Philip Johnson estate to open



Legendary architect Philip Johnson’s glass house is well publicized. Less well-known is his underground art gallery on the estate grounds…Johnson, who died in 2005, left the 47-acre property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which plans to open it for tours beginning in April 2007.

this may or may not be a big deal to most. But for me, specifically, I live like 10 minutes from Mr. Philip Johnson‘s former crib, so i’m definitely hittin’ that up (if in fact it opens for the general public in the spring). Finally, something worth living in CT for! And I’ll be able to walk away alive from here – unlike going here (scroll in the history part til you hit bad publicity).

glass house 2

underground??!?!!? art gallery and other structures on the property. As menace says, siiick.

Posted: December 8th, 2006
at 4:31am

Categories: architecture,housing

Comments: 1 comment

The Great Dubai Pissing Contest

Many of you must know about the incredible development in Dubai in the past several years. These Images from the NASA Earth Observatory taken from 1973 to October of this year show the artificial landmasses off the coast as clear as macaroni glued on construction paper. The developer responsible for this, Nakheel, has an interactive map of future developments.

Dubai from Space

High rises have been sprouting all across the region like weeds in a sandbox.

Burj Dubai in The Big Sandbox

Some of the newest concepts may well be a group of the most definitive examples of gigantism I have seen in the skyscraper world. The Dubai Towers-Dubai (creative name for creative architecture), by Sama Dubai, is one of the most recently unveiled designs.

Dubai Towers-Dubai

Of course, the biggest news is that Dubai is soon to be home to several buildings that will not only be the tallest skyscrapers in the world, but will surpass the current record holder for tallest structure in the world, the KVLY-TV mast, without batting an eye. The Al Burj, also being developed by Nakheel, will be anywhere between 750 and 1000 meters high.
Al Burj Panorama

It’s competitor, The Burj Dubai, yet another SOM tower for the people, has already undergone construction and will be between 705 and 950 meters, the tallest structure in the world, at least until the Al Burj is built. These towers will beat out the KVLY-TV mast by half, if they reach their maximum projected heights.

Burj Dubai

More of these needles will most definitely continue to shoot out of the Middle Eastern sand in the future, as I have seen one such “top secret” design myself when I visited Pickard Chilton earlier this fall. Jon Pickard said, “I’d love to tell you how tall it is, but then I’d have to kill you.” Unfortunately, I did not bring my ninja-cam to take photos of the model.
Before you all get penis envy from looking at all these phalluses sparkling in the desert sun, take a look at the cost of building such gigantic wonders, and check out this slide show. Good thing “the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth.”

Dubai Workers

furniture by Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991)


Furniture is all around us, people. I’m almost certain that many hip to arch.MNP & are sitting comfortably whilst they peruse these sites extensively (i know it’s redundant but some misuse the word). Let’s face it, furniture is just furniture…unless it is made, nay, created by top-of-the-totem pole ninja’s, like Shiro Kuramata. This man left an indelible mark on the world of furniture, art, and architecture.

blancherevolving cabinet

As quoted from

Shiro Kuramata…translated workaday industrial materials – wire steel mesh, corrugated aluminium, lucite – into poetic objects and interiors.

Great write up on the class of Kura’s work from this webpage.

Posted: December 7th, 2006
at 4:30am

Categories: architecture,furniture,featured ninjas

Comments: No comments

24H: Övre Gla, Sweden


I don’t even really know where to start with this one. Here’s an addition to a house in Övre Gla, Sweden, designed by the firm 24H [looks like it might jump out an bite you or something, doesn’t it?]. The form is said to be partially derived from site conditions and building restrictions…but lets face it, they just decided they wanted to make some craziness.


A mixture of natural materials and the surrounding great outdoors served as the inspiration for the project, which references the aurora borealis, reptiles/reptilian skin [the way the facade appears like a scaled skin over the ribs, with the greying wooden shingles], and traditional woodworking of the region and materials/construction [not the form, but the method].


To use the maximum of possibilities given by the building regulations 24h made an extension to the cabin that can evolve, the building can literally adjust itself to its environment depending on weather conditions, season or the number of occupants. The extension unfurls like a butterfly; during the winter it’s a cocoon, compact with a double skin against the cold. During the summer the building can change its form or, like a butterfly, unfold its wings for extra shelter during rainy days.When the space is at its biggest, the senses are aroused to the max: living above the water of the stream.



link from Deme Algo, and here from Arkinetia [ha! I don’t even speak Spanish…]

Posted: December 7th, 2006
at 3:42am

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

Comments: 6 comments



found this [pretty ill] diagram randomly over at City Comforts [temporarily known as Viaduct, apparently]

Posted: December 6th, 2006
at 12:35pm

Categories: architecture,urban/master planning

Comments: No comments

Gillette’s dreams for our future…


Apparently, Gillette‘s [yes, THAT ‘A Best A Man Can Get’ Gillette] visions of the future weren’t simply clean-shaven faces. He had a pretty large scale plan for the design and layout of ‘Metropolis‘ [no, not THAT Metropolis], a city near Niagara Falls. Meant to house something like 60 million people in 24,000 apartment buildings, the city looks pretty Corbusian to me…

In Metropolis, as the city was named, the apartment buildings were arranged in a regular pattern and served as the central hubs or cogs around which life there revolved. Short, neatly landscaped walkways connected the buildings together and led to wider and longer avenues that crisscrossed through the city. Schools, recreation and amusement centers, flower conservatories, parks as ample as they were well-planted, and buildings for food production and storage clustered around every apartment building, each of which accommodated about 2,500 people in comfort and high style.

