Can’t get higher than this: the world’s new tallest tower Tokyo Skytree opened in late May, and tickets to its lookout are still sold out for months (if you’re in the mood for some elevation, we’d recommend booking a ticket now). At 2,080 feet, the building serves not only as an observation deck and restaurant but a broadcast tower to relay television and radio signals. Be careful up there! The observation deck has already had to close temporarily due to storms and extreme weather.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent.
Photo by MASANORI YAMANASHI / AFLO / Nippon News / Corbis
Consider it Seattle's equivalent of the London Eye. Nearly three times shorter than the legendary 605-foot Seattle Space Needle, the city's newest landmark, the Seattle Great Wheel, delivers panoramic views of the Emerald City that will lift you—and your family—off your feet.
Located on Pier 57, its 42 climate-controlled gondolas offer a 15-20 minute spin on the waterfront. Each gondola rotates three times, and can accommodate up to six adults or eight children.
The $20 million attraction is the brainchild of Seattle entrepreneur Hal Griffith who, for more than 30 years, has envisioned a Seattle Ferris wheel. The attraction is also a part of the efforts to improve Seattle’s waterfront, which includes replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with an underground tunnel.
Instead of your standard fare of hot dogs and fireworks this 4th of July, we suggest you visit Patara, an ancient city off the coast of Turkey. Why in the world would I think about Turkey for the most American of holidays, you ask? Turns out our Constitution has roots in the ancient Lycian League, whose federation-style government had so much influence on our Founding Fathers that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton even mention them in the Federalist Papers. Check out the beautiful beachside town of Patara, Turkey for the recently opened excavaction of Lycian ruins, which includes their parliament building, a large necropolis, Roman baths, and a Byzantine basilica. You may have to trade hot dogs for veal kebabs, but just think: you’ll have a leg-up on your high school US history teacher who didn’t give you an A.
Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Equinox Travel Antalya
At last count, there were 189 international art fairs, enough to keep the affluent and avant-garde in champagne and envy 365 days a year. But on the heels of Documenta and at the apex of the spring fairathon that started with Frieze NY back in early May, Swiss mothership Art Basel—which had its 43rd outing last week—is still the biggest, the brightest, the only fair the art crowd literally can’t afford to miss: last year, Gagosian sold $45 million-worth in the first 45 minutes alone, and, at last Wednesday's VIP preview, someone with a good eye and an even better balance-sheet snagged a Gerhard Richter for north of $20 million—a price-point generally reserved for auction houses.
That's because Art Basel is special: where its Miami Beach iteration has a “Woodstock for the Wealthy” vibe and Documenta is cloaked in anti-commercial intellectualism, Basel distinguishes itself as a serious forum for the exchange of ideas and cash. Which is why, over the weekend, 65,000 art-lovers rendez-vous'ed on the banks of the Rhine.
The new campus of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia represents, simply put, a game changer for what a museum can be, the experience of art, and role architecture plays in both. It is also a game changer for Philadelphia, at a moment of splendid cultural renaissance.
When it opens to the public on Saturday, May 19th, visitors will find the celebrated collection displayed in a series of galleries that preserve the scale, proportion, and configuration of the original institution in Lower Merion (located in suburban Philadelphia), but now placed in a larger setting that invites contemplation and offers many pleasures.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has just unveiled its Renzo Piano–designed, copper-clad wing, which includes a jewel-box music hall and galleries dedicated to works by artists in residence. A glass-enclosed walkway leads to the original building.
Photo by Nic Lehoux / Courtesy of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
New York City and Frank Gehry’s mutual love affair continues to evolve at a dynamic pace. With this month's opening of Signature Theatre’s new Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center in midtown Manhattan, Gehry adds another piece to his rapidly expanding Empire State catalog. His first residential project 8 Spruce Street, a 76-story skyscraper glazed with his signature curvaceous indents crawling up the stainless steel façade, made a dramatic debut on the downtown skyline in 2011. He’s also been tapped for the forthcoming preforming arts center at the new World Trade Center. And then there’s his iconic cloudy white, cold-warped glass IAC HQ building that hugs the West Side Highway in Chelsea. Sticking to his recent ambition for firsts, the unveiling of the $66-million Signature Center marks Gehry’s initial contribution to the city’s cultural landscape.
Seas of blue silk, mountains of sand, strongholds of wood. Legions of surveyors and sculptors traveling hundreds of miles on horseback or foot. This was how the rulers of France, from Louis XIV to Napoleon III, mapped out their military conquests in the days before Google Earth.
These 3-D mock-ups of France’s fortified towns—reconstituting every building, river, and hill in 1/600 scale—were for decades hidden away in the attic of the Invalides veterans' complex. Now, but only through February 17, you can catch a rare glimpse of these topographical treasures at the Grand Palais in Paris, during its France in Miniature exhibit.
Like the products of an architect’s fever-dreams, the buildings in Victor Enrich’s city portraits morph and strain and sprout new wings that defy logic and gravity. His 3-D illustrations transform cityscapes from familiar boxiness into something distorted and slightly giddy. Yet when one considers some of the outlandish real-world structures that have sprung from the imaginations of big-name designers like Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, and Santiago Calatrava, perhaps former architecture student Enrich (with a well-connected and -caffeinated publicist and a budget, of course) could be the next urban design visionary?
Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the bid for the Williamsburg Hotel. Between the Williamsburg Bridge and the domed Neoclassic Williamsburg Savings Bank, a 21st-century tower is set to rise over 400 feet.
What exactly does the prospect of a LEEDS Platinum-certified green building, set in the bustling bohemian enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, say about New York's ever-changing tale? We'll have to wait and see. For now, check out these interesting photo renderings: