Archive for the ‘my ninja, please’ Category

Architects and Johnny Cash?


I couldn’t help posting this after our review of Why Do Architects Wear Black. I love Architecture Students in Hell – site is just killin’ me.

.:On Attire -> via Architecture Students in Hell

Posted: December 5th, 2008
at 1:00am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please

Comments: 1 comment

Why Do Architects Wear Black?


Editor: Cordula Rau
Publisher: Springer Wien New York
Year: 2009
Size: 228 pages
ISBN: 978-3-211-79191-2


It truly is a question for the ages: why do architects wear black? Really, I’d like some kind of history of the entire phenomenon researched – from the trend’s inception to today [my favorite is the all black clothes except for the socks, which are obnoxiously colourful – always classic]. That, and those damned thick-rimmed glasses…

Well apparently Cordula Rau, editor of Why Do Architects Wear Black, was asked the question and couldn’t think up an answer. Her response: “Ask the other architects!”. So that’s exactly what she did – over the span of a few years Cordula asked architect’s themselves the question, and had them write out an answer. For the book, she has compiled these scribbled replies as they were written by the architects, along with a translation/typed version.

The sometimes amusing and other times programmatic or hair-splitting answers I have received over the last seven years are listed chronologically in this little black volume. Read, and please, don’t ask me why architects wear black! [via]


[“I also wonder why everyone wears black. Nowadays I’m trying to wear bright colors, but today I’m all in black by accident. What a pity!!”, Toyo Ito]

Almost perfect in it’s simplicity, the book is absolutely hilarious – and telling. Answers range from the honesty of Toyo Ito [above], to Bjark Ingles ridiculousness [below], Eisenman’s “I don’t wear black” [a lie!], Jun Aoki’s “An architect is (still) a kind of communist” [he hasn’t heard of Dubai, apparently], and Arno Brandlhuber’s “They are in mourning about their many unrealized projects” [possibly the answer that makes the most sense].

Definitely a great little book – bringing some levity to the profession [much like AMNP!], while asking the tough questions. I always thought it had something to do with the GSD…


[“Cuz I iz black”, Bjarke Ingles, PLOT (now of BIG)]

Why Do Architects Wear Black, edited by Cordula Rau, can be purchased here from the AMNP store.

::Special AMNP thanks to Hee for the book!::

Posted: December 4th, 2008
at 8:20am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,books

Comments: 3 comments

Libeskind’s [green] NYC Condos


That’s right – this is a Daniel Libeskind project. Sure, the dbox rendering helps to sell it – but either way this looks to have some potential [and as many of you know, AMNP is not much of a Libeskind fan]. I mean, where are the jagged edges and weird diagonally cut windows? Could be a trick…I’ll wait to see more renderings before making a final decision.

Six years after Daniel Libeskind alighted in the middle of the World Trade Center circus, bearing images of glass towers dripping with sky gardens, the architect has unveiled a proposal for his first New York building: a glass tower dripping with sky gardens. Libeskind’s One Madison Avenue would swoop up next to, and past, the 700-foot Met Life tower. One diagram in Libeskind’s new book, Counterpoint, suggests that the 54-story condo, hovering on columns over an existing building, could top out just shy of 937 feet (Rem Koolhaas’s proposed 23 East 22nd Street is a block away.) Initial designs show a glass-curtained tube with cutaways spiraling up and around the façade to reveal segments of terraced verdure, like cultivated patches on the side of a steep alpine slope. “We didn’t just fill up the tower,” the architect says. “We’ve taken space away [from the apartments] to create the gardens,” which are actually balconies tucked within the envelope. “It’s as if nature has come back into the city,” he says. The whole project has an air of fantasy about it, but the developer is betting that the current fiscal misery will end before the approvals process does. “The assumption is that by the time construction starts, we’re going to be looking at a different economy,” Lloyd Kaplan, an Elad spokesman, says.

.:Text by Justin Davidson -> via NY Magazine

::thanks to Jill Weiskopf of NY Mag for the text/link::

Posted: December 2nd, 2008
at 8:30am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,housing,towering pagodas

Comments: No comments

Bourbon Barrel Furniture


Pretty ill-looking, right?

Brooklyn-based Uhuru Design has taken used Bourbon Barrels – which normally find second lives as planters or fire wood – and up-cycled them into furniture. Now, if taking what’s essentially been considered trash in the past and repurposing it into high-end, expensive furniture isn’t the work of a true ninja, I just don’t know what is.

Dubbed The Küpe line, after the middle Dutch word KUPE – the origin of the word “cooper,” which is the profession of making staved wooden vessels including barrels – the series currently includes chairs, benches, side table, coffee table, ad mirrors. Not bad.


