Aman Group Brings a Sleek Sister Spot to Tokyo, and Other News

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Image courtesy of Aman Group

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Aman Group Brings a Sleek Sister Spot to Tokyo

You likely know Aman’s lineup of ultra-luxe and cloistered getaways. Now get to know its sister hotel Janu, which recently opened the doors to its first property in Tokyo. The site of Aman’s first urban property makes a fitting setting for Janu, which emphasizes community and experiential hospitality with open interiors designed by Aman repeat collaborator Jean-Michel Gathy. 

Two expansive on-property restaurants are joined by two intimate dining experiences, which together offer guests brasserie fare, seafood, sushi, and sumibiyaki. Wellness programming, including boxing, golf, and yoga aim to foster connections between the like-minded guests in residence. The rooms, however, offer a solitary and spacious escape. With the smallest coming in at just under 600 square-feet, they’re among Tokyo’s largest. Everything inside from the plaster walls to the shoji screen-like dividers exude serenity in hues of soft gray and beige. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz

The dining room of the Palais Stoclet. Image courtesy of the CIVA Collection, Brussels

A proposed law may soon open up Brussels’ UNESCO-listed Palais Stoclet to the public. 

The Palais Stoclet in Brussels, an architectural masterpiece by Josef Hoffmann, embodies the Vienna Secession style and serves as a total artwork integrating architecture, interior design, and furniture. Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage site, it remains largely inaccessible to the public, with the Stoclet family maintaining strict private control, although a proposed law may soon require them to open it for about two weeks annually. Meanwhile, a virtual recreation by professor David Lo Buglio offers a digital glimpse into the mansion, nodding to the ongoing efforts to preserve its legacy and potentially make it more accessible.

The Nordstrom family is exploring the possibility of taking the department store private.

The Nordstrom family is actively exploring the possibility of taking their 123-year-old department store private, evidenced by the formation of a special committee to review bids from CEO Erik Nordstrom, president Pete Nordstrom, and potentially other external parties. This move aligns with the company’s broader strategy to enhance shareholder value and adapt to the evolving retail environment without the pressures of public market scrutiny. Although Nordstrom’s shares experienced a slight increase following the announcement, the deal remains uncertain.

Lesley Lokko. Photography by Murdo McLeod/courtesy of the Venice Architecture Biennale

Architects Lesley Lokko and Marina Tabassum make Time’s list of 100 influential people. 

Architects Lesley Lokko and Marina Tabassum have earned spots on Time magazine’s 2024 list of the 100 most influential people, recognized for their innovative contributions to architecture. Lokko, known for her dynamic impact and advocacy for diverse voices in the profession, recently curated the Venice Architecture Biennale and received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal. Tabassum, celebrated for her altruistic and sustainable design approach, won the Soane Medal, is known for projects like the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, and develops moveable prefab houses.

Henning Larsen wins the competition to design the Grieg Quarter in Bergen, Norway.

Henning Larsen Architects has won an international competition to design the Grieg Quarter in Bergen, Norway, with their proposal “Kontrapunkt,” which includes a state-of-the-art concert hall that harmonizes with the city’s context. Slated for completion in 2030, the 258,000-square-foot center aims to enhance Bergen’s cultural infrastructure with facilities like a theater, exhibition spaces, and a cafe, all designed to foster community interaction and urban integration. 

A recent study reveals bottled water contains more plastic particles than once thought.

A recent study reveals that a typical one-liter bottle of water may contain as many as 240,000 plastic fragments, primarily nanoplastics, which are significantly smaller and more penetrative than previously detected microplastics. Researchers developed a novel microscopy technique and a data-driven algorithm to quantify these particles in bottled water, finding concentrations up to 100 times higher than earlier estimates. This breakthrough in detecting nanoplastics, which are capable of entering human cells and the bloodstream, highlights a potentially underestimated health risk and opens new avenues for understanding plastic pollution.

A still from the “Barbie” movie. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Today’s attractive distractions:

Beleaguered smartphone users desperate for screen relief pivot to dumbphones.

In the spirit of Barbie, every nostalgically beloved toy will soon become a movie

The SETI Institute claims that they’ve successfully communicated with whales.

Here’s the painting that a German museum worker secretly snuck into a show.

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