France and the French can remain globally relevant only in English. Or so says British journalist Simon Kuper in one of a series of articles published recently by Le Monde. According to him, French is losing its utility, while English reigns supreme.
“The French Language Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You!”
Who better than this jovial linguist to champion the French language? Bernard Cerquiglini holds a doctorate in literature, formerly directed the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, and has been the vice-president of the Fondation des Alliances Françaises for the last two years.
The Local Project – In crafting Lower Shotover House, the architect designs a hidden home that offers a dramatic interior landscape to complement the impressive external context, ensuring it was built for residing in place. Crafted by Bureaux, the home embraces a natural materiality as the means to connecting to the outdoors.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Hidden Home 00:26 – Bunkering Into the Side of the Hill 01:00 – The Materials Used 01:40 – The Importance of Creating A Robust Home 02:10 – The Soft Pools of Light Throughout the Home 02:30 – Creating a Warm and Dramatic Feel 02:58 – The Building Aspect 03:29 – The Views from the Upstairs Bunk Room 03:51 – The Green Roof 04:17 – A Dramatic Kitchen 04:29 – Finding Joy in the Movement Between the Tight Spaces 04:51 – Creating A Timeless Masterpiece
Based in Queenstown, Lower Shotover House faces north, overlooking the Shotover River and Coronet Peak. The architect designs a hidden home that takes inspiration from the old musterer’s huts settled on the mountainside. Capitalising on the protective quality of the hill, the structures look out upon the landscape with a feeling of safety. Importantly, the architect designs a hidden home that utilises a stone composition and a house tour reveals the resulting echo of the rugged surrounds, as well as the proposition of permanence.
In materiality, Lower Shotover House reflects a playful interpretation of the natural context. The architect designs a hidden home that sees stone, black travertine and charcoal timber interior linings combine to establish a cosy interior design. Crafted in recognition of the clients’ lifestyle, Bureaux enforces a robust material palette that can withstand the markings of an active family in a timeless fashion. A dramatic home, Lower Shotover House features rich timber walls, carefully framed windows and pools of soft lighting.
The architect designs a hidden home in which residents are led through the interior with ease; a project where nothing is over-lit and the architecture captures both the compression and expansion of space. Residents must ascend a step in order to enter the kitchen, suggesting an element of theatricality within the experience of the home. As the architect designs a hidden home, they consider the relevance of orientation to the outcome. Lower Shotover House faces north and, as such, measures are put into place to retain heat and maximise the impact of the sweeping views.
While stone walls and a green roof influence the thermal quality of the building, doors measuring three metres high can be pushed back in order to control the thermal climate of the interior. The green roof also engages the surrounding hillside mass, blurring the boundary between landscape and home. Immersing occupants in the mountainside experience, Lower Shotover House forms the ideal place of retreat. Through a process of consideration, the architect designs a hidden home that, though contemporary, is ultimately defined by a prevailing sense of timelessness.
It is now forty years since Melina Mercouri, the Greek Minister for Culture from 1981 to 1989, famous also as a film star and singer, addressed UNESCO’s World Conference on Cultural Policies to draw international attention to the campaign with which she would be identified until her death in 1994, the repatriation to Athens of the Parthenon sculptures in the British Museum. ‘We are not asking for the return of a painting or a statue’, she said: ‘We are asking for the return of a portion of a unique monument, the privileged symbol of a whole culture’.
The Painters of Pompeii
As images, ancient Roman wall paintings command attention for their bold compositions, vibrant and saturated colours, convincing naturalism and the fantastical mythologies they depict. As objects they also captivate for the dramatic circumstances surrounding their near- destruction, the miracle (or rarity) of their survival and the alchemical nature of lime plaster and pigment.
Abominations: Selected Essays From a Career of Courting Self-Destruction
By Lionel Shriver | Harper
With a restless imagination and an instinct to take on progressive orthodoxies, the novelist and essayist Lionel Shriver brings her “smart, plain-spoken and unpredictable” style to subjects that many writers prefer to shy away from. Review by Meghan Cox Gurdon.
In a trilogy of narratives that “broke the mold” in Civil War history, Bruce Catton told the story of the Eastern theater with an eye to the sacrifices and sufferings of the ordinary soldiers who fought and died on both sides. Review by Harold Holzer.
The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World
By Jonathan Freedland | Harper
Walter Rosenberg did not make it easy for the Nazi-allied regime in his native Slovakia to deport him—along with thousands of other Slovak Jews—to extermination camps like Auschwitz. But once he wound up there, he was determined to get out and spread the word of the ongoing genocide. Review by Diane Cole.
A long-awaited, posthumously published memoir from the star of “Cool Hand Luke,” “The Verdict” and other classics reveals the inner world of a hard-working actor who “breathed in insecurity and exhaled doubt.” Review by Michael O’Donnell.
What was for many years the center of the American sports calendar has lost some of its grip on the collective imagination. But a journey through October Classics past proves that the magic of the World Series still has a potent charm. Review by David M. Shribman.
The pioneering figure of modern dance was a daring innovator, a technical perfectionist and a preternaturally gifted performer. While she transformed the way a generation of dancers thought about movement, she looked for ways to claim her art firmly as an American one. Review by Hamilton Cain.
The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting
By Steve Hendricks | Abrams Press
Fasting has a long history of use as a spiritual aid—a ritual of purification and turning away from indulgence—and as a tool for protest. But emerging science suggests that its positive effects on physical health can no longer be overlooked. Review by Matthew Rees.
Ray Bradbury’s unique science fiction owed more to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s darkly symbolic stories than to H.G. Wells’s rationalist visions. On a Mars that held curious correspondences to the Midwestern country of Bradbury’s youth, fathers and sons negotiated the strange spaces between them. Review by Brad Leithauser.
The “stage manager” of the American Revolution has resisted attempts by historians to pin down the details of his life. Stacy Schiff finds a potential key to Samuel Adams’s enigmatic character in the financial tumult of his family’s business. Review by Mark G. Spencer.
The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of Empire
By Joseph Sassoon | Pantheon
The business empire of the Sassoon dynasty began in Bombay, where the family of Iraqi Jews had fled to escape persecution, and flourished in the opium trade with China. The “Rothschilds of Asia” kept a low profile—and when the tides of fortune turned against them, their once-global enterprise became a distant memory. Review by Norman Lebrecht.
The Dolomites, also known as the Dolomite Mountains, Dolomite Alps or Dolomitic Alps, are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east.