Global News: The New Macroeconomic Era, EU’s Big Deal & Mexico’s Youth

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the new era of macroeconomics; (9:25) the EU after striking a huge deal; (17:00) and the challenges for Mexico as its youth departs.

Top Interior Design: “The Print House” In London

‘Soaring ceilings, original timber beams and wooden flooring, flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling sash windows at both aspects’ 

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THE MODERN HOUSE: Brilliantly located in Hoxton, this 19th-century former print house is now a three-bedroom house of exceptional character, scale and versatility. It is arranged across five floors with over 3,700 sq ft of internal living space, including a cinema and artists’ studio, and has two large south-facing terraces.

The house is accessed via a gated front courtyard and entered through an intimate cloakroom. The ground floor is predominantly open plan with the living room and kitchen separated by a wonderful wall of timber-framed stained glass. Painted-brick walls and original timber beams unite the two spaces with wooden floors in the reception becoming concrete in the kitchen. The latter is an enormous space arranged around a large island unit, with a dining area and, beneath a series of pitched roof lights, a six-oven Aga.

The Modern House

From the reception, a concealed door leads to the lower-ground level; a flowing warren of spatial ingenuity comprising steam room, office, utility room, guest WC, and a beautifully finished cinema with seating for seven.

A staircase with timber-panelled walls ascends to the first floor. Here, a dramatic library with soaring ceilings, original timber beams and wooden flooring is flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling sash windows at both aspects. A gas stove and its chimney stack are the only interruption to a towering wall of custom-made bookshelves. Incorporated into the cabinetry, a tropical fish tank offers a distorted glimpse into the room beyond; an elegant guest bedroom with painted-panel walls, a free-standing bath and an excellent walk-in shower with mosaic-tiled flooring and exposed-brick walls.

Reached via an elegant open-tread staircase from the library and occupying the entire second floor, is the master bedroom, with dressing room and en-suite bathroom. An exposed-brick patina on one wall is matched with painted brick on another, all set against dark wooden floors and punctuated with a sculptural free-standing copper bath. With a south-facing window and French doors that lead onto a wonderfully large terrace, this is one of the brightest rooms in the house.

The third floor is a recent addition to the house and is similarly bathed in natural light from walls of Crittall at both aspects; from the north-facing balcony of the artists’ studio, a south-facing landing and a bedroom with gas stove, currently used a room for reading. Steps lead from the studio through an electric roof light and onto an excellent roof terrace, with far-reaching views in every direction.

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Future Housing & Living: Off-Grid “Ecocapsule” – “Spectacular Innovation”

The Ecocapsule is an egg-shaped, mobile dwelling that utilises solar and wind energy. Sona Pohlova and Tomáš Žáček created the original design in 2014 for an American client “who had a big ranch where he didn’t have any infrastructure and he needed some living units for visitors”.

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They didn’t win the project, but were published worldwide and received requests from people to buy it. They weren’t prepared for the reaction, but they spent 5 years turning their plans into a prototype.

Today they are selling their EcoCapsule – complete with shower and toilet, sleeping area for two, and kitchenette – to anyone looking to “stay in the nature for long time, for example scientists, photographers, rangers or extreme tourists” or someone interested in installing one on a city rooftop.

The pods are highly mobile: they can easily be pulled by a pickup truck or even airlifted by helicopter (for those rooftop needs). The units capture sun energy (PV) as well as their own rainwater (and grey and blackwater). There’s even an app-controlled smart-home system and sensors that help you monitor your energy and water use.

Video Profiles: 73-Year Old American Singer Jimmy Buffett – “Summer Songs”

The “Margaritaville” singer who’s provided a summer soundtrack for decades, and who has a new album out (“Life on the Flip Side”), has canceled his annual summer tour because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite the dour news and shuttered concert scene, Jimmy Buffett is one to turn lemons into lemonade, by performing online concerts for first responders. Correspondent Tracy Smith catches up with the singer about making music that meets the challenge of the times.

James William Buffett is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author, actor, and businessman. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an “island escapism” lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett has recorded hit songs including “Margaritaville” and “Come Monday”.

New Photography Books: “Quiet Light” By Adam Gibbs

Photography is all about light. Light is the key to creating mood, dimension, and often is the main subject of the photograph itself.

“Quiet Light” is my homage to the main ingredient that makes an image, light.

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In this book, I share over two decades of my nature photography from around the globe. For me, the enjoyment of photography doesn’t necessarily come from the final image; the joy comes from discovery, exploration and ultimately chasing the light. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I have experienced in creating them.

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Sunday Morning Podcast: News From Switzerland, London And Tokyo

Monocle on Sunday PodcastMonocle’s Markus Hippi is joined by a line-up of guests from Switzerland, London and Tokyo for the weekend’s liveliest discussion.