The House of the Infinite, recently completed by Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza, is more than a dwelling, it also an impressive piece of landscape architecture. Erected on the seashore, the building features a long horizontal plane, that merges with the sea view, appearing almost as a continuation of the horizon. The architect gives his poetic description of the concept: On a marvelous place like a piece of earthly paradise, at Cádiz, we have built an infinite plane facing the infinite sea, the most radical house we have ever made. At the very edge of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea unites the new and the old continent, emerges a stone platform. At the place where all the ships from the Mediterranean used to pass and still pass by as they head off into the Atlantic. To accentuate this dramatic idea, all the terrain has been moved as far back as the entrance wall separating the building from the street. Because the main entrance to the house is located on the roof platform, all public areas are concentrated on the upper level. It houses the living room, dining area, kitchen and a massive balcony. Bedroom suits are located on...
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The Australian queens of staple wardrobe have done it again! Mary-Lou Ryan and Deborah Sams of Warriewood based label Bassike — spoken Basic — seem to get more distinctive with every collection they design. They effortlessly stick to the brand’s core business by creating a wardrobe of relaxed, minimal pieces, while at the same time implementing new ideas and a fresh styling for Spring/Summer 2014. It seems like some new colors and patterns were mixed into the current collection: Bassike’s signature neutral palette is carefully complemented with some earthy tones and patterns abstracted from classic menswear. The silhouettes are even more loose-fitting and oversized than before. However, the overall look is still luxurious and elaborate, which is probably due to the carefully chosen fabrics, mainly produced in Australia, Italy and France. So if you want to take your relaxed beach feeling downtown with style, Bassike’s SS2014 collection is definitely the right choice for hitting the bars and clubs.
Casa Spodsbjerg is a family summer home on a rocky beach in Denmark. Completed in 2010 by Arkitema Architects, this house is designed to take advantage of the views and characteristics of its site. The structure is composed of two staggered volumes on a concrete foundation. One volume houses the living rooms while the other holds the bedrooms and bathrooms. The living room utilizes floor to ceiling windows to achieve an unbroken view of the sea and beach. The bedrooms are on the second story and are more shielded, allowing for a quiet and peaceful place to rest. Casa Spodsbjerg uses a limited number of materials in its design. Concrete is used for the base and internal forms, the floors are a light hardwood, and the ceilings covered with a warm, slatted wood. This home is the perfect beach dwelling. I love how the two forms work with the geography of site to maximize the views of the surroundings. I particularly enjoy the way the materials work together in this structure. The light hardwood floors blend with the exposed concrete and are reminiscent of the sandy shore outside. The slatted wood ceiling warms the space and gives it a more natural feel. What more could one want in a...
Located on the coast of Geojedo, an island south of South Korea, Mug Hakdong sits on the beach off of the main street. It was designed by Hyunjoon Yoo Architects for a client who runs a medium-scale sales distribution company and wanted his employees to be able to utilize the space for training, learning as well as enjoying the cafe and its facilities. The architects developed the concept for this hotel to be as flexible as the program requires. There would be a varying number of people and customers at different times so the hotel would need to accommodate the constantly changing needs of the client’s staff and its own guests. The stunning result is a beautiful convertible space of mobile walls that rotate or fold to provide this flexibility. The intersection of walls as planes that overlap and dissect the interior spaces make an intriguing and complicated volume. I was drawn to this project not only of how beautiful it is aesthetically, but that the challenges of program requirements of connecting public and private has turned into a landmark that also helped revive the local community. Photography by Youngchae Park.
The White Retreat is a seaside apartment with a nearly all white interior. Located in the beach town of Sitges, Spain, the client wanted a bright white space which would highlight a few favorite art and furniture pieces. The combination of a small space and small budget called for a simple and efficient design. Colombo and Serboli Architecture divided the space into three areas: the bathroom, bed/living room, and terrace. White doors hide the kitchen, bathroom, and closets. Oversized windows flood the space with natural light. There are so many elegant design choices in this small apartment. The white resin floor, bathroom tiles, and folding doors all help achieve a uniformity that is still visually exciting. The dedication to white here is impressive: even the plumbing fixtures are matte white! The White Retreat is the perfect space for quiet and creative living.
