‘Troubles tourism’: should Derry be celebrating its political murals?

Fifty years since the Battle of the Bogside, some fear the new status of Derrys murals as a tourist attraction will stop the community overcoming the past One of the first things you see as you enter Bogside is a 20ft mural of a 12-year-old boy, wearing a gas mask and clutching a petrol bomb. Painted on the side of a social housing property, its a stark reminder of the violence that tore Derry apart during NI Tourism report puts political murals as the eighth most visited attraction in the entire country. The neighbouring Museum of Free Derry, which tells the story of Bloody Sunday, attracted 35,000 visitors in 2018. According to the tourist board, all coach tours to the …

A world of walls: the brutish power of man-made barriers

Trumps border wall isnt unique. From Calais to Hungary, walls are always with us The latest atrocity in El Paso, when an avowed white supremacist drove for 10 hours to a supermarket used by Latino families in order to murder and maim, was explicitly motivated by Trumps baleful, anti-immigrant rhetoric. He was also a big fan of Trumps wall, which Trump himself has rhapsodically described as an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. Yet despite its Ozymandian ambition, the beautiful wall has stuttered and stumbled, still more frenzied rallying cry than bricks and mortar reality. Geography and logistics quietly conspire against it Americas border with Mexico is nearly 2,000 miles long, for a start. Incendiary talk of spiralling …

Which is the world’s most vertical city?

You might think of Hong Kong, given its famous skyscraper skyline, but by different measures of verticality other cities come out on top Looking out from sky100, Hong Kongs highest observation deck on the 100th floor of the citys tallest building, the 494-metre-high International Commerce Centre, you get a 360-degree view of one of the worlds most famous skylines an urban jungle framed by mountains and the gleaming Victoria harbour, with endless clusters of high-rise buildings packed so closely together they resemble a game of Tetris. Its little wonder a city of such visible density has more skyscrapers than anywhere else in the world. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Hong Kong has 355 buildings …

David Chipperfield’s Berlin temple: ‘Like ascending to the realm of the gods’

Twenty years in the making, this dazzling synthesis of the classical and modern takes Museum Island to new heights Friedrich Wilhelm IV described his vision for James Simon Gallery stands as a 134m (120m) Parthenon-on-Spree, forming a handsome new entrance to one of the worlds most important repositories of cultural treasures. We were quite nervous, says Chipperfield, standing in the lofty new ticketing lobby, where stripes of sunlight flood in between the row of slender white columns outside. The challenge was how to create something that was of its context and also of our time, in this incredibly sensitive location. He had good reason to be anxious. His first design, unveiled in 2006, was slammed by German critics as grossly …

Punk hellraiser Lydia Lunch: ‘I’m chronically misunderstood but I get off on it’

The runaway, singer and counter-culture icon is hitting 60 and is as incendiary as ever, touring and raging against polluters and politicians in a rip-roaring book Lydia Lunch turned 60 this year, but age has done little to dim this counterculture icons lust for life. Decades after her start as the nihilist 16-year-old frontwoman of 1970s no-wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the New York-born apocalyptician is a revered veteran of the US underground: a writer, spoken-word performer, musician, actor and artist. Lunchs style is raw and incendiary, all sex and death and taboo-busting feminist rage. And in 2019, the sexagenarian is as unapologetic and active as ever still writing, touring, collaborating and performing. Lunch is in Colchester when …

Take me to the Boom Boom Room! Inside the risqu hotel for 24-hour party people

Americas raciest hotel chain has turned a boring British office block into an Austin Powers-style crash pad complete with retro reception, leftie library and rooftop baths. Groovy baby! When the clerks of Camdens highways department were issuing parking fines from their gloomy office in the 1970s, little can they have imagined that jet-setting hipsters would one day be supping cocktails in the public library below them before taking an al fresco dip up on the roof. Maligned for years as the concrete egg box of Euston Road, the Shawn Hausman, the Los Angeles-based designer behind the Standards flamboyant interiors, who started out creating film sets for live models in a vitrine behind the reception desk, part of an art installation …

The skyscraper infinity pool sorry, but where’s the diving board?

It is meant to be a boundary-busting punch for the sky. But this design for a rooftop London pool is just another high-rise ego gimmick In 1924, swimming pool designerno apparent means of escape, as if the digital people are in some kind of sublime prison cell for the super rich. We are assured there is in fact a way in and out, courtesy of a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor, and that this is an entirely buildable proposition that includes an inbuilt anemometer to vary the water level and access to the pool. Underwater swimming … how the pool could look Photograph: Compass Pools The designer, Alex Kemsley, said, the building started life as a …

Unbuilt Tokyo: ‘depthscrapers’ and a million-person pyramid

Had the creators of the underground skyscraper had their way, the Japanese capital might have looked very different indeed Protected by cylindrical walls of reinforced concrete, the steel and glass depthscrapers extend hundreds of metres underground. Only a single floor of each inverted 35-storey skyscraper is visible at ground level. Giant mirrors mounted directly above the central wells reflect sunlight to the apartments below. Prismatic glass ensures even light throughout the day, while fresh, conditioned air is pumped down from the surface. The whole structure, in case of an earthquake, will vibrate together, resisting any crushing strain, declared a 1931 edition of Everyday Science and Mechanics that called the design the product of the best engineering brains of Japan. The …

