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OPENING: Crystal Bridges Museum Showcases American Art

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One of the most highly anticipated cultural events of the fall in the United States is the opening (Friday, November 11, 2011) of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Designed by Massachusetts-based architect Moshe Safdie (whose Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, inaugurated in October, continues to gain accolades for its design and acoustics), the building is set in a forest ravine, among 120 acres of park and gardens and consists of nine pavilions over and alongside of two ponds.

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Guangzhou Gets a New Center for Chinese Art and Culture

Guangzhou Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid

Even by Chinese standards, Guangzhou’s transformation from a gritty industrial port into a gleaming metropolis for Chinese culture has been lightning-fast. Now, China’s third-largest city, just 130 miles north of Hong Kong, has been raising its arts profile. The most striking example? A new cultural complex overlooking the Pearl River that includes a museum, a library, and the dazzling Guangzhou Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid. The contoured structure, with its 1,804-seat auditorium and a smaller black-box theater in conjoined granite-clad wings, was inspired by a pair of boulders worn smooth by water. The highlight of the inaugural season: the first Guangzhou Arts Festival, with performances by Spain’s National Ballet (Sept. 23–24), the Vienna Boys’ Choir (Oct. 15), and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Dec. 30–31).

Photo by Iwan Baan

Lean Times on the Thames: Big Ben Slightly Askew

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Associated Press
|  Big Ben has a little bend.

Experts say the neogothic clock tower - one of the world's most recognizable landmarks - is gently leaning to one side. Documents recently published by Britain's Parliament show that the top of its gilded spire is nearly 18 inches (nearly half a meter) out of line.

The 315-foot (96-meter) tower is leaning in the northwest direction at an angle of 0.26 degrees, according to a report from 2009 that was recently obtained by the Sunday Telegraph through a Freedom of Information request.

But there's no cause for alarm, experts said. It would take thousands of years before the London landmark's tilt matches that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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Hotels That Lean?! Capital Gate Looms Over Abu Dhabi

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We live in a daredevil age of architecture. Out of the fog of dreams rise colossal structures that twist, outsize, and undulate to the extreme. Among these freewheeling feats stands the tilting high-rise hotel—and its crowning glory opens this fall.

The silvery spire of Hyatt Capital Gate (doubles from $650) slices the sky above Abu Dhabi’s sultry cityscape at a sharp 18 degree angle—four times greater than Pisa’s slouching bell tower. “There was an opportunity to do something very powerful,” says Chris Jones, principal architect with RMJM, "to create a new gateway to the city."

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Vote now! T+L's Best New Landmarks Survey Is Live

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What's your favorite landmark? Tell us now in T+L's new Best New Landmarks Survey! Click here and vote on the skyscrapers, parks, museums, stadiums, and parks you love, then brag about the places you've visited—both new landmarks and classic sites. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win a $25,000 dream trip!

Vote as many times as you'd like before the survey ends on October 31st and share your picks on Facebook and on Twitter using #TLLandmarks. Vote now!


Photo courtesy of John Liu


Kansas City, Missouri, News: A Brand-New Cultural Center

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

As of this month, you’ll need to add one more item to your list of things to do in Kansas City with the inauguration of the $326 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, in Kansas City, Missouri. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the 285,000-square-foot complex has two performance spaces—an 1,800-seat theater and a 1,600-seat concert hall—that’s home to three of the region’s leading arts organizations: Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Look for a new production of Puccini’s Turandot (Oct. 1–9) and the world premiere of Tom Sawyer, a ballet about Missouri’s most famous, barefoot son (Oct. 14–23).

Photo by Tim Hursley

Saudi Arabia Plans World’s Tallest Tower

Financial Times Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, has announced that an associate company will partner with the country’s Bin Laden Group to build a tower near Jeddah that would replace Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building. …

The 1km-tall building will include a Four Seasons hotel and apartments, luxury condominiums and offices. The tower is the first phase of the 5.3m square metre Kingdom City development to be built north of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to a statement on the Saudi bourse, Tadawul.

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Machu Picchu Hullabaloo: Hundreds Barred From Entering Inca Site

201107-b-machupicchu-3jpgeTurbo NewsPeru's extravagant celebrations of the centenary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu descended into farce this week, after a bureaucratic wrangle that saw hundreds of tourists from around the world barred from entering the Inca ruins.

Last week, the local branch of Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC) abruptly ruled that no more than 2,500 people could visit Machu Picchu per day, a move aimed at preventing damage to the site.

On Tuesday, hundreds of frustrated tourists began picketing the official ticket office in downtown Cusco, the former Inca capital that is three hours from the archaeological site....

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Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews


UNESCO Names 25 New World Heritage Sites

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Is your Bucket List in need of a little inspiration?

UNESCO to the rescue! Last week, its World Heritage Committee officially inscribed 25 new World Heritage Sites, bringing the swelling number to a whopping 936 worldwide.

Joining the ranks of recognized world wonders like Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, and Ayers Rock are the Longobards in Italy (above), seven buildings built by the Scandi-Germanic Lombard tribe who, during their powerful 6th- to 8th-century reign, established a distinct culture and architectural style that began Europe’s evolution from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

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JFK Airport Eyes Boutique Hotel for Iconic TWA Terminal


201102-b-twajpgUSA Today / Wall Street Journal |  The iconic, former TWA airline terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport could be reopened as a luxury boutique hotel, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The airport's operator is looking for developers who could tackle the famous modernist structure, designed by Eero Saarinen. The curved, winged terminal opened in 1962 at the old Idlewild Airport and closed in 2001 after American Airlines bought TWA.

Boutique hotels usually offer guests something unique, and in this case, it would be the striking structure.

"There are few buildings designed for airports that have resonated with the public as much as this one," Frank Sanchis, an advisor at the Municipal Art Society of New York, told the paper.

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