Five on Friday: July 5th, 2024

Five on Friday: July 5th, 2024

Business travel rebounds, Little Island in New York proves the benefits of public green space, and the starchitect era may be over. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.


Netflix to launch immersive entertainment venues

The Netflix headquarters in Tokyo; photo courtesy of Netflix

Netflix has announced plans to open two permanent immersive entertainment venues, dubbed Netflix House, in 2025, writes Deadline. The initial locations will be in King of Prussia in Pennsylvania and Galleria Dallas, each occupying more than 100,000 square feet previously occupied by department store. The venues will offer a range of experiences inspired by popular Netflix shows such as Bridgerton, Money Heist, Stranger Things, and Squid Game, along with themed retail shops and F&B options. “We’ve launched more than 50 experiences in 25 cities, and Netflix House represents the next generation of our distinctive offerings,” says Marian Lee, Netflix’s chief marketing officer. “The venues will bring our beloved stories to life in new, ever-changing, and unexpected ways.”


Have starchitects lost their shine?

the spiral hudson yards new york commercial highrise supertall

The Spiral in Hudson Yards in New York, designed by BIG; photo courtesy of BIG

That’s the question Architizer writer Kaline Prelikj asks in From Sensationalism to Subtlety: Why Starchitecture Lost its Shine. The trend saw famous architects like Zaha Hadid, Bjarke Ingels, and Frank Gehry create visually striking but often impractical buildings. At their best, these buildings became culture landmarks, pushing boundaries and inspiring architects to think outside the box. However, the drawbacks—high costs, impracticality, and environmental impact—became apparent. Critics pointed out that these buildings often sacrificed functionality for aesthetics and lacked sustainability. In response, the industry is shifting away from sensationalism toward a more sustainable approach, where buildings serve both people and the planet.


Despite cost-cutting, business travel rebounds

airplane landing at airport runway with lights and sunset in the background

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Though companies continue to reduce travel expenses, business travel—which will total $245 billion in 2023—has rebounded, reports Skift. A recent survey from BCD Travel reported that 60 percent of companies have cut travel budgets, with 96 percent implementing cost-control policies. Yet, business travel has seemingly bounced back, especially for sectors where there’s a clear return on investment like sales. Discretionary travel, including company events and conferences, face more pressure. Indeed, a popular way to reduce costs is to trade down, meaning employees staying at a 3-Star hotel versus a 4-Star property. “That said,” Skift writes, “higher-level executives continue to stay at the nicer locations, swallowing the increasing rates.”


New York’s Little Island shows the importance of public green spaces

Little Island in New York, designed by Heatherwick Studio; photo by Hufton + Crow

A new study commissioned by Little Island and architecture and design firm Heatherwick Studio highlights the significant social impact of the 2.4-acre public park in New York, which opened three years ago. A few highlights of the report: In 2022, the park hosted more than 200 free performances and art workshops and more than 30 ticketed performances, and the following year, it commissioned 44 individual artists based in the city and presented 69 performances. It’s predicted that by 2050 68 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, and the need for green public space will become increasingly important for both the climate and the community. “We’ve dug deep into the experience of New Yorkers to better understand how this river-top park is serving the city and now we plan to share those lessons with practitioners all over the world,” said Mat Cash, partner and group leader at Heatherwick Studio, in a statement.


Call for 2024 Boutique 18 nominations!

The lobby of residential building 2200 Brickell in Miami; photo courtesy of ODA

Each year, Hospitality Design magazine’s sister brand, Boutique Design, recognizes 18 emerging hospitality designers for their notable contributions and achievements. These rising stars will be highlighted in the Fall 2024 edition of BD magazine and honored in November at the Gold Key Awards ceremony and during Boutique Design New York (BDNY). Eligible nominees should have approximately five to 10 years of experience in the industry and be actively engaged in the design and/or architecture process. Nominees can be part of the nominator’s firm, another design firm or brand, or have recently started their own studio. The selected class will be announced in September. Submit your nominations by Monday, August 5th to celebrate the industry’s future leaders.

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