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alos is a practice for architecture and design.
Founded by Lydia Xynogala in New York alos produces buildings, interiors, environments, objects and research.


> practice profile



• 253 West 76 Street, #7
  New York, NY 10023 
• inquiries: info@alos.nyc


Mark

Dimitri Mendeleev’s Maps


First draft of the Periodic Table of Elements by Dmitri Mendeleev

A close reading of a previously untranslated book by the Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev; connecting his intellectual pursuits to their impact on the growth of the steel industry and the urbanization of Magnitogorsk during the later Soviet Era. By examining the Measures and Maps that Mendeleev produced for the book, I argue that the book and work of Mendeleev as scientific artifacts contributed to Stalin’s urban and industrial vision thirty years later.



Future Fossils


Project and forthcoming publication






Originally presented at the Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, Detroit, 2012
Panel: Architectural Ecologies.

This photo essay examines rocky landscapes of the Americas that engage with architectural typologies of environmental hazard. The writing takes a fictional tour on two rocky sites: The Yucca mountain, the controversial potential site for deep storage of all US nuclear waste and Carlsbad, New Mexico, known locally as WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) one of largest nuclear waste storage facilities with a license of 10,000 years.


The Dark Ecology of Magnitogorsk


Research published by Princeton University (2012): 
an alternative landscape and architecture for the post-industrial wasteland.




a territorial concept that typically conveys the unwanted, exhausted and useless.

Mining and industrial production have degraded eleven percent of the earth’s soil. This project aims to rethink emerging ecologic strategies in remediation, the act of cleaning,and often the attempt (and anxiety) to erase the material traces of production. As a project it relies on the terrain of ambiguity; natural/manmade, clean/dirty, unwanted/desired are rejected polarities. This “messy whole” and its material, chemical and “natural” manifestations is embraced, revealing surprising architectural,urban and landscape potentials.



The testing ground is Magnitogorsk, City of Iron in the Russian Federation; The project engages the extremity of environmental degradation juxtaposed with the architectural promise of this city in the industrial age. Architecture and infrastructure are explored as time-based and chemically-induced operations. The design methodology recognizes potential and programmatic possibilities for cleaning but at the same time it engages with the material by-products as a new way of building.

For orders: info@alos.nyc
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Published by: The Center for Architecture, Urbanism, Infrastructure, Princeton University, 2012.  Distributed by: Island Press. Series Editor: Mario Gandelsonas.

On Sulfur:
Building, Material, Program




Paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, PA, October 6–8.



Research that explores case studies of buildings characterized by a direct material and formal response to the chemical processes that take place within them.


In 1911, the architect Hans Poelzig wrote an essay on industrial buildings in which he explained the significant connections between production process, architectural form and environment:

“Already now, we have the possibility to distribute electricity through far distances. This gives flexibility in the distribution and organization of processes and the architectural whole of the facilities becomes harmonious.”




Poelzig refers here to his recently completed factory where he devised a unique approach to the architecture and planning of the facility: On the larger planning scale he worked with site and programmatic components, strategically employing residential, road, water, infrastructure and energy networks. In the scale of the building wall thicknesses, spatial arrangements and material choices were based on the chemical properties of the product. The processes and network variants of Poelzig’s industrial architecture are unique for their time.




11 Versions of a Constructivist City


Text published in Pidgin Magazine, Issue 12, Fall 2011



Magnitogorsk is a city that incorporates the mythology of a place, the geology of a landscape, the founding of an industry, the history of a regime, and the aspirations of an artistic movement. As individual moments in place and time, these aspects exist as individual cities, some of which are physically present in Magnitogorsk today, while others only remain in the imagination. Together they create a powerful canon of urbanistic ideas that shed light onto the accomplishments and failures of architectural thought in the Soviet era, and in general onto the city in the industrial age.



City of Myths
City of Steel
City of Erasures
City of Drawings
City of Ribbons
City of Socialism
City of Maschinemonument
City of Prouns
City of Faktura
City of Tektonika