The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 10 September 2016

Brand new

John F Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4 is about to receive a happy facelift from global-branding agency Base Design. Known for its work with New York’s Meatpacking District and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Base Design unveiled its plans for Terminal 4’s new image this week. Among other things the team has created a bespoke typeface for the terminal and will be installing functional new signage across the arrival and customs halls, retail corridors and elevators; whimsical graphics – some of which are the result of a collaboration with illustrator Tomi Um – will also appear on the gates and a large logo will be stamped on the west side of the building. The branding will be unique to Terminal 4 as it’s the only one in North America that is operated by a private management company. According to Base Design, its ambition is to ease the anxiety caused by travel and to create an identity for Terminal 4 that could improve the overall airport experience.

Image: Courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong

Here goes nothing

Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District routinely evokes bewilderment across the city due to delays in construction and beleaguered leadership handovers – but it’s not all bad. While the new M+ museum for visual culture – designed by renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron – won’t be completed until 2019, its neighbouring M+ Pavilion is now open. Designed by a group of local architects, the mirror-clad exhibition space launched its first show on Friday: Hong Kong artist Tsang Kin-Wah’s Nothing was a fitting title for the first art exhibition in this bare district. A packed line-up of shows until mid-2017, however, promises the ever-patient public – which will have been waiting for the opening of the museum for about two decades – that the €2.4bn project will not be for nought.

Image: Getty Images

Food for thought

Despite being tagged the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea” Phuket is infamous for its tourist traps. Yet Thailand’s largest island is also a treasure trove for something more savoury: a delectable cuisine derived from the melting pot of Hokkien Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian immigrants, who chased the promise of wealth in Phuket’s tin mines and on its rubber plantations until the 20th century. This weekend the government’s tourism department is looking to showcase its multicultural fare at the Phuket Tasty Fest, with cooking demonstrations and booths offering fresh seafood dishes such as the classic tom yum kung and assam hê (tamarind prawns). As the only Southeast Asian Unesco-endorsed “City of Gastronomy”, Phuket has a rich culinary heritage that can drive the city towards smart and sustainable urban development.

Get a room

It’s odd that Australia’s all-conquering hotel specialist QT didn’t already have a spot in cosmopolitan Melbourne, where the group’s latest space opened its doors this month. The 188-room hotel is slap bang in the middle of the CBD, close to the ritzy Collins Street precinct in an otherwise unattractive high-rise. Inside, interior designer Nic Graham hasn’t failed to please with his now-signature style of colourful and sparingly decorated spaces, while digital artwork amassed by Amanda Love adds edge and momentum to proceedings. QT already has properties in Sydney, Canberra, Falls Creek, Port Douglas and the Gold Coast – and its latest venture is in keeping with its uniquely Australian feel (think charming, fun, easy-going and unpretentious). Next stop for QT? A space in Western Australia is in the works but not before a voyage across the Tasman Sea to open hotels in Queenstown and Wellington, New Zealand.

From Monocle 24

Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders discusses modern film-making and his love for 3D in a special extended interview recorded at the Venice Film Festival. Plus: Davide Cazzaro, editor of Asian cinema magazine Nang, reflects on one of his favourite titles The Big Durian.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Miami

Miami has a lot going for it: a shoreline, year-round warm weather and a diverse population. Our new travel guide will help you explore the neighbourhoods to discover its full potential, as we introduce you to the dynamic art scene, the best bars and restaurants and everything in-between. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Miami is available now at The Monocle Shop.

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