The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 29 September 2015

Image: Seamus Murray

High-flyer

Plans to redevelop one of the world’s most iconic airport buildings took off last week as it was announced that JFK’s 1962 TWA Terminal, which has stood empty since the demise of the airline in 2001, would be revived as a hotel. The building, which is famed for its sweepingly sculptural form and for being one of the first airport facilities to boast enclosed jetways and baggage carousels, will be reborn as the 505-room TWA Flight Center Hotel by 2018. Two adjoining towers will be added to house these rooms but intervention to the original structure will have to remain minimal owing to its New York landmark status. Whatever the result, demand for a bed among airline aficionados is bound to be sky-high.

Image: Kohei Take

Roadside gems

Visitors to Japan are acquainted with the ubiquitous Michi-no-Eki – a roadside rest station that doubles up as a lively one-stop showcase for community businesses and culture. First rolled out in 1993, the original 103 outposts have burgeoned to more than a thousand today. Thailand is hoping to replicate Japan’s success. By the end of the year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand will introduce Michi-no-Ekis in 12 lesser-known provinces to draw more tourists to these areas. Farmers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs will be able to showcase their region’s best products while supplementing their often-fluctuating incomes at the same time.

Image: Alamy

Top job

Germany may be known for beer, cars and bratwurst but how about museum directors? German art historian Hartwig Fischer (pictured) will succeed Neil MacGregor as director of the British Museum this December. The 53-year-old will become its first non-British director in more than 150 years; his appointment is one of a number of cultural exchanges underway between Germany and the UK. Having turned round the ailing fortunes of the museum during his 13-year tenure, MacGregor is going to Berlin to head up the Humboldt Forum, an art complex. Meanwhile, the Victoria & Albert Museum has been superbly managed by Stuttgart-born Martin Roth since 2011. Although Fischer has big shoes to fill, it’s heartening to witness the success his compatriot has had across town and to admire the unfussy efficiency of German institutions.

Light fantastic

There was a bit of a lightbulb moment in London this weekend. If you were at Design Junction – part of the London Design Week that has just ended – you would have been struck by how many designers are entering the market as the makers of lamps, chandeliers and various forms of illumination. And while some of the designs had a futuristic edge, the majority seemed to have a decidedly retro feel: the stand for fixtures-and-fittings retailer Dyke & Dean was a glorious glow of chunky filaments and coloured cables and Joe Armitage showed a standard lamp first made by his grandfather in the 1950s. Why the new pursuit of old-school warmth? It all seems a reaction to the EU legislation that foisted stark energy-efficient bulbs on to people who had grown up with the subtlety of incandescent bulbs. A mellow fightback is underway.

From Monocle Films

What is quality of life?

How do we create cities that deliver quality of life for everyone? That can pull in global talent but also take care of locals? That are places that are good for a fun night out and also running a new enterprise? This film poses the questions that we all need to answer.

From Monocle 24

Why do we love medical dramas?

The people behind hit documentary series, 24 Hours in A&E, made by UK's Channel 4, reveal how they capture the real-life drama of a London emergency room.

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