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Abramovich's art island to include outdoor hot tub

Roman Abramovich, the billionaire Russian businessman who owns (among lots of other things) the Chelsea Football Club, recently purchased an island off the coast of St.Petersburg – like ya do when you’re the 11th richest man in the world. Last winter, Ambramovich announced he would dedicate $400 million to converting the island – previously used as a military base – into an enormous art center, complete with offices, hotels, restaurants and boutiques along with a new museum. A “Starchitect” search soon followed, with submissions from top architects all over the world. Just last month, New York-based firm, WORKac, was given the nod – probably because theirs was the only design to include a giant jacuzzi in the courtyard.

Okay, okay – who among us hasn’t thought to ourselves while taking in a little Picasso at MoMA, “gee, I could really use a hot bath. Outside. With lots of other people and possibly some ice skaters.” Oh, I forgot to mention the huge ice-skating rink that surrounds the hot tubs. It’s real, or rather, it’s happening. So, years from now, when you’re vacationing in St.Petersburg, you can clamber out of your snowsuit and skates and hop directly into a steamy, bubbling tub.

So, in essence, it looks like Abramovich’s art island – dubbed “New Holland” for its peculiar triangle shape – is going to be part art experience, part spa. Which…sure, why not. I’d be lying if I didn’t say gallery-going can be exhausting, especially when you’re using so much brain-power to try and comprehend the (sometimes inscrutable) stuff you’re looking at. Heck, maybe a little outdoor R&R might be a welcome respite from all that cultural over-exertion.