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Astragal: ZHA’s Big Apple dreams dashed

Zha ny site google maps
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As Alicia Keys sang, New York is a city of ‘big dreams’ and ‘big schemes’. Sadly for Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) its dream of building a ‘signature loft-like condominium’ block at 220 11th Avenue for the Moinian Group seem to have been dashed.

According to reports, the scheme was one of the last to have been designed before Hadid’s death in March 2016.  It has now emerged, however, that a new architect, US-based Studios Architecture, has been drafted in. The news prompted ZHA to admit to American real estate blog Curbed that it was ‘no longer involved with the project’.

But as one dream evaporates, another sparks into life. Rumours abound that David Chipperfield may have bagged himself another (albeit still super hush-hush) bite of the Big Apple.

Having recently completed the Bryant in 2018, his practice is understood to have seen off Fosters, BIG and Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design a skyscraper in Manhattan for Rolex. Start spreading the news…

Chipperfield’s poetic licence

David chipperfield   susan smart  001

David chipperfield susan smart 001

Source: Susan Smart

When he is not stateside winning mega-jobs for luxury Swiss watch manufacturers, Chipperfield takes time out to ponder his role in it all. The blue-eyed architect was on Radio 4 last week with old pal and early client, the fashion photographer Nick Knight, putting the world to rights. 

After chit-chat on Chippo’s early ambitions (to become a vet) and the struggle they faced building Knight’s house (‘Prince Charles was running around saying modern architecture is the devil’s work’), the conversation graduated to the twin evils of capitalism and climate change. 

‘Our [artists’] worth is not so much a societal worth – it’s a market worth,’ said Chippo sadly.  

While admitting he thought it was too late to reverse global warming, he had some advice for how to distract hearts and minds. 

‘I don’t believe that the issue is so big now you should no longer believe in beauty or you shouldn’t read poetry. The ice caps are melting? And you’re sitting there reading poetry? You’ve got to read poetry!’ 

Let’s dance, says Zogolovitch

Roger with print bottom right crop

Roger with print bottom right crop

Roger Zogolovitch with diptych print (bottom right)

‘Dance is dreaming with your body.’ So says the inimitable Roger Zogolovitch in a left-field print he has successfully submitted to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The quote sits alongside a pleasingly simple line drawing of an Argentine tango, which forms half of a diptych print hanging in the annual jamboree at Burlington House. 

The other half, more puzzlingly, features a line drawing of The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn accompanied by the Martha Graham quote ‘dance is the hidden language of the soul’. 

What is Rog trying to tell us? 

Unfortunately for Astragal readers, the edition of 50 has sold out – in fact, 54 red dots are stuck along the bottom of the frame! So by our maths, at £55 a pop, he’s taking away nearly three grand. More than enough to dance the night away!

Struggling to take off

RSHP’s competition-winning terminal for Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan has been knocked back yet again after a search for a contractor failed for a third time. 

The £1.9 billion Terminal 3 building, originally scheduled to open in 2020, was expected to be redesigned last summer after failing to attract enough bidders to build it. 

Following a hat-trick of failures, the project is being retendered, but this time on new terms and, surprisingly, is no longer being simplified. 

RSHP partner Simon Smithson said: ‘There is no redesign going on … but there are ongoing discussions about the terms and conditions regarding the procurement process.’ 

Delays to the stuttering 640,000m² scheme cannot have helped the practice’s cashflow. The company suffered a dispiriting 27 per cent fall in pretax profit and saw its revenue drop 8 per cent to £28.8 million in the 12 months to 30 June 2018, annual accounts have revealed. 

While income from Europe, North America and Australia increased; takings from the rest of the world – including Taiwan – fell dramatically from £10 million to just £3 million.

Fourth time lucky perhaps for the airport – although in Taiwan the number four is regarded as being particularly inauspicious.

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