NotM EASTERN design: Slit House


Designed by AMNP’s current ‘Ninja(s) of the Month‘, EASTERN design office, the Slit House is a 210 square meter reinforced concrete home in Japan. Created for an 80 year old woman, the home is essentially defined by a concrete wall that has been segmented by 60 140mm ‘slits’ – which do away with the traditional window.


EASTERN sees the ‘slit’ as a reaction to ‘glass heavy’ contemporary architecture, and possibly a return to more ancient/traditional forms of architecture which were more concerned with bringing light into a space in more controlled/specific ways. Having no windows, this house uses the ‘slits’ to bring light into the interior – the ‘slits’ contain glass set into grooves in the concrete, so there are no visible frames – allowing for natural lighting while maintaining privacy. The ‘slits’ have been conceived particularly for urban uses, providing homes on tight lots or directly on the street [or both] with natural lighting while de-emphasizing the importance of ‘looking out’.


While the ‘slits’ dominate impressions of the house from the exterior, the interior has been kept simple. Wooden walls have bee used throughout, allowing for the space to be reorganized over time – as either uses or occupant(s) change over time. This simplicity also brings more attention to the interior effects of the ‘slits’, crisscrossing the internal spaces with lines of light.


This spacing of he concrete panels also turns the home into one giant timepiece, to some extent – tracking light and shadows throughout the day.

At the dawn, watery light comes into the house through the slits. That makes the entire room bright faintly.

At 9:30AM,sequence of the feeble light that reflects to header of slits appears.

At 10:30AM, the sunlight pierces through angled slits at first. At 11:00AM,the sunlight pierces through all slits. The sunlight through the slit and the reflected light on the header of the slit project the stripe of V type to the long corridor. If you saw the repetition of this edgy light, you might feel as if time of 11:00AM has stopped. In as much as ten minutes, the reflected light on the header disappears. The shape of the light that the slit makes changes from V type into one stripe. The moments that the sun pierces through the angled slits and through the straight slits are different.

The angled slits get a little earlier. The momentary time lag let us feel a running of the sun and makes us forefeel the upcoming time of the dusk. And it shortens little by little. And watery light fills the house again with soft brightness.

Then the night comes before long.






Next we’ll be back with the next installment of this current ‘Ninja(s) of the Month’ feature – Horizontal House.

.:previous firm profile of EASTERN design office->

::photographs by Kouichi Torimura::

::images, info + quoted text courtesy of EASTERN design office, Inc::

Posted: November 10th, 2009
at 8:18am

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Categories: architecture,housing,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

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Quote of the Day


“You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces; that is construction. Ingenuity is at work.

But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say, “This is beautiful.” That is Architecture. Art enters in.

My house is practical. I thank you, as I might thank Railway engineers, or the Telephone service. You have not touched my heart.

But suppose that walls rise toward heaven in such a way that I am moved. I perceive your intentions. Your mood has been gentle, brutal, charming or noble. The stones you have erected tell me so. You fix me to the place and my eyes regard it. They behold something which expresses a thought. A thought which reveals itself without word or sound, but solely by means of shapes which stand in a certain relationship to one another. These shapes are such that they are clearly revealed in light. The relationships between them have not necessarily any reference to what is practical or descriptive. They are a mathematical creation of your mind. They are the language of Architecture. By the use of inert materials and starting from conditions more or less utilitarian, you have established certain relationships which have aroused my emotions. This is Architecture.”

~ Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Posted: November 9th, 2009
at 9:48am

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Categories: architecture,quote of the day

Comments: 2 comments

Ninjas on the ‘Net


[image: map of US House of Representatives votes on healthcare plan, via]

We’re on the way to having a healthcare overhaul – possibly with a public option! Hells yeah! Maybe there’s a future in store for us where people can’t be denied coverage because they ‘decide’ to get sick – or where people are just straight denied coverage in the first place due to some condition/illness. Crazy.

What does this have to do with architecture? Well, that carpal tunnel syndrome you got from 12hrs of autocad a day for would be covered – no matter what!

Moving along – as always, if you see anything on the web that you believe should be linked-to from AMNP [as part of Ninjas on the ‘Net, or the news sidebar] feel free to drop me an email at

– a Q&A about how we’re smartening the grid [INFRASTRUCTURIST]

– is Architize the Facebook of architecture? [A Daily Dose of Architecture]

Cite du Design: Solar Powered International Design Center [Inhabitat]

Field Chapel by IIT students [daily TONIC]

– some job-search advice, scroll down to commenter ‘archie’ [Archinect]

– interview with author Joseph Tainter on collapse of societies []

– a hipster’s tale of structural engineering [A456]

– control room of Hong Kong International Airport [Dezeen]

– …dressed in all black like the omen… FFAT House [+MOOD]

remaking shrinking cities [Smart City radio]

– a colorful environmental monitoring station [BLDGBLOG]

Tyson Street Home [design milk]

– lastly, don’t miss’s two newest features:A Dozen, and The Industry. Our ninja Kookiecrumbles has been hard at work interviewing artists and featuring their work as well as speaking to industry insider – coming up with some great content that should not be slept on.

Posted: November 9th, 2009
at 8:54am

Categories: Ninjas on the 'net

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Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight


This right here has just about nothing to do with architecture – but is wicked interesting, and pretty insane.

Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions – motion, speech, self-awareness – shut down one by one. An astonishing story.


Posted: November 8th, 2009
at 8:04pm

Categories: videos

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Architectural Fantasies, 1925-1933


Check out this collection of futuristic architectural visions by architect / artist Iakov Chernikhov. It’s always been really interesting to me that ‘futuristic’ architecture in the early 20th century was so focused on this idea of bridges between towers – especially since it’s something that we don’t really do that much, and still see [it seems] as progressive.

