The Langham, Boston, one of the city’s landmark hotels located near the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, has reopened after an extensive, multiyear renovation. While the property debuted in 2003, in the former 1920s-era Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Langham Hospitality Group tasked architect Dyer Brown and interior design firm Richmond International to oversee its next evolution, including a refreshed ground-floor lobby with emerald bankers’ lamps, marble slab countertops and velvet banquettes, and a revitalized Lincoln Ballroom. Of the 312 rooms, the loft-style suites offer two-story, brass-embossed windows with views of the neighborhood, while the property’s penthouse suite features a living room complete with a baby grand piano and an elegant dining room for eight. Guests can imbibe gin- and bourbon-based cocktails at the Fed, a lounge reminiscent of the city’s Jazz Age bars, and enjoy family-style dishes like roasted porchetta and cioppino stew prepared by chef Stephen Bukoff at the Italian restaurant Grana. langhamhotels.com.
When British still-life photographer Kate Friend began asking fellow artists and creatives to share their favorite flower, she wasn’t prepared for the response she’d receive. “The plants became a way into people’s lives,” she says. “Sometimes they were an incredibly moving reminder of a late mother or a lost child.” Traveling around the British Isles with her Pentax 67 since the summer of 2019 — and, when possible, throughout lockdown — Friend found herself setting up makeshift sitting studios in sheds, offices, barns and backyards to capture an array of plant life that’s as eclectic as the people behind them. Now, the project has given rise to a poignant, and surprisingly intimate, series of botanical portraits on exhibition at the Garden Museum in Lambeth, South London. There’s artist Maggi Hambling’s rambunctious 30-foot cactus, fashion designer Molly Goddard’s fluffy pink ranunculus and designer Margaret Howell’s perfectly preserved hydrangeas, among others. “Each flower is an emblem of the person who chose it,” Friend says. “Kate Friend: Botanical Portraits, As Chosen By …” is on display at the Garden Museum through Aug. 1, gardenmuseum.org.
Handmade Loafers From Buenos Aires
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the “glove shoe,” Martiniano Lopez Crozet’s elegant slip-on that spent the past decade populating the closets of both men and women. Its slow-burn growth in popularity is in part due to the designer’s aversion to the fashion industry’s fixation with expansion. “It’s a bit opposite for my brand,” he explains over email, “because in order to keep up with the quality of the shoes, I only work with two small manufacturers in limited productions.” Though the glove shoe — which, like all of Lopez Crozet’s designs, are handmade in Argentina, where he is from — accounts for 60 percent of his production, his foray into loafers was a natural development: “I was influenced by three Argentinian staples: the loafer, the espadrille and the riding boot,” he writes. Now, his 2022 resort collection includes two new loafers: the high heel Volker and a flat called the Pollok, both of which will be available in stores later this year. Before Lopez Crozet became a shoe designer, he spent 16 years in the band Los Super Elegantes, which was chosen to perform at the 2004 Whitney Biennial, where he learned to “approach projects through research and then make them.” The lesson has served him well. The Volker, $587, and Pollok, $564, will be available this November, martinianoshoes.com.
A Natural Wine Bar Opens in London
Long since the Beatles visited London’s Carnaby Street in the ’60s, Kingly Street, which runs parallel, has “become a bit corporate,” says entrepreneur Dominic Hamdy, who recently opened the natural wine bar and restaurant Bar Crispin on the block. Determined to bring a sense of longed-for artisanship to the area, he turned to British designer and design dealer Jermaine Gallacher for his idiosyncratic eye. Cue the iconic ’80s black tubular steel and PVC string Spaghetti chairs by Giandomenico Belotti for Alias — enough to seat 20 on the ground floor and 12 in the private dining room in the basement. Elsewhere in the space are custom-made mirrors, benches in aubergine and chocolate bull hide and roughly hewn plaster pendant lamps from London-based sculptor Viola Lanari. The setting, along with a modern European menu of small plates and a vast wine list with varieties from volcanic regions in Tenerife, Sicily and Greece, makes for a perfect pit stop for those hoping to experience a more laid-back vibe. 19 Kingly Street, London, crispinlondon.com.
“Skirting the Centre: Svetlana Kana Radević on the Periphery of Postwar Architecture,” the first major retrospective of the late Yugoslav architect and designer, is currently on view at this year’s Venice Biennale of Architecture. The show, held at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati, comprises a collection of recently discovered drawings, writings and photographs from the architect’s life and professional projects. Blueprints and images of her inaugural and prizewinning building, the Hotel Podgorica — a Brutalist structure that sits along the Moraca River — christen the entryway. From there, the works unfold like a diary, documenting an oeuvre that has, until now, gone largely underrecognized. Radević is, in fact, known as the first female Montenegrin architect, having studied with titans like Louis Kahn in the U.S. and Kisho Kurokawa in Japan. She went on to establish a practice all her own, one that married traditional construction techniques and flourishes of the region with the antifascist principals of the day, evident in her Hotel Zlatibor in Užice, Serbia, and Hotel Mojkovac, in Montenegro. Most of her structures — memorials, a residential tower and other hotels — stand in Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital, and were constructed after the region had been decimated by the 84 bombs dropped during World War II. Twenty years after her death, Svetlana Kana Radević is finally getting her due. “Skirting the Centre: Svetlana Kana Radević on the Periphery of Postwar Architecture” is on view through Nov. 21, 2021, at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati, S. Marco, 2597, 30124, Venice, Italy, labiennale.org.
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