AMNP is happy to announce the newest edition of the Ninja(s) of the Month feature – where a firm / designer is selected for an extended look at their work over the course of several weeks – EASTERN design office.
EASTERN design office has its base in Kyoto and acts in Japan and China. The name of EASTERN implies “architects from the east”.
Founded in 2003 by Anna Nakamura and Taiyo Jinno, EASTERN is a Kyoto-based 4 person firm [currently]. You may have seen their work elsewhere on the web, as their home designs are pretty incredible and make for great eye-candy. In particular, their work is based on an exploration of an architectural element they call the ‘Slit’ – which is basically exactly what it sounds like, a break of some sort in the form being created. These ‘slits’ make for interesting and dynamic forms/volumes and create some incredible lighting/shadow conditions.
We create the architecture with “Slit”. We seek a design possibility of “Slit”. It is an architectural technique since ancient times. But “Slit” is now our design method to change an aspect of contemporary architecture.
Six projects in total will be featured over the next few weeks – giving you a better idea of this ‘Slit’ idea that they use as a major design element throughout their projects, and hopefully some insight into the work of this young and talented firm.
Come through next week for the first project we’ll feature by EASTERN, Slit House.
Welcome to the start of the third installment of our continuing AMNP feature, Ninja(s) of the Month.
This month we’ll be featuring the work of Boston based Dan Hisel Architect [DHA]. Dan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and a Masters of Architecture with distinction from Yale – and went on to start his own practice in 1996, then Dan Hisel Design, with the design and construction of the Cadyville Sauna in upstate New York. Self-described as being “committed to the enrichment of contemporary life through the poetic articulation of spatial experience”, DHA’s practice covers a wide spectrum of projects – from furniture, to private residences, to commercial and institutional projects.
[Image: Cadyville Sauna]
Our design approach to each project emerges from a clear understanding of the life to be lived (the clientâ€™s needs, routines, and rituals), the intricacies of the specific site, the creative milieu of our contemporary culture, the urgency of sustainable building practices, and the ever-present constraints of time and money. The goal is always to arrive at original solutions that resonate in meaningful ways with those who encounter them. Sometimes the poetic idea is a simple one: make the building act as a frame, for example, in order to foreground the activities of kids in an art school. Sometimes it is more existential: make the building disappear altogether. Regardless of the tactic, the strategy remains the same: minimal gestures for maximal effect.
~Dan Hisel, Dan Hisel Architect
[Image: Heavy/Light House]
Many of you will be familiar with a number of Hisel’s projects, in particular the Cadyville Sauna and the Heavy/Light House – the latter of which won a number of awards includingÂ a Progressive Architecture Award Citation and a Boston Society of Architects award for unbuilt architecture [both in 2004]. Hisel was also named a winner of the Young Architects Forum by the Architectural League of New York in 2005 – and subsequently published in Young Architects 7: Situating. Additionally, readers of AMNP will remember Dan for the Z-Box, which we featured in 2007.
[Image: 9 Salem]
In addition to his practice, Dan is currently an Adjunct Faculty member at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston – and has taught previously at Roger Williams University [where I met him], California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Syracuse University, Catholic University, and Iowa State University.
AMNP is pleased to announce that over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at a number of DHA’s other projects – including a second Z-Box, a private residence in MA, an art center in Lynn [MA], and some of Dan’s own writing / work dealing with the history and theory of camouflage in architecture.
We here at AMNP are happy to [finally] announce the next installment in our Ninja(s) of the Month series – this time featuring the work of Barcelona-based H ARQUITECTES.
Our working attitude as an architecture studio tries to operate with the parameters that we dominate through experience and knowledge so [we] can guarantee results, [while] promoting new stimulating ways of designing. At the moment we work with passive systems that, although simple and well-used, are effective. We [have] committed ourselves to think of a low-tech architecture, simple and easy to build, which does not look for great innovations but on the contrary tries to consolidate the positive deep-rooted values found in both architectonical and constructive tradition. We believe in sustainability not as a new paradigm but as a way to work based on common sense – not as the one and only objective but as a result of a way of building.
Founded in 2000 by David Lorente IbÃ¡Ã±ez, Josep Ricart Ulldemolins, Xavier Ros MajÃ³, and Roger TudÃ³ GalÃ, H Arquitectes combines a simple and contemporary aesthetic with a practical approach to sustainable design [as in green because it’s smart, and right], creating an architecture that reflects the current needs of society and suggests the posibility for a new vernacular. By their own description, common-sense pervades their work – design that attempts to link space, use, and structure in what almost becomes a minimalist aesthetic, but never loses it’s warmth or forgets it’s users.
