Yayoi Kusama will design the facility for Grand Central Madison

Good Tuesday! Here’s a fresh batch of news from this week, including royal renovations and transit hub design commissions. Let’s go inside:

King Charles will not move into Buckingham Palace until a major renovation is complete

Buckingham Palace’s biggest renovation since the Second World War involves keeping King Charles, who will be officially crowned on May 6, 2023, and Camilla, Queen Consort, crouching at neighboring Clarence House as the royal couple.s primary residence for the past two decades, for at least another five years. The Monarchy’s extensive main residence renovation project is halfway through its 10-year project schedule to overhaul new wiring, plumbing and heating throughout the 18th century palace in Westminster, London.

As reported by The daily mail, the ongoing $418m (£370m) renovation project will preserve historic wallpaper and replace 10 miles of water pipes and 20 miles of skirting, protecting interiors from potential fire damage and of water. The palace has also reportedly not seen a decorative refresh since 1952, the same year Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne at the age of 25 following the sudden death of her father, King George VI.

The renovation, which began several years before Queen Elizabeth’s death, is the first in decades. Although King Charles and Camilla will not be able to rest their heads every night inside the palace walls, they will be able to use the building and the property for work and to hold meetings while renovations continue. Queen Elizabeth left Buckingham Palace in March 2022, living and conducting official business (when not at Balmoral Castle in Scotland) at Windsor Castle until her death.

H/t at The daily mail

Ukrainian Art Museum launches NFT collection to support cultural heritage

As fighting in Ukraine continues and cultural landmarks including libraries, museums and universities are destroyed daily, the Kharkiv Art Museum, located in the northeast of the country, is stepping up its campaign to auction to raise funds to fund the operation and preservation of many cultural heritage sites across the county. Through a partnership with blockchain and cryptocurrency provider Binance, the museum will auction Art Without Borders, a series of 15 NFT drawings from the institution’s collection, including works by Albrecht Dürer, Georg Jacob Johann van Os and Ivan Aivazovsky. Funds raised will help keep the museum running and allow it to keep staff employed.

Each of the works of art is delegated in one of three categories Gold, Silver and Bronze; the highest starting bid for gold is set at $1,000 BUSD. BUSD is Binance’s currency which is a stablecoin with a fixed ratio of 1:1 equivalent to the value of the US dollar. The auction will last for a week.

MTA Arts & Design Selects Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith for Grand Central Madison Arts Commission

When New York’s Long Island Rail Road trains first enter Grand Central Terminal this winter, commuters will be greeted by large-scale art installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her bold polka-dot installations and its mirrored infinity rooms, and German-born American artist Kiki Smith.

The two contemporary artists were chosen through a competitive artist selection process to complete site-specific designs that will be installed in the new 700,000 square foot Grand Central Madison Terminal nestled beneath the iconic Grand Central Terminal. Although the designs have yet to be released, a press release issued by MTA Arts & Design, the entity that commissions artwork for all MTA-led projects, stated that site-specific artwork will be made in the form of large-scale mosaics. The Percentage for Art Act passed in 1982 requires that one percent of the budget for city-funded building projects be allocated to public art.

“Grand Central Terminal is a world-renowned icon because the people who came before us were determined to create something special – not just a transportation facility, but a place of beauty,” said MTA President and CEO, Janno Lieber, in the agency.Press release. “The new LIRR Grand Central Madison installation below the existing terminal continues this tradition with art that enhances the travel experience and creates a sense of place. These 2,400 square feet of floor-to-ceiling mosaics are permanent gifts to the people of New York.

Skanska tapped to lead New York’s $150m rehabilitationit is Williamsburg Bridge

The 2,793ft-long Williamsburg Bridge, which carries vehicles, trains and pedestrians across the East River from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan, will undergo an extensive reconstruction led by the global construction giant and Stockholm-based development, Skanska. According to a press release, the company will perform a number of upgrades to the 119-year-old steel structure, including repairs to its body, floor beams, trusses, transit stringers and towers.

Skanska previously rehabilitated the iconic suspension bridge in a multi-year project that reinforced 3.3 million pounds of steel on the structure’s main towers and also involved stripping and painting its trusses.

Construction will begin the final rehabilitation effort this month and is expected to take just over three years, with an estimated completion date of 2025.

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