More on the work, from Uhuru:

The Küpe line is crafted from used bourbon barrels from Bardstown, Kentucky, the Bourbon Capital of the world. The barrels are constructed from new white oak and charred on the inside to produce the unique flavor and color of the bourbon. These barrels are only used one time to age bourbon, after which some are sold and shipped to Scotland to make scotch. The remaining barrels are discarded by the distillery and often sold for firewood or planters.

While many people have repurposed barrels for other uses, our intent is to work with the material in striking new ways. We begin by dismantling the barrels into to individual pieces, the staves, metal bands, and circular heads. We explore how these parts can work together to create a simple functional design while retaining the individual characteristics and natural colors of the aged wood from the original barrels, thus creating a new vernacular. We even hoped to impart some sense of the added quality of working with the barrel parts In our Red Hook shop where the sweet scent of bourbon permeates the process.

The furniture in this line clearly demonstrates using reclaimed material to its fullest potential. These pieces represent six simple solutions to repurposing aged-oak bourbon barrels into unique contemporary functional furniture. They demonstrate beautiful applications for the material far beyond firewood or planters.


So, is it acceptable to call it ‘Bourbon’ furniture if it’s made in Redhook? Should the title revert back to ‘just regular whiskey furniture’ when it isn’t assembled in Kentucky?

Shopflick: Visit this store | Get your own Store!

Head on over to Uhuru Design’s website to see more of their furniture – all of which is made from reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials.

.:Images, info and video – > via Uhuru Design

Posted: November 12th, 2008
at 2:11pm by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,furniture,featured ninjas

Comments: 5 comments

A Missile Base Called Home


Studio 360 takes us on a tour of missile a silo turned happy home:

“The underground nuclear missile bases and silos are still out there in Kansas. Many of them are now empty – but not for long. Studio 360’s Eric Molinsky visits a peace activist who is turning decommissioned nuclear missile bases and silos into family homes.”

That’s some pretty serious adaptive reuse right there…

You can download the show from Studio 360 here, or subscribe to the Studio 360 Podcast through iTunes [or by copying this URL into your iTunes:]


::Thanks to the Studio 360 Intern who hit us with a link::

Posted: November 11th, 2008
at 8:38am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,housing,interiors,adaptive reuse

Comments: 1 comment

Dutch Architecture’s 5 Euro Coin


Check out the winner of a competition to design a new 5 Euro commemorative coin, meant to celebrate the theme ‘Netherlands and Architecture’.

The winning coin, designed by Stani Michiels [using entirely open-source software], depicts an image of the Queen on the front [as is standard in the Netherlands], but her face i made up of the names of famous Dutch architects.

There are obviously just so many influential Dutch designers – how did he choose who fit on the coin? Check it out:

The tension between what is readable and what not, is also a metaphor how time shapes history. Some big names of the past, might be smaller names in the future and vice versa. To reflect this idea, I chose to order the architects not alphabetically or chronologically but in a new way: I used the internet as a seismograph and ordered the architects by the number of hits on the internet.

Of course this order changes over time and as such this is another time stamp on the coin besides the number ‘2008’. Only the first 109 architects fitted on the coin, so that was immediately the selection.


The back side of the coin depicts a collection of influential architecture books by Dutch architects / about Dutch architecture – all pointing inward on the coin to create a central void. This is both meant as an absraction of the a city skyline, and also to form a rough profile of the Netherlands. Pretty ill.

On the back side of the coin I treated the edge of the coin as a book shelve. The books rise as buildings towards the center. Through their careful placement they combine to outline the Netherlands, while birds’ silhouettes suggest the capitals of all the provinces.

From what I understand, 350,000 coins will be produced an entered into circulation – and there will be addition coins minted for collectors [larger silver and gold editions, I believe], and available at higher [than 5 Euros] prices.

Check out more info on the design process – from concept to the software used – over at the designer’s blog.

.: via SPE IDE – Stani’s Python Editor ->

Posted: November 7th, 2008
at 1:30am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,tech,featured ninjas,competitions,news

Comments: 1 comment

Jetson Green: Modern Green Houseboat


Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green, writes:

I’ve seen houseboats — boats designed or modified to be used primarily as permanent dwellings — in Portland, Oregon and always wondered what it’d be like to live in one.  I could certainly live in something like this, what with the green roof and modern aesthetic.  It’s called the Schwimmhaus and was designed by confused-direction in Germany.  Don’t be fooled by the images, though, because this is just a model.  The real version should be finished in Spring 2009.  At a size of 14 m long, 4 m tall, and 3 m wide, Schwimmhaus will feature a spacious living room, kitchen, bathroom, and loft bedroom.   It’ll also be eco-friendly, too, with features such as the living roof and wood reclaimed from an old farm barn.