Anyways, Chernikhov’s images are DOPE. Enjoy.


.:more via->ICIF [Iakov Chernikhov International Foundation]

Posted: November 6th, 2009
at 12:36pm

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Categories: architecture,illustration

Comments: 1 comment

AJ Top Five: Comic Book Cities

[vimeo width=”492″ height=”277″][/vimeo]

I linked to this great list compiled by the Architects’ Journal of the 10 best comic book cities a while back, but I just came across this video [I think it’s new?] and thought it was worth mentioning a second time – if only so people will check out some of these comics.

Quote of the Day


[image: BBC Scotland interior, David Chipperfield Architects]

“Simple. Britain gets the architecture it deserves. We don’t value architecture, we don’t take it seriously, we don’t want to pay for it and the architect isn’t trusted… We are a country that values money and individualism. Architecture becomes glorified property development, not valued culture. Ten storeys? Try for 20. Squeeze in more bedrooms. That’s British architecture.”

~ David Chipperfield, in response to the Times of London asking “So why was the ‘building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year’ not British? For the second year running, too. Four of the six buildings on the Stirling shortlist were foreign, while the two that actually were on British soil were really rather tokenistic in comparison.”

.:via->Architecture Week

Posted: November 2nd, 2009
at 7:30am

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Categories: architecture,featured ninjas,quote of the day

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Ninjas on the ‘Net


[image: structure of the universe in Jain cosmology]

Monday, Monday… time for AMNP’s weekly archi-blogosphere link roundup. I’m going to start things off this week with a discussion taking place over at Archinect regarding David Chipperfield’s Des Moines Public Library. Apparently there’s been controversy over Chipperfield asking that the library to not allow photographs of the building to be taken – something about people being disruptive and profiting from his work. Not only does this reflect an insane amount of ego on DC’s part [“my building is so ill that photographers will be all over, disrupting the library’s functions”] – but this is a public building, paid for with public money.

“Permission to photograph the library reading rooms and other public areas of the building may be granted by the library director or her designee. Photographs and videos may not include library signage or the library logo, and photographing may not disrupt library customers’ use of the library. Library employees on duty may not be photographed for political campaigns. Fees for commercial photographs of the library may be established by the library director, subject to the approval of the Board of the Trustees.”

I’m not really coming down on either side of this, as it seems as if they’ve pulled back on the policy and you can request an opportunity to take photos. But it does raise interesting questions about a designer’s rights to her/his completed work. Weigh-in on the topic with your opinion over at Archinect.

And as always, if you see anything on the web that you believe should be linked-to from AMNP -as part of Ninjas on the ‘Net, or the news sidebar – feel free to drop me an email at

Source flagship store in Beijing by HUGE architects [Coolboom]

– price of architectural criticism [Eikongraphia]

– ‘The Hand of the Architect‘, limited edition moleskin full of sketches by architects [archidose]

Emogayu ceramics by Japanese artist Yuri Fukuda [Cool Hunting]

– incredible work of Margaret Bursa [BLDGBLOG]

– dope installation: Cercle et suite d’eclats [Swiss Miss]

Green Scheme, seeding the city’s rooftops [loud paper]

– on battle suits and the technological future city [Varnelis]

IFF Creative Center HQ by Konyk Architecture [Arch Daily]

Audiochmura (Audiocloud) by mode:lina [+MOOD]

– photographs by Sven Hamann, ‘sharpening the eye for architecture‘ [Daily Tonic]

– ‘Spiral House‘ by Powerhouse Company [Dezeen]

– ‘7 excellent examples of adaptive reuse‘ [Archi-Ninja]

– lastly, don’t miss’s two newest features:A Dozen, and The Industry. Our ninja Kookiecrumbles has been hard at work interviewing artists and featuring their work as well as speaking to industry insider – coming up with some great content that should not be slept on.

Posted: November 2nd, 2009
at 6:40am

Categories: Ninjas on the 'net

Comments: No comments

Ted Talks: Architecture that repairs itself?


Rachel Armstrong: Architecture that repairs itself?

Venice, Italy is sinking. To save it, Rachel Armstrong says we need to outgrow architecture made of inert materials and, well, make architecture that grows itself. She proposes a not-quite-alive material that does its own repairs and sequesters carbon, too.

Rachel Armstrong is a medical doctor, multi-media producer, science fiction author and arts collaborator. Her current research explores architectural design and mythologies about new technology. She is working with scientists and architects to explore cutting-edge, sustainable technologies.

Armstrong’s hope is that, in the future, cities will be able to replace the energy they draw from the environment, respond to the needs of their populations and eventually become regarded as “alive” — in the same way we think about parks or gardens. Since “metabolic materials” are made from terrestrial chemistry, they would not be exclusive to the developed world, and would have the potential to transform urban environments worldwide.

Basically, this woman is working to put us all out of work…

.:video via->TED

::Video Sundays is a weekly feature here on AMNP. For more architecture-related videos, click on any Sunday in the sidebar calendar, or on the “videos” category in the archjutsu section. And don’t hesitate to submit suggestions for video features to architecture[at]myninjaplease[dot]com::

Posted: November 1st, 2009
at 10:46am

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Categories: architecture,green arch,tech,videos

Comments: 2 comments

Ninjas of the Month: EASTERN design office


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.

Posted: October 30th, 2009
at 7:17am

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Categories: architecture,featured ninjas,firm profile,Ninjas of the Month

Comments: 3 comments