Egypt upset by ignored obelisk gifted to Britain 200 years ago

Egypt upset by ignored obelisk gifted to Britain 200 years ago

The Economist has reported that Egyptian authorities are upset at Britain’s seeming indifference to a gift presented to the country 200 years ago.

It’s a giant 3500-year-old obelisk that sits unloved in an obscure section of the Embankment in London .

The Egyptian Antiquities Department now says that unless Britain shows greater appreciation and care of the monument, they should give it back.

Western powers, going right back to the Roman Empire, sought out and often plundered Egyptian obelisks. They can be found centre stage in a number of European capitals including Paris and Rome.

But the Egyptians say London’s Egyptian obelisk has been poorly maintained and ignored. Bomb damage in the Second World War wasn’t even repaired .

Check out our stories on Egypt’s spectacular obelisks in Empire Builders: Ancient Egyptians, Empire Builders: The Roman Empire and Tough Boats: Egypt Down the Nile.

Finland now has a zero cabin! Meet Nolla: The cabin that was never there

Finland now has a zero cabin! Meet Nolla: The cabin that was never there

This summer, living with minimal emissions will be put to the test. Neste is building a prototype of a cabin that has a minimal environmental impact in terms of both carbon dioxide emissions and concrete impact on nature. The Nolla (= zero) cabin, designed by Finnish designer Robin Falck, is located just outside Helsinki city centre, on the Vallisaari island. The cabin has been built from sustainable materials and is designed for a simple lifestyle with minimal to no emissions, taking into account the surrounding nature in every respect.

5_nollaLocated on the idyllic island of Vallisaari in the Helsinki archipelago, the Nolla cabin encourages people to consider how modern solutions and innovations could enable sustainable cabin living. Vallisaari has been in a natural state for decades and is thus the perfect location for an urban cabin experience, located just a 20-minute boat ride away from the Helsinki market square.

The ecological and mobile Nolla cabin will be in Vallisaari until the end of September, demonstrating a lifestyle that generates minimal to no emissions.

Placing the compact and mobile cabin on its private lot does not require a construction permit and it has been designed to use building materials as effectively as possible. The cabin is the size of a small bedroom and can be assembled and transported without heavy machinery, leaving its environment nearly untouched. The Nolla cabin has been designed by Finnish designer Robin Falck, whose earlier design, Nido cabin, has been globally acknowledged.

7_nollaThe Nolla cabin introduces solutions, which enable minimising cabin life emissions remarkably. The energy supply of the cabin is entirely renewable; electricity is generated by solar panels, while the Wallas stove, reserved for cooking and heating, runs entirely on Neste MY Renewable Diesel, made 100% from waste and residue. The Aava Lines raft operating between Helsinki city centre and Vallisaari will also run on Neste MY Renewable diesel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%.

“With the Nolla cabin, we want to offer visitors the possibility to experience modern cabin life in the realm of nature, with minimal emissions. An ecological lifestyle does not only require giving up unsustainable commodities, but also discovering modern, sustainable solutions that can be used instead. This has been an essential part of the design process”, says Falck.

“Finns are known for spending time at their beloved summer houses. We wanted to explore sustainable solutions that could enable cabin life with minimal emissions. Shared and circular economy, as well as new technologies and innovations have made it possible to enjoy our cabins without harming or burdening the environment. Some of the solutions that have been used at the Nolla cabin are perfectly adaptable at any cabin”, says Sirpa Tuomi, Marketing Director at Neste.

The Nolla cabin is executed in collaboration with Fortum, Wallas and Stockmann and is part of the Journey to Zero project by Neste, which explores new ideas and aims to steer the world towards a cleaner future with fewer emissions.

The #nolla cabin in a nutshell

1_nollaDesigner: Robin Falck

Dimensions: Height 4m, width 3.75m

Materials: Main material plywood, the floor has been coated with a non-toxic, water-soluble varnish

Energy supply: Fortum solar panels

Heating: Fortum solar panels, Wallas, Neste MY Renewable Diesel

Weight: 900 kg

Decor: Stockmann Sustainable Collection

More Information

The Nolla cabin by Neste

Museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent opens in Marrakech

Museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent opens in Marrakech

In October of last year, a museum dedicated to renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent opened in Marrakech, a city he discovered in 1966 and visited regularly till his death in 2008.

Laurent’s love of Morocco is well documented and the ‘Red City’ especially served as a major inspiration, him once stating “Marrakech taught me colour”. The museum itself is situated near sites of great importance to the designer, including Jardin Majorelle, a garden that he and business partner Pierre Berge saved from development in 1980, and the villa that Laurent bought to continue his visits to Morocco.

A unique view of the gardens

A unique view of the gardens

The opening of the new museum coincided with that of Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, which was constructed inside 5 Avenue Marceau, the couture house that Saint Laurent worked his magic for nearly 30 years and which will showcase the creative process used by Laurent to design his most famous pieces.

The Marrakech museum compliments its Parisian counterpart by showcasing a private collection of Laurent’s work with over 5,000 pieces of clothing, including his famous smoking jackets, as well as rotating temporary exhibitions. The museum also reconstructs memories of Laurent’s personal life, with exhibitions including dialogues from the designer himself, magazine clippings, press releases and photographs.

The museum is not solely focused on Laurent; amongst the temporary exhibits are collections from varied – often young and upcoming – designers, such as Moroccan local Noureddine Amir. In addition to the exhibit spaces, the museum building includes a terrace café, research library and auditorium. It also includes a fantastic museum dedicated to Berber culture. Located in the former painting studio of Jacques Majorelle, this section includes more than 600 objects from the Rif to the Sahara Desert, collected by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, which demonstrate the richness and diversity of this still-vibrant culture.

More Information

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

Words by Aranya Tatapudi


Love all things design? Watch our series Metropolis – each episode explores the history and development of cities and regions through their architecture, design, and urban style.