NEOM bids for the 2034 World Cup, take a dip in the historic pools of Paris, and New York City effectively bans Airbnb. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
AWU files suit against Snøhetta for unfair labor practices
Labor organizer Architectural Workers United (AWU), a subdivision of the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Snøhetta. The suit claims that the architecture studio discriminated against employees during a recent union drive, writes Dezeen. Filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the AWU claimed that Snøhetta, with U.S. offices in New York and San Francisco, “unlawfully discriminated against several employees for exercising their right to engage in concerted activities.” The attempt to unionize was unsuccessful after a 35-29 vote against it. After the vote failed, AWU alleged that Snøhetta hired law firm Stinson LLP to help the studio run a coordinated anti-union campaign.
Saudi Arabia lobbies Europe for 2034 World Cup
NEOM, the new mega city in Saudi Arabia, is making a bid for the 2034 World Cup. As part of the country’s Vision 2030 plan, the city of NEOM is located near the Red Sea and includes a slew of boundary-pushing projects such as the Line, a 110-mile-long mirrored building that connects NEOM to the rest of the Kingdom, and the forthcoming 60-key Collective Trojena glamping concept from Collective Retreats. Despite the intense summer heat, the Saudis insist they could hold the World Cup by using venues at higher altitudes or more temperate venues at NEOM. However, European states are apprehensive about backing Saudi Arabia given the country’s human rights record, writes The Times.
Swimming in Paris is a full-on cultural experience
For those of us still holding onto the last days of summer, The New York Times writes about swimming in Paris, which it calls a full-on cultural experience. Many public pools in the French city are historical monuments, meaning you can swim beneath the vaulted ceiling of the nearly 100-year-old Butte-aux-Cailles pool. The writer, Catherine Porter, moved to Paris last August and developed a list of must-visit public pools, including the Piscine des Amiraux, which was built in 1930. Clad with white subway tiles, the long, thin pool boasts a skylight roof and feels “like swimming back through time,” she writes.
Airbnb effectively ends in New York
Thousands of Airbnbs and short-term rentals are about to be wiped out in New York. Local Law 18 came into force this week, and it is “so strict,” writes Wired, that it doesn’t just limit how Airbnb operates but effectively bans it entirely for many guests and hosts. The new rules require all short-term rental hosts in New York to register with the city, and only those who live in the place they’re renting (and are present when someone is staying) can quality. There is also a two-guest limit. A New York judge dismissed Airbnb’s lawsuit against the city this week for the legislation it calls a de-facto ban on short-term rentals, according to Reuters. There are currently 40,000 Airbnbs in New York; in 2022, short-term rentals made $85 million for the city. “New York City’s short-term rental rules are a blow to its tourism economy and the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses in the outer boroughs who rely on home sharing and tourism dollars to help make ends meet,” says Theo Yedinsky, global policy director for Airbnb.
ICYMI: HD tours the Glass Light Hotel in Virginia
In the latest episode of HDTV, sponsored by Shaw Contract Hospitality, we visit the 117-room Glass Light Hotel & Gallery in Norfolk, Virginia. Designed by architecture and design firm Baskervill, the hotel—a former 1912-era office building—displays the expansive glass art collection of Doug and Pat Perry, which includes pieces by Peter Bremers, Dale Chihuly, Karen LaMonte, and more. The revamp also revealed a few surprises, like a double-height space dubbed the Skylight Room. “We restored the whole thing using historic photographs,” David Wilbourne, studio director of Baskervill’s hospitality division, said during the tour. “That was amazing to find.”