Our next NotM post [this coming Thursday] will get into H Arquitectes’ work itself, beginning with their project House 108 – a 109 square meter dwelling in Santa Cristina d’Aro. Until then, be sure to checkout their webpage – in addition to having a number of great project you should see but we won’t get to here on AMNP, the site has a pretty cool user interface and design.
To end our introduction to H Arquitectes, I’d like to list the other members of their staff. There’s no particular information to provide, other than their names – but as architecture seems to typically be dominated by the individual [or partnership of the few], H Arquitectes suplied us with the names of all their current employees. Pretty classy, I thought.
Montse FornÃ©s GuÃ rdia architect, Toni JimÃ©nez AnglÃ¨s interior, Montse QuirÃ³s de Roa interior, Anna Bonet Esteve interior, Blai Cabrero Bosch student, Carla PiÃ±ol Moreno student, Carles Sala Puig draughtsman, Marcos Ruiz de Clavijo Cirajas architect, Ana Tamayo Moreno architect
Ramon Anton Brossa , Albert Ferrer, Xavier Delgado, Josep Malgosa, IÃ±aki GonzÃ¡lez
Those of you who’ve been reading the site for a while now know that we’re fans of Boston-based HÃ¶weler + Yoon Architecture – both because we like supporting the work of Beantown designers [sorry, we’re biased, people], and because their work is pretty feckin’ sick.
::Video Sundays, or VS, is a weekly feature here on AMNP. For more architecture-related videos, click on any Sunday in the sidebar calendar – or on the â€˜videosâ€™ category in the â€˜archjutsuâ€™ section. Additional videos that have been featured on any of the MNP sites can be found here on our YouTube page. And donâ€™t hesitate to submit suggestions for video features to architecture[at]myninjaplease[dot]com::
[Double-click the movie above to play – if you don’t see anything, click anyways and the video should start]
I like to think of myself as a Japanese warrior, who moves so slowly that you do not see me coming.
~ Ivan Hernandez Quintela, Ludens
Our first featured ‘Ninja of the Month‘ is Ivan Hernandez Quintela, Mexico-City based founder  of Ludens [which some of you should remember from this post], and self-proclaimed practitioner of Aikido Architecture – making him the perfect selection for this debut feature.
A graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin , Ivan founded Ludens in 2002 after working for a year with UN Studio and then 2 more years with his brother in Mexico.
Ivan named his practice Ludens as a direct reference to Huizinga and Homo Ludens – the idea of play in society – and the work of Constant Nieuwenhuys‘ New Babylon project, with the idea that people would constantly be involved in constructing/manipulating their own space. Interest in the ideas put forth in these works has led Ivan to consider that ‘space must be conquered and that friction is a constant condition’ – which he attempts to respond to through the creation of â€œtools for everyday livingâ€, ‘mechanisms that become extensions of the body and if they do not try to solve the friction, they surely try to make it evident’.
This interest in how we interact with our physical and social environments drives Ivan to investigate many ‘everyday necessities’ – for instance: ‘How do you share a bed with your partner? How do you balance a conversation while sharing a meal with someone else? How do you share a room with someone else while maintaining some privacy?’. His solutions are often times ad-hoc, informal constructions. Interested in the power of the ‘small gesture as a way of activating public space’, Ivan describes his work as ‘Aikido Architecture’ – where he ‘invades the public sphere with ‘Urban Prosthetics’, structures meant to help users ‘conquer’ public space through adaptation and reinvention.
Our next NotM post [this coming Monday] will get into Ivan’s work itself, beginning with his ‘Urban Prosthetics – small structures meant to promote the appropriation of public space’.
::all quotes from Ivan Hernandez Quintela::
Founded in 2005 by J. Meejin Yoon and Eric HÃ¶weler, HÃ¶weler + Yoon Architecture is a young Boston based firm ‘operating in the space between architecture, art, and landscape’. It is a multidisciplinary practice, experimenting with electronic media as a material in many of their projects – such as White Noise/White Light, an interactive LED installation created for the Athens Olympics and constructed on the side of the Acropolis for 30 days.
