well as countless fans of Hip-Hop Culture who continue to be positively affected and influenced by the communal experiences and sonic frequencies of B.I.G.’s artistry. I cherish the significance of the potential impact on young children of color who will have an opportunity to experience a public sculpture that represents and reflects their identity, circumstance and/or dreams.”

The sculpture is part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Park program, an initiative that brings contemporary art to parks in the five boroughs.

Long Beach COVID memorial remembers virus victims

This month the Long Beach, California City Council okayed plans for a COVID memorial in downtown’s Lincoln Park. The Council selected a proposal from PAO Design that honors COVID victims as well as those (everyone?) who were impacted by the pandemic. Before construction begins, PAO has one year to nail down the details and permitting for Twin Arches.

“The proposed artwork beautifully honors the members of our community lost to COVID-19 and the lives impacted by the pandemic,” Long Beach Mayor Mayor Robert Garcia told CBS LA.

PAO Founding Partner and Principal James Shen explained the concept to the Long Beach Post on December 14. The memorial’s steel arches will be fitted with a covering that can be extended to create an event space

Shen said the hollow steel arches would be inscribed with victims’ names in a series that slowly fades to black to recognize lives still-to-be changed by the pandemic. The arches, Shen added, will also contain a retractable covering that could be extended to create a temporary event space between the arches.