Jialun Xiong’s Chinese Roots Inform a Sleek Restaurant, and Other News

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19 Town by Jialun Xiong

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Jialun Xiong’s Chinese Roots Inform a Slick New Restaurant

Furniture designer Jialun Xiong brings her roots in Chongqing, China, to Los Angeles for the interiors of her first culinary destination, the City of Industry’s 19 Town. A quintet of zones explore Xiong’s take on minimalism, which is less restraint for restraint’s sake and more tasteful rigor in form and material. A slice of brushed stainless rests within the Formica reception desk while banquettes of the same metal, mixed with green leather and vinyl, offer perches for guests to explore chef Yang Liu’s offerings. They include a mapo tofu intertwined with cheese and spinach balls with black sesame, which similarly pushes Chinese tradition into thoughtful new iterations of simplicity and spice. 

Custom plywood casework and feature walls of Venetian plaster lend subtle texture to the five zones, which include central and private dining areas bookended by a lounge furnished with Xiong’s sofas and tables. There’s also a bar serviced with high-top tables and fueled by the fresh-squeezed Foggy Plum Grove or Weird-O cocktail, the latter a mix of baiju and elderflower as forward-thinking as Xiong’s interiors. —Jesse Dorris

The Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium in Takamatsu, Japan. Photography by Noriyuki Kawanishi

The landmark Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium by Kenzo Tange faces demolition. 

The Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, a striking post-war landmark in Takamatsu, Japan, designed by renowned architect Kenzo Tange, is facing demolition due to its current state of disrepair, including a leaky roof. The concrete building, which features a distinctive oval structure that echoes a traditional Japanese wooden boat, has been under threat since 2014. Although a petition to preserve the building has garnered almost 4,000 signatures from local architects and community members, there has been no public consultation on the demolition, with a lack of fundraising efforts for the necessary retrofitting. The loss of this beloved building adds to the increasing number of aging heritage buildings around the world facing the same fate, including the Miami Marine Stadium by Hilario Candela.

Brown University unveils a sustainable residence hall designed by Deborah Berke.

Brown University is preparing to unveil its latest architectural feat, the Brook Street Residence Halls designed by Deborah Berke Partners. The 125,000-square-foot development will contain 353 beds, strategic social spaces, kitchenettes, study nooks, and corridors designed to let in an influx of natural light, providing a conducive study environment for students. In line with the university’s 2040 net-zero commitment, the building will feature an all-electric and combined CLT hybrid steel design and offer an interwoven green space connected to the University’s historic campus. The new residences are built in brick and terracotta, blending in with the existing Federal style–rich city architecture.

Stefano Boeri receives the Madrid Design Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stefano Boeri was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Madrid Design Festival for his contributions to architecture, urban planning, and academia. Rafael Moneo, a figure who influenced Boeri’s early career, presented him the award. Boeri’s lecture on “Green Obsession” the next day discussed the design principles behind his famous Vertical Forest of Milan and other projects that aim to implement urban forestation strategies worldwide.

Dior’s Spring Haute Couture show in Paris. Photography by Laura Sciacovelli

Mickalene Thomas spotlights barrier-breaking female artists for Dior’s runway show.

Dior’s Spring Haute Couture show in Paris was a celebration of prominent women of color, showcasing 13 portraits of notable female figures. The portrait gallery, created by American artist Mickalene Thomas, featured the likes of Josephine Baker, Diahann Carroll, and Dorothy Dandridge, each of whom made significant contributions in their individual fields. Thomas intentionally chose to include both well-known and lesser-known figures that challenged the status quo and defied expectations. The show marked another collaboration between Thomas and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, who viewed the inclusion as an opportunity to celebrate the influence of women of the past, regardless of their nationality or background.

Works from mogul S.I. Newhouse’s collection may fetch $144 million at Christie’s.

Christie’s will host an evening sale in May featuring 16 works from the collection of billionaire media mogul and prolific collector S.I. Newhouse. The auction includes the black-and-white work Orestes by Willem De Kooning, which is expected to fetch over $25 million, as well as works by Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso. The previous sale of Newhouse’s collection brought in $216.2 million, including a record-breaking $91 million sale of Jeff Koons’ sculpture Rabbit in 2019, while large single-owner auctions from wealthy collectors have proven lucrative for auction houses in recent years.

A French company is transforming rubble into new apartment buildings in Ukraine.

French company Neo-Eco has been turning rubble into construction materials for more than 15 years, including in Beirut. The company, in partnership with two firms, has reused about 93 percent of the 50,000 tons of rubble in Hostomel, Ukraine, constructing six new buildings with 450 new apartments. Using recycled materials is environmentally friendly and cheaper, but it requires expertise in material science and a deep understanding of local construction.

Still from a Björk music video with nails by Sojin Oh

Today’s attractive distractions:

This photographer braves the waves to capture the world’s best surfers.

The nail artist of Björk, Arca, and Rosalía peels back her creative process.

Taschen republishes Manly P Hall’s masterful Secret Teachings of All Ages

Archaeologists discover a 5,000-year-old tavern in a remote part of Iraq.

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