Atelier st – Maison du Beton

I’ve had this project sitting here as a draft post for a few weeks now [titled 'silly sick concrete house']. I first came across the house, ‘Maison du Beton‘ ['House of Concrete'] by Atelier st, over at Arch Daily about a month or so ago and knew it had to find its way to AMNP.

Located within a ‘typical’ residential community in Cainsdorf, Germany, the house picks up the scale of the local homes – and then breaks with tradition. The angular geometries of the project are accentuated by the use cast-in-place concrete as a building material – creating simple, almost monolithic, facades that stand in stark contrast to the building’s surroundings.

The interior of the home then breaks further away from local norms – where large, open spaces have been created within the concrete shell. Additionally, the designers played with the heights of spaces on the interior, creating double-height spaces that do not necessarily correspond to the treatment of the exterior – so that the house doesn’t “give it all away” from the outside.

.:more info + images via Arch Daily & Atelier st->

Death of a Ninja: Howard Zinn

“He’s made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture,” Noam Chomsky, the activist and MIT professor, said last night. “He’s changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way. I really can’t think of anyone I can compare him to in this respect.” Chomsky added that Dr. Zinn’s writings “simply changed perspective and understanding for a whole generation.” [via The Boston Globe]

Historian, activist, and all-around 9th Dan ninja master Howard Zinn passed away yesterday, January 27th, of a heart attack while traveling in California.

His most well-known work, A People’s History of the United States, changed the way that many of us looked at history – giving a view of the rise of the US without a patriotic filter feigning perfection. Zinn wished for us to consider the whole picture when viewing our history, including the oftentimes unfortunate, embarrassing – and sometimes horrifying – aspects of it that are far too often whitewashed in our school textbooks. He challenged us to take a long, hard look at our history – and at ourselves – in the hope that we could take what we learned to shape a better future for this nation, and the world.

Possibly even more importantly, Zinn worked to spread the idea that dissent was an essential part of democratic life – and that questioning the status quo and demanding more / something better was possibly the most ‘American’ thing we could do as informed citizens.

Rest in peace, sir.

.:Boston Globe article->

[Note: A People's History is a must-read for ninjas, in case you somehow didn't know - otherwise you're running around here uninformed like a white belt. Knowledge is the most important weapon in your arsenal.]

Ninja Arithmetic LXV

[Equation: Sauron's Tower - Sauron's all-seeing eye = Miapolis]

Thanks to our ninjas, and AMNP readers Hee and Beth – who unwittingly submitted this week’s Ninja Math to me. Note – I don’t mean to imply that the builders of the Miapolis Tower are evil personified – like Sauron from The Lord of the Rings. I, however, don’t know for sure that they aren’t, either – I’m just saying.

If you’re inspired with an idea for a Ninja Arithmetic post by a project that you come across, don’t hesitate to contact AMNP! You don’t have to make the graphic yourself – simply explain the equation to me in an email, and I’ll handle the rest. Simply end your suggestion to, with “Ninja Arithmetic” in the subject line.

‘Pole Dance’ by SO-IL Wins P.S.1 Comp

The P.S.1 installation competition seems to be an increasingly popular, creative, and fun way for architects / designers to express themselves simply for architecture’s sake – while creating an interesting space to be used, seemingly, as a kind of rallying point for architecture and design related events in NYC. With a new year comes a new installation, adding to a growing list of impressive work by up-and-coming designers.

Sure not to disappoint, this year Brooklyn based SO-IL [for Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu] has been named winner of the competition, for an entry entitled ‘Pole Dance’.

“What we wanted to do is propose a structure that was constantly trying to find its balance as it was influenced by people and outside forces. It’s a take on the wider world, where we’re always trying to find balance in our lives and in everything around us.”

The installation will lay out a 12′ grid of 2 inch thick, 25 feet tall fiberglass poles – which, due to these dimensions, etc, will be quite flexible. A roughly 9,000 square foot stretchy net will be suspended – the form of which will be dynamically altered as the poles sway. Lastly, a number of brightly colored balls will be bouncing around on this netting, allowing visitors to ‘play’ with the installation.

Sounds, and looks, pretty dope.

SO-IL PS1 Pole Dance from SO-IL on Vimeo.

.:via->The Architect’s Newspaper

Studio Banana TV Interviews Toyo Ito

Studio Banana TV interviews Japanese architect Toyo Ito on the occasion of his lecture at the European University of Madrid. Toyo Ito is one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects. Ito is known for creating extreme concept buildings, in which he seeks to fuse the physical and virtual worlds. Interview realised with the sponsorship of the European University of Madrid.

Toyo Ito is a Japanese architect born in 1941. He graduated from Tokyo University‘s Department of Architecture in 1965. His office Toyo Ito & Associates is a world leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a ‘simulated’ ciy, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”


Boston Arcology

Say it with me now: My ninja, PLEASE.

Dubbed “BOA”, for Boston Arcology, the project was designed by E. Kevin Schopfer as a floating arcology much like the one proposed for New Orleans a few months back. Capable of housing over 15,000 people in new apartments, condos, hotels, offices, and a new city hall, the �BOA [Bank of America might sue...] extends as a long linear box from Rowe’s Wharf – supposedly in an attempt to preserve existing views and sitelines, while emulating the general massing of Boston by “exud[ing]a rigorous geometric format.”

What? It’s a huge box on the waterfront…

The proportions are, of course, based on the Golden Ratio – and the diagonals within the rectangular frame are actually meant to be a reference to the Boston Common [criss-crossing paths contained within the rigid boundary of the city].

Really, I just had to share this with everyone, as it’s awesome in its ridiculousness.

.:via->Yanko Design

Obama Gets A-

The Brookings Institute has graded President Obamas infrastructure spending / plan as an “A-” – but in reading the actual article, I’m not really sure why. Sure, it seems like a good idea – but the fact that it hasn’t really been implemented properly / most effectively should be reflected in Obama’s grade, shouldn’t it?

.:full article->