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.
Lali Gurans is a semiautonomous, sustainable community center in rural Kathmandu, Nepal, containing a community library, meeting house, and orphanage for 40 children and young adults. The design draws from the local building method of a 30-centimeter, reinforced-concrete frame with block infill, but adds an extra layer of columns to eliminate the need for brick. This creates a more open framework that admits daylight to the interior. The form slopes inward for structural and seismic stability, so the facade becomes closer to a roof than a wall. Between the layers of exterior structure is a zone that oscillates between inside and outside, containing the primary vertical circulation as well as glazed solaria and planters. Stairs between the two layers of structure act as X-bracing for lateral stability and connect various programs together through a vertical picturesque landscape garden. In addition to its concentric exoskeleton structure, the building also integrates low-energy and low-tech sustainable systems, including: a brise-soleil; permaculture roof gardens; biogas; solar panels; rainwater collection; natural lighting; passive wastewater treatment; and passive heating and cooling. Built to withstand a seismic intensity of IX on the Mercalli scale, the structure withstood not one but two massive seismic events in spring 2015, while under construction.
Project Team: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, Jerico Prater, Jason Bond, Benas Burdulis, Meredith McDaniel, Andy Rauchut, Igsung So, Joel Stewart
Structural Engineer: Hanif Kara, Adams Kara Taylor / MRB Engineering, Kathmandu, Nepal
Environmental Engineers: Atelier Ten, New Haven, CT
Photographers: Kishor Lohari, Sagar Chitrakar
2014 Holcim Award, Asia Pacific Region