Projects   Interiors - Quarterly - March 2006
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New York City

Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis turns the tables on an oddly shaped space, fashioning Xing in New York City

Photo © Michael Moran

By William Weathersby, Jr.

Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL), selected as one of record’s emerging Vanguard architecture firms in 2000, has gone on to establish a strong track record of designing inventive New York City restaurants known for a surprising use of materials. Often working with odd floor plans in near-crumbling spaces, and almost always facing budget and space limitations, the team has orchestrated custom-tailored environments well suited for equally creative restaurateurs.

The Pan-Asian restaurant Xing in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan is one of the latest winning eateries designed by LTL. Xing, whose name means “star” in Chinese, is a bright, modern space filled with contrasting textures and crisp details. Tactile surfaces such as wood, stone, and velvet are threaded with colorful acrylic forms that capture the light.

The 2,000-square-foot restaurant is located in a street-level space previously occupied by a delicatessen and a studio apartment behind it. “The floor plan, typical in New York, was barbell-shaped, in which the middle is a bottleneck resulting from light wells placed on each side of the tenement building,” explains design partner David Lewis. “Rather than force a design that would hide the distinction between the front and back, the approach was to accentuate the unique nature of each space.”

Though the restaurant seats only 50 patrons, the owners wanted to retain an open ambience that could accommodate room for a prominent bar. Employing a collagelike technique of juxtaposing disparate materials (Lewis cites the Surrealist game known as the Exquisite Corpse as an inspiration), the space is composed of four distinct yet interlocking areas, each defined by texture. From front to back, patrons move through areas wrapped with hard surfaces (wood and stone) from the most public vantage points toward softer surroundings (fabric) within the most intimate dining space at the rear. Aside from small sections of the ceiling, no public area exposes any drywall.

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the People


147 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
t. 212-505-5955
f. 212-505-1648

Partners in charge:
David J. Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, Paul Lewis

Project team:
Lucas Cascardo, Adam Frampton, Katherine Hearey, Matthew Roman, Eric Samuels, Alex Terzich

Jack Green Associates

General contractor
Gateway Design Group

Michael Moran Photography, Inc.
371 Broadway 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013
t. 212-334-4543
f. 212-334-3854

the Products

Interior Finishes
Stone Source

Bamboo flooring:

Acrylic surfacing:
GE Polymer Shapes

Karim Rashid




Sink fabrication:

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