Minimalissimo


Search results for “Japan”

Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. British minimalist architect John Pawson has designed a ribbon to support the disaster relief effort, following the earthquake and tsunami, earlier this month. Electronic version of the design is available to download for attachment to websites and emails. A donation can be made online. I would like to express my love, respect and admiration to the Japanese population. Stay strong!


House in Nishimikuni is a one story home in Osaka, Japan which focuses on privacy. Designed for an elderly couple by Arbol Design, this home shields its residents from the busy neighborhood. The perimeter of the site is covered in tall, cedar planks. The opaque exterior evokes a sense of protection, like a fortress. A hidden entrance adds an element of mystery to the curbside view. Just inside the perimeter is a garden. The garden connects the structure with nature, a commodity that is few and far between in a busy city like Osaka. The cedar wood continues in the interior design, forming the hardwood floors throughout the home. The rest of the interior is clean and simple: beige walls, low furniture, and soft gray tatami mats. Floor to ceiling windows bring in light and offer views of the courtyard garden. The greenery outside combines with the interior materials for an aesthetic that is incredibly soothing. This calm home is the perfect dwelling for hectic Osaka.


This florist’s home in Japan’s Mie prefecture was designed to inspire the resident’s craft. The dwelling was completed by Japanese firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates in May of this year. Florist Studio utilizes a refreshing simple design to offer seamless views for a creative live/work space. The most stunning feature of the home is the glass walls that span the entire length of the building. The glass is held in place by the floor and roof slabs; this structure eliminates the need for view-impeding columns. The long stretch of windows is reminiscent of a painting in a gallery. The gallery aesthetic continues throughout the home. A cantilevered counter runs the full length of the structure, forming a bed headboard and bathroom vanity on one end, and an office desk on the other. Carefully chosen furniture is placed in the other rooms. The attention paid to each detail makes the whole home feel like a work of art. Florist Studio a perfect dwelling for its resident and its environment.


Shirahama Roh Pinggu is a small seaside home designed by Okuwada Architects Office. Located in Wakayama, Japan, this single story home is structured to work with the island landscape. The sand and sea are on the southern side of the home, while mountains surround the other three sides. The southern wall of windows embraces the sea views. The kitchen and living room are situated in this part of the home. The mountain facing rooms contain more private areas, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms. Wooden floors connect the home with the forest behind it. A white and glass facade, and a galvanized steel roof, complete the home’s light and airy aesthetic. I love the simple design of this resort home. The soft colors and low lying structure minimize the visual impact the home has on the environment. The simple interior allows the residents to direct their focus out towards the landscape. Overall, Shirahama Roh Pinggu is a lovely vacation dwelling for a family. Photography by Tada Yuko / Yuko Tada Photography.


UID Architects is a Japanese architecture firm that’s based in Hiroshima, Japan. In 2009, the firm has completed a house and atelier for a doll artist in Minoh city near Osaka. Upon the first glance at this structure, one would only see hovering white facades. The raised structures open up an opportunity for openings at the top and bottom, complemented with glass enclosure. Calling these rectangular boundaries as belts, architect Keisuke Maeda said: A simple operation of overlapping belts obscures site boundaries and formulates a relationship to the site and the neighborhood. Greenscaping the interior of the house to weave in the green space of the exterior further highlights the seemingly expanding footprint, which is smaller than expected. Walls were replaced by built-in furnitures to minimize spatial usage, as well as to connect interior spaces. The minimal yet complex design is what makes this house stand out. I adore the functional and effective moves that the architect used to modify such a small site. Even the white path leading from the outside to the inside, adorn with pebbles and green, is a simple decision that helps lighten up this atelier. Photography by Hiroshi Ueda


I was recently introduced to high-end European menswear brand Enfin Levé and their superbly simple Eorri collection. As opposed to the brands mainline avant-garde aesthetics, Eorri extends the direction by releasing minimalist, simple designs made with the finest fabrics for a comfortable, everyday wear with a unique identity. Handcrafting their clothes in small, local ateliers and manufacturers in Italy, Switzerland and Poland, the seasonless silhouettes of Eorri are easy to wear, with an aim to provide the greatest comfort. Having personally experienced the quality of this Eorri collection, which includes slim fit t-shirts made with soft and thin cotton, elastic waistband pants and shorts, Enfin Levé have successfully produced relaxed, minimalist design with an intriguing style, establishing their identity in the men’s market. Available in various menswear stores in Japan and United States, Enfin Levé also ship internationally. Photography by Mateusz Bral / Model: Olaf Piwowa


