The San Paolo Parish by Fuksas Architetto, completed in 2009, is a carefully articulated play with volumes. In concept, the main space is a box suspended within a box. It’s a play of intersecting regulated shapes, strategically placed, with emphasis on the void. The relief between volumes is therefore where the natural light enters the structure, allowing for shards of light to move through the spaces over time. Light enters both horizontally and vertically through the space. Emphasising the play with nature and built elements. Located in Foligno, Italy, the San Paolo Parish was initially conceived for a competition, which was won in 2001. The jury cited that the design was a sign of innovation that met the latest international research, becoming a symbol of rebirth for the city after the earthquake. Also therefore capturing the essence of what the spiritual and meditative space is intended to embody. This project features the use of pure geometries and natural day-lighting that create a spiritual connection with the heaven. Comprised predominantly of concrete, glass and metal, the series of regulated shapes that comprise the San Paolo Parish complex is beautiful. The lines are consistent, beautifully executed and each element is carefully curated....
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Bound by a common commitment for a unique but simple style, Barena has developed a bold and wonderfully rich, yet beautifully pared down Spring/Summer line. The firm dates back to 1961, when it was founded from a passion for researching culture, tradition and the world of textiles of the enchanting Venetian lagoon area in Italy. The collection is in fact inspired by the peculiar dress code created and used by the folk who lived in those areas in ancient times, who traditionally wore clothing that was versatile and functional, for they were hunters, fishermen and farmers. Many of the garments in the collection are the reinterpretation of unique pieces found in museums, antique markets or books that portray old images. I love the essence of history, passion and craft that infuse the very brand and all of their attention to detail, construction, and the will to preserve a rich local textile culture. Photography by Tony Piarotto.
Ever since Marsotto, a reputable stone carving company from Italy collaborated with Milan-based industrial designer James Irvine to launch their first collection at the Marmomacc Fair, the largest stone fair worldwide back in 2009, a consistently beautiful series of marble furniture has been created out of elegant, minimalist forms. These reflect the structural integrity of the material and the natural beauty of its color and texture. These are my favorite from Irvine in the Marsotto edizioni collection. Very often, marble happens only as a detail on an object because of its cost, but I’d imagine that to design with marble from the start is to think about function and form unilaterally, exploiting the strength of the material and its sculptural attributes while taking measures to prevent wastage. The white Carrera marble is an old material that has been beautifully transformed into contemporary objects in this series.
The Soldati House by Victor Vasilev is located in Carrara, Italy. It is a family home covering 530 sq.m over three floors. The owners wished for ultramodern and Milanese look but with contemporary domestic environment where function was not left behind. The featured element of square volumes is highly visible throughout: the geometry of a fireplace, sunken floor, art, bedroom furniture etc. The ceiling’s lighting is also incorporated as if to enrich the concept even further. A special treat built for the family is a private spa area with sauna, a large tub and a massage zone. Travertine marble and Indonesian teak were used as primary materials through which a level of easy elegance is translated. I love that the photographs shown were taken two years after the project was completed, providing us with a hint of lasting ultramodern effect the family desired.
My friends, hold on to your hats because today I am taking you to a breathtaking villa in Le Marche, to what seems to be a hidden jewel in Italy. Converted into a vacation home with a guest house, Casa Olivi is located on a hill in Treia and is a result of a 4-year renovation process by Swiss architects Markus Wespi and Jerome de Meuron. The 300-year old villa was destroyed by fire in 1995 but the architects revived it with keen eye for modern lines while being respectful of the original charm. The result is a stunning home that is elegant, minimal and oh so delightful for the eyes! If this is a “farmhouse”, we all might as well become weekend farmers, don’t you think?
Born in Florence, Italy in 1961, abstract painter Luca Brandi has produced a wonderful collection dating from 2001-2011. Inspired from a very early age whilst working in various churches in the city of Florence, Brandi studied under Paolo Galletti, who taught the theories on the separation of geometric form through painting and colour. After studying the works of Richard Serra, Brice Marden and Frank Stella, Brandi discovered a passion for minimalist art. He then began working on new works based on the layering of metallic colours that are still the basis of his work today. Brandi explains: I eliminate as much as I can to express the beauty of the human spirit. Due to this, I often use metallic colours, in an attempt to bring the spectator to meditate through colour, materials, reflection, and silence. → Watch a video of his works on display
The KM Table, designed by french architect Jean Nouvel is a narrow 85cm wooden table, made to measure, with a minimum length of 4m. The example exhibited here measures 6m 35, according to the dimensions of the gallery. The extraordinary proportions of the table are determined by a constructive principle whereby its span is miraculously supported within the thickness of the material itself, which is a lamination of oak and hornbeam. With this building technique, any length of table is imaginable, even one kilometre…The table is produced in Italy by Unifor. Like many of his modernist predecessors who worked across related disciplines, Nouvel describes himself as an architect who also makes design. Jean Nouvel says: The key word of my work is elementariness. I’m rather looking for singularities and traits linked to simple functions. I have a special affection for tables because a table is a simple thing, but it is not because it’s simple that it is easier to do.
This home in Tel Aviv, Agbaria House, is a pared down, minimalistic rendition of traditional Islamic architecture. Designed by Tel Aviv architect Ron Fleisher, it combines the rich, lush element of the mashrabiya screens with simple, elegant lines of modernist architecture. The house maintains certain typical building elements, like high vents for natural ventilation, high vaulted ceilings, and the traditional liwan, around which the private areas of the house are arranged, all the while adapted to contemporary needs and a simple, geometric aesthetic. Being myself a lover of both Moorish architecture and their vast influence upon European architecture (as in Venice, southern Italy, Spain and Portugal), as well as modernist architecture, this house was a delightful find. Photography by Shai Epstein.
Over here in Europe we already faced early autumn storms and the days getting shorter and shorter. Perfect weather to stay inside, close to the stove, with a good book. Italy based company MCZ operates in the indoor heating sector and created Toba. A minimalist pellet stove made of steel with a ceramic or soapstone front. The top and base or made of black powder coated aluminium. The ceramic front is available in the following colours: white, red, soapstone, black, bordeaux.
Italy-based designer and columnist for the online edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Paolo Capello created the Anacleto coat hanger. Made of metal, the hanger simply leans against the wall. Due to its minimalist and timeless design, the hanger will fit into different kinds of interiors. Durable and easy to relocate, Anacleto is manufactured by Miniforms.
Practical, minimalist and with substance for its uses, say hello to the environmentally pleasant table mood lamp, Greenman. Italy based designer duo Valentina Del Ciotto & Simone Spalvieri desgined a lamp that combines several sustainable products such as energy saving LED bulb, storage batteries charged by a mini solar panel and a bio-plastic corn trimmed off with a bamboo – that makes Greenman’s design eco-friendly. This little lamp is cordless, waterproof and energy saving. What more to ask? I can almost see its nomad uses both indoor and outdoor back home!
Table lamp Una - designed in Italy by Carlotta de Bevilacqua for Danese – utilizes the bare minimum requirements needed to produce a high-quality lamp. In fact, the Una lamp is so thin, I’m pretty sure I can even see the slight extrusion of where the wire runs from the base to its head. The flatness of this light is both impressive and mind-boggling. Clean lines, can’t even begin to describe the detailed composition of this aluminum genius. In my opinion, the best minimalist designs are those that disguise the inner complexities of an object. The fact that this paperthin lamp can house intricate circuits to power an LED is beyond me.