The two designers first met while at Cornell University for their BArchs – then going their separate ways, Yoon went on to Harvard’s GSD while HÃ¶weler stayed at Cornell for his masters. While HÃ¶weler stayed in New York, working in NYC for KPF and then Diller Scofidio + Renfro – and writing Skyscrapers: Vertical Now. Yoon found herself in Cambridge teaching at MIT – and founding MY Studio, where her work investigated the intersection of electronics and architecture. And oh yeah – somewhere in the middle of all that, the two got married.
Then in 2005 HÃ¶weler moved to Cambridge and the two founded their own firm, claiming that ‘if you’re going to work 20-hour days, seven days a week, you soon want to spend that energy on your own projects’ [makes sense to me].
The firm is currently known for their smaller-scale projects, such as homes, interiors, renovations, and installations and competitions – all of which you’ll get a taste of in the following posts on HÃ¶weler + Yoon Architecture, later this week.
::ADLS, or Architecte de la Semaine, is a recurring feature we cover here at architecture.MNP every month or so [sometimes longer], where we feature multiple projects by an architect/firm over the course of a week::
MNP‘s latest installment in it’s architect de la semaine [ADLS] feature is the New York based Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects [as promised]. What initially drew me to LTL was an image of their conceptual project, – for which the drawings were so siiick that I had to learn more about the firm responsible for their production.
::Ed. Note: as always, we here at MNP encourage readers to click the links – there’s lots of goodness out there in the internets, and we’re trying to direct you to content that you shouldn’t miss out on. I promise that it will always be at least somewhat relevant::
Founded by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis in 1997, LTL specializes in, well, everything. Their projects range from large scale academic endeavors to cultural buildings, housing, interior design…even hot dog stands – and it’s all pretty ill.
LTL’s approach is to realize inventive solutions that turn the very constraints of each project into the design trajectory, exploring overlaps between space, program, form, budget and materials.
They have been the recipients of a number of awards, including the 2007 National Design Award for Interior Architecture from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and were ‘selected as one of six American architectural firms featured in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale. In addition, LTL was included in the 2000 National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt and was selected in December 2000 by Architectural Record as one of ten firms representing a Vanguard in Contemporary Architecture‘.
While being successful in terms of getting their work built, LTL is also involved in the academic side of architecture – both through working as professors [Paul Lewis is an assistant professor and the Director of Graduate Studies at Princeton University School of Architecture, Marc Tsurumaki is an adjunct professor of architecture at Columbia University, and David J. Lewis is an associate professor at Parsons The New School for Design, where he directed the Master of Architecture Program from 2002-2007] and through their participation in competitions and ‘speculative‘ projects [some of which are competitions, and some of which involve the firm’s personal musings].
LTL’s work can be seen currently [now through November 21st, 2007] in an exhibit entitled Envisioning Hudson Square, and if you’re in NYC on Nov. 6th you can check LTL at the AIA NY Chapter lecture series : SUPERMODELS: MINI_1-20, Small Firms Means and Methods.
The firm is also responsible for a number of publications, including two that you can find reviews of here on architecture.MNP later this week – Opportunistic Architecture and Pamphlet Architecture 21: Situation Normal. Hit MNP later this week for more on LTL, including featured projects and the aforementioned book reviews.
Other posts on LTL Architects here on architecture.MNP:
Alright, my ninjas – we’re bringing it back. Thats right, MNP’s architecte de la semaine [architect of the week] – or ADLS – is being resurrected. And to kick it off, we’re bringing you the work of Pott Architects.
Ingo Pott, founder of Pott Architects, studied at the Technical University in Berlin from ’92-98′, with a focus on sustainable building concepts. In ’95 he joined the Norman Foster team that had been commissioned to convert the Reichstag building into the home of the German Parliament – and worked as project architect until the dome’s completion in ’99. From ’98 to ’05 he worked at Foster & Partners in a managerial capacity, participating in a number of projects in Berlin + London – including integrated projects, such as the Arts Faculty Library of the Free University in Berlin.
In 2000 Pott co-founded the Cultural Forum C/O Berlin [with 2 partners] in order to ‘facilitate the interdisciplinary dialogue between architecture, design and photography’ – spurred by his realization that ‘the future of architecture must lie in dialogue with people, culture and academia’. In particular he has been focused on working with children and young people, providing them with a ‘visual education’ in the forum’s workshops.
Ingo Pott founded Pott Architects in 2005, and currently lives/works in Berlin, with second office in London.