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On reflection

Norway [CATHEDRAL]

The new Cathedral of the Northern Lights in the Norwegian town of Alta is an impressive landmark for the region. “We wanted to use a colour that would reflect the area’s beautiful Northern Lights so decided to use titanium for the exterior,” says John Lassen of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, who has worked on the project together with Link Arkitektur A/S for the best part of the last decade. The building spirals into a 47-metre tower, a nod to the traditional belfry. The floors of the raw concrete interior are paved with oak to emphasise the building’s Nordic roots.

Tome zone

Global [BOOKS]

Construction and Design Manual: Parking Structures, Ilja Irmscher

Published in two volumes, this is an extensive look at the construction and design of parking lots across the globe, taking in 50 multi-storey car parks, such as the bamboo-clad garage at Leipzig Zoo. The book also discusses the future of automated car parks and what makes good signage to help drivers find their way back to their cars.
dom-publishers.com

Why a man should be well-dressed: Appearances can be revealing, Adolf Loos

The late Viennese Adolf Loos was an “anti-architect” who favoured austerity. His attitude to fashion was no different and this lesser-known collection of 14 essays is a sharp-tongued, informative guide that tackles dandyism at the turn of the century. Up for discussion are shoes, short hair, the advent of jersey underwear and Loos’ disdain for ready-made neckties that signify the end of Viennese chic. The guide translates into a modern-day handbook for the 21st-century fop.
metroverlag.at

Seat treat

Sweden [STOOL]

A little stool can very easily get lost among the thronging stands of a giant trade fair. Luckily for Minus Tio, the brilliant young Swedish furniture manufacturer, its pared-down Citizen Ghost steel-and-wood stool stood out at the recent Stockholm Furniture Fair. Although it’s barely there, it is supremely practical: it’s stackable, with a removable foot bar and interchangeable seats. And, for such a minimal design, it has an unlikely amount of character; the designers Svensson/Wingård say its shape is inspired by the Groke, a character from Tove Jansson’s Moomins. Soon to be a classic in schools, no doubt.
minustio.se

Doing the light thing

Taiwan [LAMP]

Taiwanese brand Pegacasa is the product-design branch of the IT firm Pegatron, a former subsidiary of hardware giant Asus. Launched to showcase the design skills of its workforce outside of IT, Pegacasa has come up with a sleek collection of office-ware including this minimalist p-005 lamp made from bamboo. Created by Pegacasa design director Alain Lee and designer Ming Yang, the light will be stocked this year throughout Europe, including at Le Bon Marché.
pegacasa.com

Seat treat

Sweden [STOOL]

A little stool can very easily get lost among the thronging stands of a giant trade fair. Luckily for Minus Tio, the brilliant young Swedish furniture manufacturer, its pared-down Citizen Ghost steel-and-wood stool stood out at the recent Stockholm Furniture Fair. Although it’s barely there, it is supremely practical: it’s stackable, with a removable foot bar and interchangeable seats. And, for such a minimal design, it has an unlikely amount of character; the designers Svensson/Wingård say its shape is inspired by the Groke, a character from Tove Jansson’s Moomins. Soon to be a classic in schools, no doubt.
minustio.se

Q&A Scott Stringer

Manhattan Borough president

USA

New York City has announced a plan to build a new storm barrier along its East River as part of a revamp of the waterfront.

*What does the proposal for the East River Blueway entail?**
The plan advocates for six projects including the Blueway Crossing and flood barrier, a new elevated pedestrian and cyclist bridge, public access to the natural beach under the Brooklyn Bridge, freshwater wetlands and reconstructed natural habitats, a planted bridge at Corlears Hook Park, a boat launch for kayaks and the transformation of the Skyport Garage’s rooftop into a public garden.

How does the addition of the wetlands reserve benefit Manhattan?
Creating an intertidal marsh has the potential to improve water quality and restore habitat conditions. Additionally, incorporating salt marshes along the shoreline would have the added benefit of dissipating wave energy from the East River, minimising the kind of storm damage we saw during Hurricane Sandy.

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