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Gehry-Designed Cultural Arts Center Opens in New York

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New York City and Frank Gehrys mutual love affair continues to evolve at a dynamic pace. With this month's opening of Signature Theatres 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. Hes also been tapped for the forthcoming preforming arts center at the new World Trade Center. And then theres 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 Gehrys initial contribution to the citys cultural landscape.

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn To Get a Green Hotel

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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:

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Sheraton New York Gets $150 Million Makeover

201108-b-sheraton-afterjpgSheraton New York Hotel and Towers recently completed the first phase of a $150 million renovation, and the improvements are pretty sleek. The brand's flagship property has updated its guest rooms, added a state-of-the-art teleconferencing suite, and redesigned its Sheraton Club Lounge.

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Hotel Spotlight: Ritz-Carlton's Hotel Arts Barcelona

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Awe-inspiring Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi may have some competition and it comes in the form of the Hotel Arts Barcelona. The five star Ritz-Carlton owned luxury hotel boasts a soaring 44 stories designed by iconic Chicago architect Bruce Graham. Stay in one of the nearly 500 rooms (or 28 very exclusive duplex apartments) with panoramic Mediterranean views and only a sunny jaunt away from the shore. When you can pull yourself away, zip around Barcelona in one of the hotel’s smart cars, complimentary as part of the Club Level package.

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More Hotels That Lean?! Bella Sky Comwell Opens in Copenhagen

201110-b-bella-2jpgYou can build a neighborhood from scratch, but that alone can't give it heart. Luckily for Copenhagen, a flashy tilting hotel is transforming a day-stroll district to a destination with a pulse. Rising from the southern flatlands on land reclaimed by the sea, the 3XN-designed Bella Sky Comwell Hotel (doubles from $420) has fast become a centerpiece for Ørestad City, a master-planned enclave founded nearly two decades ago.

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Muriel Brandolini's Design Inspiration

Muriel Brandolini

With a new book out this month and a pop-up store at Barneys New York through November, Vietnam native Muriel Brandolini has truly landed on the style map. Here, the designer tells T+L about the country that informs her textured, vibrant interior designs.

Q: What are some memorable moments from your last trip to Vietnam?

A: I stayed at the Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa (doubles from $175) and trekked with a guide to the isolated Hoang Lien Son mountain range, near the Chinese border. Wandering through the Bac Ha Sunday Market in Sapa in search of crafts and textiles is extraordinary.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Opens New Galleries for Islamic Art

Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The opening of a 15-gallery suite that houses the peerless collection of Islamic art at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (opens Nov. 1) could not come at a more appropriate geopolitical moment. Filled with 1,200 works of art, from Spain to India, the renovated galleries show the extraordinary diversity, sweep, and influence of 13 centuries of Islamic civilization. Don’t miss the Patti Cadby Birch Court, an interior patio based on a late-medieval Moroccan design meticulously created by craftsmen from Fez.

Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Los Angeles Events: Pacific Standard Time

storage unit by Charles and Ray Eames at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Set your clocks. This fall the world shifts to “Pacific Standard Time,” the festival of exhibitions and performances highlighting southern California’s contribution to American postwar art and design. Involving more than 60 institutions, Pacific Standard Time gives a West Coast perspective to the period from the mid-1940’s to the 1980’s when the U.S. supplanted Europe as the center of the art universe. Highlights: “Crosscurrents in L.A. Paintings and Sculpture 1950–1970” (Oct. 1–Feb. 5, 2012), at the Getty Center, is a survey ranging from the sculpture of Billy Al Bengston and John McCracken to the conceptual Pop of Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari.

“Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980,” at the UCLA Hammer Museum (through Jan. 8, 2012), sheds new light on the dynamism of African-American expression in the turbulent 60’s and 70’s.

The Museum of Contemporary Art explores post-Vietnam political and social upheaval in works by Raymond Pettibon, Bruce Nauman, and others in “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981” (through Feb. 13, 2012).

“California Design, 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (through Mar. 25, 2012) includes furniture and decorative objects that epitomize California style.

Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

Urban Design Exhibition Opens at the United Nations

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The United Nations estimates that by 2030, nearly five billion people will live in cities around the world – about 40% of whom are projected to be occupying informal settlements, or slums, in over-saturated global metropolises. Add to this the finding that already today, approximately 90% of the world’s population is surviving with little to no access to fundamental goods and services.

Design With the Other 90%: Cities” (405 E 42nd St., October 15 - January 9, 2012), an exhibition marking a first-time collaboration between the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the United Nations in New York, sheds light on the role of architecture, infrastructure, and alternative energy sources in creating progressive solutions to the challenges facing city dwellers and planners, resulting from unprecedented population growth and rapid urbanization.

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Helsinki: So Hot Right Now

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It may be getting chilly in the Baltics, but Helsinki is heating up. Finland’s biggest city—perhaps best known for its colorful Marimekko prints and Modernist works by the late, great Alvar Aalto, not to mention its abundant saunas—has been named the 2012 World Design Capital.

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