Italy’s new ruins: heritage sites being lost to neglect and looting

Overgrown and weathered, many historical monuments are disappearing as public funds for culture fail to match modern Italys inheritance Legend has it that the grotto hidden among the craggy cliffs on San Marco hill in Sutera in the heart of Sicily holds a treasure chest full of gold coins. In order to find it, three men must dream simultaneously about the precise place to dig. Treasure or no treasure, the grotto itself is an archaeological gem, its walls adorned with a multi-coloured Byzantine-esque 16th-century fresco depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saints Paulinus, Luke, Mark and Matthew. One of the first mountain oratories in the world, it was built by Basilian monks in the 9th century. But time has weathered …

Now kids, help us to kill Bin Laden! The dark side of Washington’s spy museum

The bugged shoes and poison brollies are fun and fascinating. But why are the sections about state-sponsored torture and assassination so uncritical? Sitting in a glass case, standing out against a backdrop of deep red, theres axe that still bears a rust mark, the consequence of a bloody fingerprint left on it decades ago. One day in 1940, this axe was hidden inside Ramn Mercaders suit jacket, suspended by a string, as he walked into the office of Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary living in exile in Mexico, having been sentenced to death as an enemy of the people in his home country. Mercader slipped behind Trotskys desk and brought the axe down with tremendous force, penetrating two-and-three-quarter inches into …

‘Her legacy is incredible’: behind the Shirley Chisholm ‘anti-monument’

An ambitious ode to the first ever black congresswoman is set to launch in Brooklyn in 2020, with the two artists aiming to subvert expectations When it was announced in December that Amanda Williams and first woman to have a public monument in her honor in Brooklyn, and is the first commission in the series commissioned by an upcoming biopic, ran for president, her campaign was underfunded (a budget of $300,000) and she was largely ignored by the Democrats, many of whom wrote her off as a symbolic figure. She received death threats and had to employ a bodyguard. In a 1972 report in the Virginia newspaper Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

IM Pei: an audacious daredevil who built the impossible

From his provocative Louvre pyramid to his inverted wedge for Dallas, the Chinese-American architect was too modern for his time but his angular marvels look perfect now So bold were IM Peis designs, they were often regarded as wilfully controversial, designed to shock. But Pei himself never saw it like that. He was possibly the last living link to such founders of modernism as Bauhaus stalwarts Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, all of whom he met. He carried their torch, abiding by their principles and adding flourishes of his own usually too many for the general public. To those modernist foundations of proportion, simplicity, geometry, Pei added audacious angles and structural daring. The result is a body of work that …

Whitney Biennial 2019: why is this year’s show so safe?

The show, increasingly typified by controversial resistance art, is presenting a mostly safe front this year despite a growing protest over a Whitney trustee When the doors open on the sixth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first thing one sees is a snowman painting by Calvin Marcus. Its an underwhelming statement for the Whitney Biennial, arguably Americas most politically charged art event, which opens on Friday. The curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, both staffers at the museum, wanted to take a more subtle approach for this 79th edition of the biennial, which features 75 artists, half of whom are women. Despite the countrys political upheaval and the looming elections in 2020, it comes as a …

Sterile or stirring? Britain’s love-hate relationship with new towns

Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? A new archive film compilation takes a look at the UKs controversial postwar towns People sometimes say to me, You must get a terrific kick out of having been responsible for a huge thing like a new town, said Sir Frederick Gibberd in an interview in 1982, 35 years after he created the new town of Harlow. Well, I get a lot of misery out of it, in fact. I go around and think, My god, thats unbelievably bad, and it could have been so good. If that was what the designer thought, imagine how everyone else who moved to Harlow felt. The interview comes in a short film at the end of Stevenage, …

Rooftop pool? Notre Dame proposals defy traditionalists

Designs from architects around world also suggest glass, crystal and metal spires An architecture firm has proposed replacing the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral with a swimming pool, as France prepares to were damaged in a firein April, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was open to a contemporary gesture in rebuilding it more beautiful than before, and the prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, called for a new spire adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era. The said the architect Alexandre Chassang, who has designed a proposal for a glass spire. PierreTrollment (@PierreTrollment) Pour la transissions cologique. pic.twitter.com/hmHLfCrZ9U Florian Renucci, a master mason at the experimental medieval building site at Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate …

Beauty in ruins: the wonder of abandoned buildings a photo essay

From a derelict Sydney power station to an elegantly decaying Japanese hotel, Brett Patman shares a selection of his Lost Collective images It was like hell on earth; everything coated in red dust and rust. The noise was immense, with steam and chemicals belching from all over at one point I walked into a cloud of ammonia without a respirator. It was a massive nickel refinery and I was there to help shut it down. Id started my career as an apprentice fitter and turner in a hot and dirty workshop in the north Queensland city of Townsville. It was such a shit job every day was stinking hot and we were working on heavy machinery smeared with grease, chemicals …