Although Erick van Egeraat’s flashy Chess Club may seem a bit out of place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia has a reputation for attracting eccentric architecture. Take, for example, the World Mammoth and Permafrost Museum in Yakutsk. We wrote about the unique structure, designed by New York–based Leeser Architects, in 2007 (www.metropolismag.com/story/20071121/woolly-headed). The museum is perched on 20-foot-tall concrete pylons, making it look more like a strolling prehistoric beast than a museum and laboratory. Inside the 65,000-square-foot building, visitors can explore man-made caves containing preserved woolly mammoths, or observe scientists who are exploring the possibility of cloning the mammoth. For more on Leeser’s design, take a look at the firm’s
Web site: www.leeser.com/work/cultural/wmpm/
Repriming the Pump
While the future of Atlantic City may still be uncertain, its Prohibition past is currently fodder for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (www.hbo.com/boardwalk-empire). The series takes place in the 1920s, and revolves around Nucky Thompson, a character based on the legendary politician Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, who made his fortune by choosing to ignore Prohibition regulations in favor of taking a cut of illegal activities. In the style of the original Nucky, HBO launched major advertising campaigns for the premiere of the show’s second season last September. A realistic sign placed at the entrance to Atlantic City announced the “Atlantic City Beautification Project—Compliments of Nucky Thompson,” and drivers heading east into the city drove toll-free for an entire weekend.
Murray’s Next Act
Murray Moss has been a design tastemaker for almost 20 years, but his cultural influence has an even longer reach. A case in point: wildlife figurines. Yellow Hammer, a Nymphenburg porcelain bird available through Moss’s online gallery, is the real deal: www.mossonline.com/product-exec/product_id/34430/category_id/142. But replicas of Moss’s extravagant creatures are readily available at stores like Urban Outfitters, which has allowed them to become a “vintage” staple in hipster homes. A visit to almost any Williamsburg, Brooklyn, boutique proves that fauna fabrics and figurines are all the rage, while the “Put a Bird on It” skit from IFC’s Portlandia put an over-the-top spin on the trend that Murray helped create: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XM3vWJmpfo.