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, gathering, 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.
The structure and circulation of this proposal are based on the economical model of highway and parking structures. A series of spiral ramps punctuate the structure, connecting all levels with pedestrian and vehicular traffic. A perennial garden and plaza extend across the roof, creating a network of spaces for recreation and social gathering. Thin buildings maximize the surface area of their facades, and in turn maximize daylighting.
This proposal works with and within the overlapping, disaggregated connections between urban and social form. Situated above and around the Dequindre Cut, it uses a low-rise high-density development—produced through the loose arrangement of empty types, frameworks, and open spaces—to connect existing conditions with a new urban fabric. At grade, a neighborhood of common spaces links the community with the Cut and the existing street system.
These emptied typologies serve as an open framework for something else, imagined by someone else, to happen. They are owned collectively, they do not front streets, and they work outside conventional notions of property and lots. The thresholds between interior and exterior—roofs, ramps, porches, and overhangs—provide informal areas for neighbors to commune. Every exterior space is a public space; every interior space is a public space.
Project Team: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, John Yurchyk, Andrew Frame, Mark Acciari, Phillip Denny, Jason Bond, Steve Gertner, Mathew Staudt, Sarah Wagner, Fauzia Evanindya, Fancheng Fei, Jacob Comerci, Michaela Friedberg, Taylor Cornelson, Laura Salazar
Additional support provided by the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the Center for Architecture, Urbanism and Infrastructure at the Princeton University School of Architecture
Book, A Situation Constructed from Loose Architectural and Social Aggregate
2016 Venice Architecture Biennale US Pavilion
Software No. 14
The Architectural Imagination