Click here to read read the rest of this article [this is just an excerpt] over at Jetson Green.

::article written by Preston, founder + editor of Jetson Green – original article entitled Schwimmhaus Modern Green Houseboat. These articles from Jetson Green on MNP’s Green Tuesdays are part of a feature you can find here every week – just click any Tuesday in the calender and enjoy! And for more ‘green’ news + info, head on over to Green.MNP::

Posted: November 4th, 2008
at 5:00am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,housing

Comments: No comments

The Green City: Jumeirah Gardens


[Image: Master-plan aerial]

Say what you want about the construction boom in Dubai, but one thing is for certain: this place is the future, but now. Seriously – expect sci-fi movies to be filming there, and for the rest of the world to be playing catch-up for decades. May or may not be a good thing – but its the truth, my ninjas.

Despite the fact that these towers and individual structures are interesting themselves, I’m personally much more interested in the master-plans / urban design coming out of the emirate, as they offer an opportunity to investigate what the 21st century urban fabric truly is / should be [whereas in most other places designers aren’t afforded so many liberties, and basically zero context]. These projects also have the funding/space/political backing to be feckin’ HUGE, really creating whole new cities [or in this case, cities within cities] in a rather short amount of time – in contrast to urban design in the US, for instance, which must account more for the existing fabric and history, etc [neither is better or worse necessarily, and AMNP isn’t advocating for one or the other – just making a point.].

While the architectural palimpsest of Europe, the US, and parts of China emphasizes the dichotomy that exists between ‘old’ and ‘new’, ‘classic’ and ‘contemporary’, etc., these new large scale projects in Dubai and the U.A.E. [and some in China] leave that conversation behind and look towards the future. I can’t say that I believe that’s better than building an urban area over a longer period of time – hundreds of years, whatever – but it will definitely propel design, planning, and construction [along with all technologies involved] into the 21st century in a serious way. I’m interested in seeing how the international involvement in these projects [in terms of architects/designers anyways] starts to influence the building in other countries, namely the countries of Europe and the U.S.

Moving along, here are images from the proposal for the Jumeirah Gardens master-plan by SOM Chicago and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, with 3 major new towers [each of which you’ll see all over the ‘net and in all the design rags, I’m sure] by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill.


[Image: 1 Dubai]

Proposed by Meraas Development, the development will be a mixed-use project ranging from low density all the way to super-high Dubai density [yes, that’s a technical term] zones for housing, businesses, retail, leisure, recreation, parks, and anything else they can squeeze into the 95 Billion dollar project.

The centerpiece of the masterplan is a tri-part tower called simply “1 Dubai”, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill. The project is three towers that share a connected base, and are further connected to one another at various heights through sky-bridges. Not to be taken lightly, “1 Dubai” will be one of the tallest buildings in the world at over 2,000 feet – and will house two world-class hotels, office and retail space and some of the world’s highest condominiums and luxury facilities, for a total area of 13 million sq ft.

I mean, just look at how big the sky-bridges are themselves [below]. Ridiculous.

From Smith + Gill:

The development’s unique form is also highly functional: soaring clusters of cables and occupied sky-bridges connect the towers together as they ascend. The towers are designed to the highest environmental and performance standards and will serve as a strong symbol of Dubai’s commitment to sustainability.

A true “city center,” the complex is accessible directly by both land and sea. At the base of the buildings, grand arched entrances allow boats to travel underneath the building and into a central atrium space, an oasis in the center of the development. The atria oasis, open from water to sky, is framed by the three towers and the sky-bridges above. The space has the potential to transform into a premier entertainment venue [via].


[Image:1 Dubai, suspended bridges]

The other individual project of note being proposed for the ‘Gardens’ is called ‘Park Gate’ [I’m skipping over the ‘1 Park Avenue’ project, as it looks like a fairly typical phallic and curvy tower], and consists of 6 towers that are connected in pairs by large hanging canopies of greenery [images below].

From Smith + Gill:

[The six towers are] arranged to form a grand garden space and create a shaded microclimate unlike any other place in Dubai. The six towers are positioned into pairs linked together by soaring vaulted canopy structures that umbrella the landscape below. The space beneath the canopies is transformed into a verdant grotto. Vegetation is enmeshed with the canopies and exterior balconies of the towers, creating a highly sustainable 360 degree garden. The space acts as an outdoor “great hall”, providing an unparalleled retreat.

