The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 20 June 2016

Image: Getty Images

Japan spreading its wings?

Japan is stepping up its campaign to persuade the public to let passenger jets fly over central Tokyo. The government’s latest argument: if Tokyo’s Haneda Airport were to add 39,000 international flights – a 43 per cent increase – the Japanese economy would get a ¥650bn (€5.5bn) boost, according to an estimate released on Friday by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. Loosening airspace restrictions would likely bring in more visitors from overseas, not to mention increased tourism dollars. It would also put Tokyo on a more competitive footing with Asia’s busiest airports. Transport officials will propose flight-path details in the coming weeks and hope to begin airport upgrades next year – but they have yet to assuage residents’ concerns regarding noise and safety.

Berlin builds momentum

Every year 40,000 people move to Germany’s capital, exacerbating Berlin’s already critical housing shortage. Cranes adorn the cityscape but construction can’t keep up with the demand. That’s why architects Andreas Rauch and Simon Becker, together with business strategist Sebastian Dehling, joined forces last year to create a space-saving pre-fab house, which could be placed on rooftops across the city. The Cabin Spacey will be an affordable 20 to 25 sq m module furnished with everything one needs to live comfortably, including electricity sourced from solar panels. The Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment recently estimated that there’s room for 50,000 such homes on Berlin’s rooftops. According to Rauch, building these cabins is “principally possible on every roof, particularly on the prefabricated buildings of the 1960s”. But the team will still need to raise the money – and the city’s support – for their project to see that happen.

Image: Alamy

Spate of creation

Lima has never been feted as a centre of architecture. Despite its rich past, quality contemporary offerings have been few and far between. But something seems to be shifting thanks to an increase in architecture competitions, which are relatively new in Peru. So far competitions have been used to choose the design for the forthcoming National Museum of Archaeology – overseen by architect Alexia León Angell – and the recently opened Place of Memory from Barclay & Crousse. Now the Lima Art Museum has been calling on talent for its ambitious new project: a 6,000 sq m underground contemporary-art wing so that it can pull its impressive collection out of storage. The winner will be announced on 11 July.

Image: Getty Images

Painting a picture

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is finally starting to look shipshape with architect Jean Nouvel’s “rain of light” roof in place and seawater now flowing into the grounds of the museum. Putting some of the world’s most precious and fragile artefacts in a space surrounded by a harsh environment – hot Gulf seawater – is certainly a bold work of engineering. As the museum moves toward a grand opening at the end of the year, its progress provides a moment to reflect on how the region has changed in the 10 years since the Louvre was first announced: pre-financial crisis and pre-Arab Spring, the publicly funded Louvre Abu Dhabi was a statement of emergence for the UAE, but for a very different Middle East. Now the tides have turned and it is the Emirates' private sector that has come to dominate the cultural sphere.

From Monocle 24

Eureka: Kilian Hennessey

Perfume designer Kilian Hennessy reflects on his rise within the fragrance industry and shares business lessons from his cognac-famous grandfather, co-founder of the world's largest luxury goods group: LVMH. Presented by Daniel Giacopelli, ‘Eureka’ is a weekly spotlight on business origins brought to you by the team behind ‘The Entrepreneurs’.

From Monocle Films

Artisanal ice cream

In an ode to summertime, Monocle Films hits the road to sample artisanal ice-cream makers with a difference. In Denmark, Japan and Canada, we meet the innovators challenging taste buds one scoop at a time.

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