In the papers today: 27.02.08. Dragons and robots take over
The Times also features some nice stats about the speed of the luggage conveyor belts – were this a category in the Olympics, Beijing would lap Heathrow with ease. The Independent ’s coverage of the terminal contrasts the building's sustainability with its facilitation of carbon crime, while on the opinion page, Hamish McRae points out that the Beijing terminal was designed and built in less time than Heathrow’s T5 enquiry.
Meanwhile, London’s Olympic media centre has almost tripled in budget, reports yesterday's Standard . The Olympic Delivery Authority has requested that bidding contractors contribute up to half of the building costs, while Mayor Ken Livingstone is wooing Bollywood studios to take up the centre as their London address post-games. But it's not all woe in British construction – RuralZED’s carbon-neutral house (AJ 31.01.08), which can be dialled in and ready to inhabit in about three months, was unveiled at Ecobuild yesterday.
Nicholas Penny, the new director of the National Gallery, has taken it upon himself to expand our minds, says The Times . Speaking about a forthcoming exhibition on the little-known Italian Divisionists, Penny opines that in a bid to win crowds in today’s cut-throat culture scene, too many institutions forget their duty of educating the public on the more obscure practitioners and artworks, favouring a hit parade of well-known artists and celebrated pieces. Sigh, such is and has always been the battle between money and minds.
Speaking of art blockbusters, the Telegraph reports that the resting place of Picasso, a 14th-century chateau in the south of France, will soon be open to the public. In a bid to escape the constant plague of tourists in his former studio in Cannes, Picasso used the chateau's vast rooms to store his body of work, and many of these have been left untouched since his death. The new ‘plague’ may rejoice in the fact that they are getting a two-for-one – the estate lies on the slopes of Mont Saint-Victoire, which was painted more than 30 times by Cezanne. Indeed, upon purchasing it, Picasso informed his agent: 'I have just bought myself Cezanne’s mountain'. Disenfranchised hunters of big-game artists take note.
Tom Dyckhoff coins the term 'oligarchitecture' in his cheeky critique of the love affair between power and architecture in his highly entertaining spread in The Times' T2 supplement. Look out for Philip Johnson’s soul-selling quote, and the cunning integration of Ali G into international architectural debate.
David Attenborough exercised his persuasive and dulcet tones yesterday to speak in favour of the wind-turbine proposed above Glyndebourne, reports The Independent . It seems film shoots with spitting cobras do not compare to the viper-pit that is the provincial planning inquiry, as the scheme has met with much opposition.
The Guardian reports on our friends in the north, who apparently will not be able to withstand the temptation of supercasinos. Culture secretary Andy Burnham has told the government of his fears over the growth of gambling, and is giving casino operators ‘one last chance’ to contribute plans for social responsibility. Does anyone want to open a book on whether this will work out? Also in the Guardian are details of Tesco’s tax-dodge. Offshoring profits in the Cayman Islands just like in some eighties made-for-TV movie, the megalomaniac supermarket has created a complex structure of offshore companies on the islands, naming each after colours ranging from aqua to violet.
And if you have any room left after this veritable banquet of news, the Telegraph provides the after-dinner sorbet: the very real and imminent possibility of Robot Wars.