Each of the six towers is 30-40 stories. The development includes residential, commercial, retail, hospitality and entertainment spaces [via].


[Image: Park Gate]

A common thread through all the project, and the  master-plan itself, is sustainability – another aspect of architecture that these project in the UAE are all over. The developer has stated that “green buildings and construction, resource conservation and overall sustainability will inform every aspect of this new district, with tools such as intelligent infrastructure technology and cutting-edge eco design serving to reduce the district’s collective ecological footprint.”


[Image: Park Gate]

So, book some kind of cruise tickets now for 2020 [the project is underway – but there won’t be any cheap airlines left by then, sorry people]. The only thing these ninjas need is some cars that fold into suitcases, and Dubai will be like wherever it was that the Jetsons lived…

.: originally seen over at WAN ->

Posted: October 30th, 2008
at 11:58pm by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,urban/master planning,towering pagodas

Comments: 5 comments

Human-Powered Water Pump


Yup – a human-powered water pump! Because unlike coal, people are a renewable resource [we just keep having babies!]. How’s that for a Modest Proposal?

In all seriousness – is this not really siiick looking? Unfortunately, the design shown really doesn’t have anything to do with anything [not that that makes the aesthetic any less impressive] – the really amazing idea here is that this setup will convert kinetic energy from human foot traffic into usable energy to power underground pumps, which will pump fresh drinking water up to the surface in areas where there are drinking water shortages.



The project – designed by Gunwook Nam of Seoul, South Korea – was one of three winners of the Re:construct competition sponsored by San Fransisco’s Urban Re:Vision. Here’s the designer’s description:

Human Pump – one step one drop

This structure is adaptable to everywhere, having trouble with water shortage and supply system. All over the world, many countries have trouble with water supply. Almost of countries is worsening desertification and water shortage. Already many cities were covered by sand and these cities will be at a crisis to be vanished. And also we can adapt this structure to contaminated land after flooding disaster because people cannot find clean water. At the country having trouble with water supply, people usually spend their all day finding water or pumping with hands. For these reasons, many children can not go to school. I will suggest Human Pump. If we install this structure on roads that many people usually pass, people will walk through this wood deck structure, children will run and play on this wood playground. And then springs of floor collects shock energy from steps. This energy will be collected and then used by pumping underground water and lifting up deck floor to roof and spraying water out. After school, children just contain water and go to home. Citizens will use this water by farming and drinking. This new invention structure doesn’t need any artificial electronic energy. Only people walks on the structure. It is new self-sufficient invention for future.

.: Check out more images of the proposal here ->

.: The Human Water Pump Harvests Kinetic Energy -> via Inhabitat

Posted: October 22nd, 2008
at 12:23am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,green arch,tech

Comments: 2 comments

Work on 1 km Tall Towers!


Woods Bagot, designers of the proposed 1km tall Nakheel Tower in Dubai are opening a US office!

Woods Bagot, a global architecture and consulting firm employing more than 1,000 professionals worldwide, announced today that it opened its first North American office to service the growing interests of the firm’s international clients.

The San Francisco office expands Woods Bagot’s network of 14 offices currently serving Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The move advances the firm’s “one global studio” strategy, which uses proprietary technology to deliver its international expertise to clients around the world.

“Competing in the global economy requires a different approach, one that is agile and innovative and driven by the best talent worldwide,” said Ross Donaldson, Group Managing Director of Woods Bagot. “The new North American office adds an important link to our knowledge network, tapping into the remarkable design and technological expertise that resides here. We foresee exciting collaborations that will continue to elevate our worldwide presence as an architectural innovator and better serve our clients’ interests in the region.”

Thank the architecture gods – maybe now we’ll get something like this ridiculousness built in the US! Because size matters, my ninjas, and good design does not…

Seriously though – why doesn’t someone just build FLW’s mile-high skyscraper? That thing was nice-looking, anyways. This thing here just looks like some kind of torturous vibrator.


I wasn’t sure if I was going to take it here, but this was too amusing not to post – a co-worker of mine had this to say of the announcement:

Employment opportunity : Woods Bagot Design

We are looking for those who have high ego and pretentiousness that can only be matched by the size of the towers that we are specialized in.

Qualification : Men. Small genital, less than 1/4″ from the base to its tip (preferably uncircumcised).

Hilarious. All those interested [meeting these criteria], leave a hater-ish reply in the comments.
.: Woods Bagot ->

Posted: October 15th, 2008
at 10:39am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,featured ninjas,towering pagodas,news

Comments: 5 comments