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MOS: Two Projects and A Book

MOS: Two Projects and A Book

NESS 3’s Documents section features MOS, the New-York based architecture firm founded by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample. Through lists, numbers, quotation marks, and a conversation between Michael Meredith and Florencia Rodriguez, the magazine explores the inquisitive, dynamic, and spirited way of MOS—that little bit of ‘something else’ in the firm’s practice. Continuing this dialogue, here are two projects and a book.

House No. 12 (A Foam House with 98 Blocks of Foam and 8 Doors)

An exercise where a single stereotomic unit: the block is stacked and arranged to become a project of a residence. A house made of doors and blocks. 

An experimental prototype using EPS foam blocks structurally to produce a house. A house made of insulation, and nothing else. It could be assembled within a few days. It would be economical. The foam would be coated with a rough cement/stucco as the finish.

“I know House No.12 is a work-in-progress (#WIP), but I have to ask: what’s a ziggurat to you?” 

Author: Phillip Denny 
Title: “Phillip Denny to MOS Architects” 
Publication: Open Letters 
No: 63 
Place of publication: Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Date of publication: April 6, 2018 

DATE: 2017 / LOCATION: Withheld at Request / PROGRAM: Residence / STATUS: Proposal / PROJECT TEAM: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, Mark Acciari, Paul Ruppert, Michael Abel / PHOTOS: MOS 

Houses for Sale

Houses for Sale was written and illustrated by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample of MOS. The book is both a children’s glossary of architectural form and the true story of lifelong curiosity.

There are all kinds of houses—big houses, little houses, strange houses, old houses… But how do you decide which one is just right for you… In Houses for Sale, a family travels through architectural history searching for their perfect home. When nothing fits, they decide to build one together. But there is always more, to add, to change, until finally, they realize there is no such thing as the perfect home—it is the search that they truly enjoy. They end where they began, imagining what’s next.  

MOS talk about the book:
“Houses for Sale is our first and only children’s book. Some things in the book happened, based upon history or facts, and others are a part of our shared imagination. There are small quotes and references hidden throughout the book, waiting to be discovered. In this way, the story reflects both an endless childish curiosity and how we think about architecture, through historical reference, construction, material, social commentary, and humor. Hopefully, the book is the beginning of a journey, looking at the world, and the buildings, around us. We started sketching out the book a few years ago, and hopefully, each page feels like a blackboard or computer screen where things are temporarily gathered, floating, a place where everything feels active, unfinished, in progress.

Throughout its making, we treated this book as an architecture project; everything was considered and reconsidered, worked and reworked over and over again. With endless versions and variations stored away in our office somewhere, the book itself became a metaphor for the architectural discipline and its constant search for architecture.” 

At first glance, children’s books seem like the simplest things in the world. They are, after all, made for children. Their pages often seem casually organized, with a nonchalant and playful attitude. But the reality is the opposite: there is an incredible sophistication to the naïveté of children’s books. This is something, like most everything else, we have learned the hard way.”

DATE: 2019 / PUBLISHER: Corraini Edizioni, Canadian Centre for Architecture / PROJECT TEAM: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, Paul Ruppert, John Yurchyk / GRAPHIC DESIGN: Studio Lin / PAGES: 128 / PHOTOS: Michael Vahrenwald 

Primitive Hut No. 1 (A Tent without a Signal)

This structure is lightweight, made of aluminum parts that can be easily packed up and moved from place to place. It makes a place to sit in the middle of an exhibition event. The fabric offers some shelter.

This is a tent. It is without a signal. It is without noise. This might mean nothing to you. Inside your phone does not work. You cannot call your friends. You cannot email your boss. You cannot post your selfie. You cannot search. You cannot like anything. You cannot. If you want to know what the weather will be or send your location to someone, do not bother. Even quite it is exhausting after a while. This tent is like many and unlike many. It has a circular, O-shaped bench at its base and an X-shaped structure at its top. It is a hug and a kiss. It is closed and open. It is not primitive. It is not a “primitive” primitive hut. Is it not odd how Technology and Nature have become inseparable? But maybe they always were. This structure is lightweight, made of aluminum parts that can be easily packed up and moved from place to place. Assembled it looks something like an antenna. And something like a tepee. It is not a beginning for architecture. It is not an origin. Origins are relative.  

Regardless, it makes a place to sit or take a nap or retreat of doodle or write this text you are reading or plan a revolution. The fabric offers some shelter. The fabric is CNC knitted, stitching together electromagnetic field-shielding yarns. The fabric pattern was iteratively developed through homemade, handcrafted software that produces a field of noisy particles, like a landscape or TV static. The pattern does not repeat. The tent is neither high-tech nor low-tech. for the time being, it is temporary. 

LOCATION: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain / PROGRAM: residence / STATUS: Built / PROJECT TEAM: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, Lafina Eptaminitaki, Michael Abel, Stefan Klecheski / PHOTOS: Florian Holzherr

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