Check out this full article over at Arkiblog

Posted: December 6th, 2006
at 9:05am

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

Comments: 1 comment

Pearl River Tower: good for the environment, TERRIBLE for the people?!??!?!


Wow. If architecture in China couldn’t get anymore incredible, then we surmise it can only get friendlier for the environment. The Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou by architecture super sell-outs SOM, is the newest project by the firm dealing with advanced sustainable thinking towards design.


Here’s the deal. The project boasts 69 stories of masterful sustainable design, including turbines that turn wind into energy, a solar collector for harboring even more energy, and a ridiculous water collection system, part of which is heated by the sun for hot water. Along with these major sustainable goodies, the building also has cool water running under each one of the floors. The building does it’s own version of KITT’s super-pursuit mode when the inside air becomes too warm, and uses a method of convection best described in this article found at Metropolis Magazine to remedy it.

Tower Render


Comprised mainly of glass and steel, the major structural system is seen on the ends of the building in the form of an elongated and simplified DNA strand. Along with garnering energy for the building, the two openings in the larger faces of the facade (where the turbines and mechanical floors are located) draw natural air into the building and minimize wind loads that cause not so ninjaish things like this to happen.

Scheduled to be completed by fall of 2009, Pearl River Tower is ‘designed to produce more energy than it consumes’ and will surely set a standard for other skyscraper designs in the future. So where’s the terrible part?

This is who SOM designed the project for.

Just atrocious. Hit us with your thoughts ninjas and ninjettes.

Quote from Architectural Record.

Posted: December 6th, 2006
at 4:00am

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

Comments: 9 comments

Do you bamboo?

stamm bridge2stamm bridge 3

2007 International Bamboo Design Competition.

The company Bamboo Technologies of Maui offer to the world the first international design competition for structural bamboo buildings. The competition is open to ninja’s of many trades (architects, builders, designers, & students) anywhere in the world.

velez pavilion

The bridge shown is by bamboo guru Jorg Stamm. Simon Velez of Deboer Architects designed the pavillion above. The California-based firm uses the same initiative as Jorg Stamm, by designing as much as possible with natural materials.

Posted: December 5th, 2006
at 6:30am

Categories: architecture,competitions

Comments: 1 comment

Winka Dubbeldam: Schein Loft


Designed by Winka Dubbeldam and her firm Archi-Tectonics for artist/photographer Peter Schein, the 3,200 square-foot loft is, for lack of a better word, siiick. Just check out the description in the September issue of Arch Record:

The apartment’s entry opens onto the shorter leg of the L-shaped main living space. To the west, the slant of the floor-to-ceiling glazing, bordered by a terrace with sweeping views of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan, immediately comes into view. The eastern wall introduces bog-oak-veneer plywood, a species Dubbeldam selected for its warm variegated hues. This sustainable material was waxed, formed into panels, and fitted into a black-metal framing system. Drawers within the wall accommodate art supplies and housewares, while the wall masks structural columns. Near the entry, an asymmetrical full-height section of drywall pivots to reveal a niche for oversize paintings and photography. As Dubbeldam points out, “The wall can be left open to create an ephemeral art installation.”



Basically, the apartment is pretty nice, but the use of the bog-oak-veneer is ridiculous [and makes the project]. Storage space is created behind some of the veneer walls, through the construction of drawers and sliding panels [some large enough to store the artist’s larger works]. The use of the natural oak, and the volumes formed by the veneer, give the spaces within the loft the feeling of having ‘grown’ within the space. This idea is strengthened by built in shelving and moving/sliding walls and doors to open up/enclose certain areas of the loft, such as the master bedroom and the guest room/music studio. Check out the video at the arch record site to see a virtual tour of the space, and the moving panels.


images from Archi-Tectonics, story from arch record

Posted: December 5th, 2006
at 6:29am

Categories: architecture,green arch,housing,interiors

Comments: 1 comment

Who says you can’t teach an old ninja new tricks


Silky concrete ceiling? Glowing water bottles? A log countertop?


Hell yea.

This guy has always been considered one of the illest archies to grace this split pangaea (get your learn on if you don’t already know). Mr. Tadao Ando has truly continued his inventive legacy with the material concrete…with a little help this time. Stephanie Goto and Ross Lovegrove helped to enrich the interior of the Morimoto Restaurant in the Chelsea Market section of Manhattan.


The expected Ando design elements are in full effect, but the inclusion of a LED wall comprised of 17,400 half-liter plastic bottles filled with water and a cotton canvas ceiling sprayed with fiberglass for the effect of flowing concrete take his architecture to a next level. The original article was found in Architecture Record (October) and is somewhere i will be going to eat and check out when i find some spare cash.

The project offers many other goodies, but be your own best ninja, and check it out yourself.

Posted: December 4th, 2006
at 9:40am

Categories: architecture,interiors,featured ninjas

Comments: 2 comments