Saturday 2 April 2016 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Saturday. 2/4/2016

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Saturday

Image: Phaidon

Small but perfectly formed

Do the best things really come in small packages and should the phrase “perfectly formed” so frequently prefix diminutive goodies? If Rebecca Roke’s Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things from Phaidon is anything to go by, then yes. In form it’s a glossy 300-plus-page affair but inside its colourful covers the new book makes a bigger point: that architects have plenty to consider when plumping for petite commissions. From doggy dwellings and cat chalets to bird nest-esque treetop abodes, pavilions and pagodas, these projects – by architects including Kenya Hara and Herzog & de Meuron, designer Thomas Heatherwick and artist Ai Wei Wei – show that intimacy and a small scale can be fruitful topics for architectural exploration. For more and an interview with the author tune in to the Monocle Weekly at 12.00 UK time this Sunday.

Image: Keith Beaty/Getty Images

Art for all

Speculation was rife about the fate of Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art when it was priced out of its Queen Street West location last year. So fans of the institution breathed a sigh of relief this week when it was announced that it will officially reopen with a new name at a new location in May 2017. The Museum of Contemporary Art_Toronto_Canada will welcome visitors in its new digs in a former automotive building in the city’s emerging Lower Junction neighbourhood. With a range of 21st-century works by artists from all over the world, CEO Chantal Pontbriand wants the rebranded 10-storey institution to be “everyone’s living room” where there’s a free exchange of ideas. With a 40-year lease in place, art lovers can breathe easy; the museum will escape the claws of the neighbourhood’s inevitable gentrification.

Image: Curzon

Victoria’s secret

Sebastian Schipper’s latest film, out now, takes the central idea of his previous excellent Euro-thriller Run Lola Run – and runs with it. Like mad. Victoria is a single 140-minute shot that throws our titular heroine from a nightclub to a (bad) boy’s house to a crazy, breathless heist, a naked sun-up rave and an unforgettable showdown. Schipper has done wonderful things in making a fresh thriller that defies many of the genre’s tropes; he presents a heroine who is both vulnerable and strong and has penned an unlikely, dirty-glamorous postcard from Berlin. Victoria would be a masterpiece if it weren’t already a meisterwerk.

Image: Benson Kua

If you build it they will come

Tourism to Hong Kong may be down but the city’s international airport is now ready to welcome up to 10 million extra passengers a year. A new midfield concourse entered full operation this week, handling 230 new flights per day. The Aedas-designed building, located in between the two existing runways and connected to the automated airport railway, will be able to handle more than 20 per cent of all passenger traffic and provide additional parking positions for A380s. Nearly 70 million passengers passed through the airport in 2015, representing an 8 per cent increase year-on-year, although cargo traffic stalled. The midfield concourse is built on the last piece of available land on the airport’s artificial island. Any significant future development of the hub – including a planned third runway – will require fresh land reclamation.

Image: Colby Aley

Illustrating movies

Whatever happened to the art behind some of cinema’s most spectacular opening credits? We ask illustrator Supermundane as he unveils his artistic collaboration with Mubi and ‘Stack’. Plus: 70mm projections at Portland’s stunning Hollywood Theatre; Gore Vidal and William F Buckley; and who was the screen’s first superhero? Hint: it wasn’t Superman or Batman.

Monocle Travel Guide to Madrid

Madrid has thrown off the shackles of tradition: what was once a buttoned-down bastion of conservatism has become Spain’s unabashed centre of the avant garde. Monocle Films visits the city to discover a melting pot of talent, taste and tenacity. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Madrid is available now at The Monocle Shop.


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