If given the choice between staring blankly into space or reading architects’ office statements on their website, we choose the first. They all say the same thing: we’re sustainable, responsible with budgets, experienced, award-winning, etc. . . . The game seems to be how to say nothing in particular and comfort any worries of someone contemplating hiring you. After a few clicks, it’s hard not to think that all this quote-unquote professionalism is very cold at its core. We can’t tell you exactly when MOS started. We like to say it was 2003, but we didn’t have an office space then and our name was !@#?, which we quickly found was too difficult to use because 1. you couldn’t pronounce it and 2. you couldn’t get a web address. So, eventually, we drifted towards MOS—an acronym of our names and reflection of a shared desire to be horizontal and fuzzy, as opposed to tall and shiny. We began around an oversized table, a surface for collecting and working through a range of design experiments—a make-believe of architectural fantasies, problems, and thoughts. As we’ve grown, we remain around a large table, working together on each project through playful experimentation and serious research. This website indexes that work: housing; schools; houses; cultural institutions; retail; exhibition design; installations; furniture; objects; books; writing; software experiments; and videos.
Krabbesholm Højskole (Denmark) is awarded an AIA NY Excellence Award
MOS Architects receive an AIA New York Award of Merit for Element House
We draw, talk, email, doodle, diagram, render, print, print, draw, model, receive, distribute, call, approve, confirm, reject, plead, deny, laugh, export, import, present, listen, order, zoom, script, post, pan, copy, paste, scale, collate, staple, eat, list, drink, walk, draw, chat, meet, photograph, crop, calculate, draw, adjust, tweak, sip, solve, stack, note, organize, scan, edit, review, print, question, comment, make, sketch . . . and occasionally, we collect things from this process and store them in a flat file.
House No. 11 (Corridor House) is a small prefabricated modular home based upon the space of corridors and hallways in luxury suburban-housing developments. It imagines occupying and living within the space typically given over to circulation. Two module sizes—5'x10' and 5'x15'—are positioned orthogonally, one after another, to create an overall configuration loosely organized around a collection of exterior rooms. There is little conventional framing. Layers of lapped plywood panels form the walls and roof and are tied together by custom-milled plywood gussets. The structure is within the surface. The house is an assembly of parts that are both technical and archetypal, dissociated from the specificity of ground by seven cylindrical columns. Chimneys contain mechanical systems, vents, gravity feed cisterns, and exhaust, as well as aid in passive cooling.
At some point, before Twitter, the corridor killed a certain type of architecture. Courtyards collapsed into light wells; diagrams became buildings. It was all transit, all the time. Architecture became about the circulation of things, people, air, light, goods, _____, etc. . . . Space became a lubricant. It was almost spiritual. Architecture embraced this new efficiency, the short circuit, a faster way of getting from one place to another. As space was replaced with movement, stuff was jettisoned, the leftovers piled up. Nowadays, corridors are a necessary afterthought, an indifferent chasm joining this to that in houses all across everywhere. This house occupies that circuitry. It’s one variation of many, an assembly of parts that are both technical and archetypal. It vaguely resembles the strange figures of suburban vernacular corridors along with the openness of a Miesian courtyard house. Each module approximates the dimensions of a standard corridor and a 5'x10' sheet of plywood. But in many cases the space of these corridors is big enough to inhabit, to fit a small room—a bed, desk, chair. One after another, each module is positioned orthogonally. The exhausted, broken pediment has been copied and pasted without end. The overall configuration is loosely organized around a collection of exterior spaces, but it’s disassociated from its ground. It’s repetitive. It’s made of parts. It’s casual. It’s banal. It’s almost familiar. It’s nothing in particular. It fits on a truck.
Project Team: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, John Yurchyk, Cyrus Dochow, Mark Acciari, Michael Abel, Ryan Barney, Phi Van Phan
Fabrication: Remont Construction
Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
Design Objects: Chamber/Juan Agustin Garcia Mosqueda
Photographer: Michael Vahrenwald