Monaco plans to become home to the most expensive apartment in the world, we mark a posthumous birthday for an early pioneer of suspension bridges, and a Lego visitor centre is made out of… you guessed it
The £240m apartment
The residents of Monaco probably observe London’s fretting over the influx of the super-rich and their impact on the housing market with a Gallic shrug. Monaco has been there and got the T-shirt. It comes as no surprise then that the world’s most expensive apartment is to be built in the city, atop the 49-storey Tour Odeon tower. The property, details of which emerged last week, will sport a giant infinity pool, a bespoke water slide and a helipad. The price tag? £240m. Construction of the tower resumed after it was shelved due to concerns about the impact of tall buildings on the city’s skyline. Sound familiar? Mind you, not sure an outside infinity pool and water slide would make much sense with our weather.
A week after Lego launched a 1,200 all-white brick set for architects, there comes more from the home of the plastic bricks. Work has begun on a Lego visitor centre in the Danish town of Billund, by laying six giant Lego-shaped foundation stones. Bjarke Ingels, the project’s architect and Danish founder of architecture practice BIG, said: “For me the Lego brick embodies the notion of systematic creativity - the rigour and rationality of the Lego brick allows children of all ages infinite possibilities to create their own worlds… We have been inspired by the modularity of the Lego brick to create the Lego House.”
The shipping news
Berkeley Homes is sponsoring 30 young Greenwich residents to take part in the Tall Ships Regatta next month. The developer, which has two large regeneration projects in the borough, Kidbrooke Village and Royal Arsenal Riverside, is sponsoring them to sail aboard the Gulden Leeuw, a 70-metre long, three-masted topsail schooner, reminiscent of the thirties. Aged between 16 and 25, Berkeley’s group of trainees are a mix of workers and students. The Tall Ships Regatta event will host some 1 million visitors in all.
Saturday marked the 231st anniversary of the birth of one of engineering’s giants, William Tierney Clark. Clark, born in 1783, was one of the early innovators in the design of suspension bridges, and his ability to design stable chain structures over large expanses of water earned him a worldwide reputation. He is most famous for the creation of the Budapest Chain Bridge (1839-49), which provided a vital crossing over the Danube river, connecting the east and west sides of Hungary’s capital city. In the UK, he is known for his design of the Hammersmith Suspension Bridge (1824 -1827), the first suspension bridge to cross the River Thames. If the anniversary of Clark piques your interest, ICE’s archives also hold original drawings of the Budapest Chain Bridge and photos of Clark.
The placemakers extraordinaire at Argent are no strangers to concocting unusual events to draw visitors to their under-development King’s Cross scheme. This weekend they’re hosting perhaps their quirkiest event yet. Battle Bridge, a celebration of mythological Roman history at King’s Cross, is taking over the site for a free two-day festival. It features Roman-themed film screenings, re-enacted battles, gladiator workshops, hair braiding and rat-catching. If that wasn’t enough, twice a day Boudicca will lead a surprise attack from King’s Cross station, gathering supporters along the way for an attack on the Roman Forum. Those not wishing to take part in a full invasion can enjoy the other activities, including taking a dip in a Roman bath.
On the run
Having now finally recovered from running the London marathon (…in 2013), Building news editor Allister Hayman has taken it upon himself to run the Windsor half marathon next month for CRASH - the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless people. CRASH focuses on improving the buildings used by homeless people by providing pro-bono professional expertise; supplying free building materials; and awarding cash grants. If you fancy contributing towards this good cause, and speeding Allister on his way, you can donate at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlliHayman. Any support would be greatly appreciated!
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