M Residence is yet another stunning dwelling by acclaimed architecture firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates. Completed in 2013 and located in Fukui, Japan, M Residence is a remarkably simple home for two families. One half of the structure houses a young couple and child, while the other is home to the child’s grandmother. Both halves of the home are nearly identical. The interiors feature an open-floor plan. The lack of walls lends a fluidity to the space and cuts out cumbersome square footage. Furniture is limited to only the necessities. Sliding panels are placed along the southern wall of the home, allowing the space easy exposure to the outdoors. Shared spaces include the porch, car park, and garden. M Residence is the perfect solution to living with extended family. Both families can enjoy the comfort and convenience of living so close, yet their divided spaces can easily feel a world apart. That Shinichi Ogawa & Associates were able to achieve this while maintaining the design’s effortless and minimal aesthetic is equally impressive.


The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban created an innovative, minimalist and elegant floor lamp for FontanaArte, named Yumi. In Japanese, Yumi means “bow” and that is exactly what this floor lamp looks like. Delicate, the stem is only 10mm thick, and strong. A clean design and simple shape that blends into a lightweight structure. The slim shape was made possible by the use of LED lights, integrated in the black composite and carbon fibre coated structure. The base is made of black lacquered metal. All wiring is hidden within. I love that. I think a lamp with such a minimalist appearance fits in any environment. Would it fit in your interior? It is said Shigeru Ban is not interested in the newest materials and techniques in designsbut he is definitely innovative and need the newest tools to make his ideas come alive. The fact Ban was the first architect in Japan to construct a building out of paper illustrates his innovative thinking.


International Royal Architecture, or I.R.A., have designed this bright and modern dwelling in a residential neighborhood in Japan. The home is called House of KKZ, a name derived from its proximity to the Kamikitazawa Railway Station in Tokyo. The structure is a straightforward white cube with cut outs for the windows and doors. KKZ is by no means large, only 110 square meters, but the thoughtful design results in a lovely living space for a family. House of KKZ is a spilt level with several loft spaces. The varying levels allow the space to feel large and open despite the building’s small urban footprint. Small, narrow windows are placed close to the ceiling on each level. These windows bring natural light inside while maintaing the residents’ privacy. White walls and light-colored wood contribute to the sunny feel of the interior. Built in furniture and storage keeps the home free of clutter.


Duncan Shotton, a young British designer based in Japan, created this fun and simple timepiece, called Color O’Clock. The all-white disk features a window at its base which slowly shifts through all colors of the spectrum, greens, purples, blues, and everything in between. This changing element allows you to tell the time through hue and tone. I love that the clock itself blends with the wall, only leaving the hands and the colorful window visible. Shotton thinks that this method of reading time is more relaxed and intuitive. The clock base is made of plastic, the hands are made of matt steel. Check out the video to see the piece in action.


Designed for a group of artists to reside, work and exhibit, the architect Jun Murata of Jam Architecture transformed a house in Osaka, Japan, of former wood construction into one of modern simplicity and elegant, minimalist finishes. The spaces were carefully thought out to accommodate the needs of the artists. Public and private are logically separated: the living and dining, as well as the tatami spaces face south where one can assume the intent is so that the residents can enjoy the natural light. On the other hand, the opposite side of the house meant for reading and art installation is designed with more controlled lighting where slivers of light penetrating the interiors, making it an integral part of any art installation. The architect has acknowledged that as carefully designed this minimalist mix-use house is for the artists, plants can give the space a rich contrast. I especially love the fact that the number and type of plants chosen for the space is minimal as well, allowing the harmony of their presence compliment the spaces they are in. Images courtesy of Jun Murata / Jam Architecture.


Thaw sofa is one of the latest works launched by the Japanese design studio Junpei Tamaki Design during this year’s SaloneSatellite in Milan. It is a reference to images of thawed fluffy snow, producing a wonderful feeling of softness and comfort. The curved silhouette of Thaw is accompanied by a rounded oak detail that frames the whole piece — a continuous line to serve the seat, arm and backrest in one, resulting in a great formal simplicity. I particularly like how the wood is integrated so well on this kind of design, achieving a sense of quality and warmth. Photography by Takumi Ota