We look closer at some activity surrounding the famous galleries of this world, including the news that we will have no national Portait Gallery for three years, and Paris leapfrogs London as the place to invest in property.

Find out more of the week’s news stories, right here in HEKKTA‘s Property Portal.

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The world famous National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square is to close next June for three years to allow for renovations to the historic building. The huge £35m project was designed by Jamie Fobert Architects, and the firm made sure the contents of the gallery will be loaned out to other galleries to display during the three year period.

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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have designed a huge fortress of art in the Northern French town of Liévin, named the Centre de Conservation du Louvre, which will store 250,000 works of art from the museum’s galleries.

“As a largely single-storey building bounded to the north and the south by massive paired solid concrete walls, the emerging design had a certain fortress-like appearance,” explained John McElgunn, partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

“We made reference to the enormous walls of the citadel in Lille designed by Vauban in 1667 when Lille was taken under French control.”

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Norwegian firm Snøhetta have unveiled new visuals for a dramatic library in Charlotte, North Carolina. To bolster the already burgeoning cultural scene in the neighbourhood Uptown Charlotte, the new branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library will offer more than just books, but a rounded and diverse programme assisting in a variety of areas in the local community.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library - HEKKTA - Galleries

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – HEKKTA – Galleries

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It appears that music and fashion is not all that pop icon Pharrell Williams can turn his hand to, now helping to design a new residential development in Toronto. Perhaps inspired by his musical counterpart Kanye West in the move, the development named Untitled will feature two adjacent rising towers, in which he has been credited for, “designing spaces that felt universal”.

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A spending watchdog from the National Audit Office (NAO) has discovered that the Tories have not built a single home from their 2015 election pledge to build 200,000 new homes by 2020.

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Based at the foot of Herzog & de Meuron’s tower on 56 Leonard Street, artist Anish Kapoor is to have his first piece of permanent artwork displayed publically in New York. Merging art and architecture, the sculpture in Tribeca looks as though it is propping up the building above whilst being squashed simultaneously.

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Architects across the UK have banded together to form the independent trade-union United Voices of the World’s Section of Architectural Workers (UVW-SAW) to make a stand against the toxic culture of long hours, poor pay and harrassment within the architecture industry.

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A new airport on the Red Sea has been unveiled by Foster + Partners, which they predict will welcome one million travellers by 2030. With a design inspired by sand dunes, the airport in Saudi Arabia will focus on it’s sustainability, being powered entirely by renewable energy.

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Crossrail misery continues as chiefs now admit the project has no hope of opening next year, but the following year, incurring further costs of £650m.

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Performance in the construction sector has surprised some people, with construction output increasing, pushed by a 1.4% rise in new work in the sector.

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A jaw-dropping new visitor centre for whale watching within the Arctic Circle is to be created, with Dorte Mandrup releasing incredible visuals for the project in Norway. The sloping roof falls into the sea, mimicing the vast mammal, and the building will act as a conservation and awareness centre for whales, in an area where hunting is still permitted.

The Whale - HEKKTA - Galleries

The Whale – HEKKTA – Galleries

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Cafés and restaurants are the top performers when it comes to the UK commercial property sector, outstripping offices and retail spaces.

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Paris has overtaken London for the first time as a the top place for property investment, followed by New York, Singapore and Shanghai. This comes as Brexit uncertainty has scuppered the entire British market.

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This week the biggest ever auction of Cartel property is to get underway, with 45 different items confiscated from Mexican drug traffickers to be sold. An array of houses, cars and boats, some even belonging to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, are for sale with the money collected going towards helping poor children in Mexico.

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China’s iron and steel giant Jingye Group is set to save British Steel in a £70m deal, safeguarding up to 4,000 jobs. British Steel has been in liquidation since last year, but this turn in fortunes will see an increase production at Scunthorpe from 2.5m tonnes per year to more than 3m.

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A new building in Moorgate designed by Sheppard Robson is to have the largest living wall in Europe, with the plant-covered building absorbing eight tonnes of carbon a year. In the heavily polluted area, it can act as a sponge to the huge amounts of carbon in the atmosphere, which will hopefully act as a blueprint for more projects in the future.