The Australian label Bassike is well known for their structured collections that emulate both minimalism as well as the carefree attitude of beach living. In their Spring Summer 2013 Women’s Campaign, each piece appears well tailored while looking relaxed; chic in the minimal palette and elegant in forms and material. Reputed for using high quality in material and an emphasis on local production, Deborah Sams and Mary-Lou Ryan, the duo behind the label, always design with comfort in mind for both sexes: The beauty of bassike is its appeal to men and women whose easy-going style still requires an element of subtle luxury. Bassike’s very specific aesthetic is influenced by the contrasts of loose australian beach style and the integrity and simplicity of japanese design. Draw-string and dropped-crotch pants have not looked any more stylish on women with Birkenstock sandals. This collection Bassike has taken relaxed luxury to another level.
Pebble is the result of a collaboration between Jacob Juul of newly established Danish watch brand Bulbul and KiBiSi. The distinctive asymmetric watch face was inspired by the smooth contours of the pebbles found on Scandinavian beaches. Pebble combines organic shapes and fine Italian crafted leather with the industrial feel of the injection molded silicone loop defining an international hybrid of heritage and openness. Swiss movement and sapphire glass are high quality components designed to last with the design. It is available in four colour variations, but what I really enjoy is the inspiration behind the design, mixing an organic feeling and simplicity to produce a different and stylish watch.
Located on a lovely strip of beach in Spain is the DBJC House. The home was built to maximize its relationship with the sand and sea. The structure sits low on the site, almost becoming a natural part of the rocky coast. The walls are nearly all open to the landscape: some physically, others shielded from the elements by frameless sheets of glass. The main living area is located closest to the sea, while the bedrooms sit further back on the ground and upper floors. The rooftop is home to a simple terrace, allowing for an unimpeded view of picturesque scenery. DBJC is another gorgeous work by Alberto Campo Baeza, a Spanish architect widely recognized for his prudent designs. I am a huge fan of Alberto Campo Baeza. His designs possess an air of timelessness achieved through excellent choices in form and material.
Manifiesto Futura, an independent multidisciplinary design studio based in Monterrey, Mexico, have recently added to their impressive design portfolio with this minimalist identity and packaging for the tequila based alcoholic drink, Tiqo. Tiqo is apparently a drink for a quiet moonlit night gathering at the beach, which is echoed by the circular forms in the sleek geometric logotype. Even with the stark colour palette of the bottle, it still has a strong presence and would unlikely go unnoticed on a supermarket shelf. It’s always refreshing to see such design simplicity in alcohol packaging.
The Norwegian based firm Saunders Architecture has completed a series of cabin-like artists’ studios on the lovely island of Fogo in Canada. The studios house artists participating in the Fogo Island Arts Corporation’s residency program. Tower Studio is one these stunning residences. Looming atop a rocky beach, this three story structure can only be reached by hiking along the shore. The floors of the building rotate, giving the studio a playful and unique geometry. The shape of the structure allows for a distinct exterior entrance and large triangular skylight on the middle floor. The whitewashed interior is filled with natural sunlight and holds a small kitchen, living area, bedroom, and studio space. Isolated on the shore, Tower Studio is a lonely obelisk among the flat coastline. This isolation seems appropriate for an artist’s studio: one can fill the emptiness with ideas and creations. Clean lines, simple colors, and the picturesque location meld together to form a truly brillant structure. This wonderful studio is sure to inspire any artist lucky enough to reside here.
Based in São Paulo, independent fashion design brand Cotton Project seeks to produce quality pieces for a group of individuals who share the same lifestyle and a different perspective on beach culture. They aim to create clothes that are coherent with a tropical country like Brazil, but that nonetheless carry the cultural baggage inspired by youth subcultures of music, art, photography and fashion, and apply typical urban elements to the brazilian beach culture. We believe in a downsized brand, that connects to a global culture and is responsible for the environment it lives in. The clothes are visibly well-tailored and the brand styling is an exercise in simplicity. I love the apparent softness of the materials and their fit. The brand also pairs up with musicians, artists and designers in several one-off side projects, sell a range of accessories, magazines and other international design products often not available in South America, as well as housing open happy hour parties in their studio. A true lifestyle brand.
This design of this residence located on Bondi beach takes advantage of the views and climate while delivering a modern luxury in the architecture and its details. Completed in 2011 by Sydney-based Redgen Mathieson Architects, the philosophy of the team is exhibited in the use of the materials such as Calacatta marble, white terrazzo tiles, American Walnut and dark bronze in the finishes which lets the undecorated space speak volumes of a style that is timeless. The use of movable glass panels to optimize light, views and ventilation into the living spaces, creates a strong relationship of the living experience with the environment. While I believe that minimalism should reveal good design, I also believe that it is possible for it to portray luxury. This project has proven that, maintaining the integrity of the materials as well as the architecture in a sophisticated simplicity.