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!
Search results for “Japan”
Slow architecture is a tricky concept to keep itself away from the trend-chasing label; fortunately, naf architect & design took the concept of working without the restraint of a due date, nor any concern for what many would consider common sense to unexpected heights. The Glass House for Diver project is a triple threat: mixing the familiar Japanese sense of reduction, undeniable visual lightness and, finally, one of the most original ideas to instil concrete cubes as part of a residence. Great slow architecture projects have great stories behind them. The source for the charming concrete cubes are local cement factories, but these aren’t common over the counter pieces; each one is the result of excess material, eventually turned into something useful. Consequently, the surrounding area was slowly completed as each piece was delivered. No one said it would be easy to be sustainable. The concrete barrier is visually arresting and dynamic, as it provides privacy to a literal glass house. All the walls carry on with a brave face through the burden of complete and total transparency. This is one concept taken to its limits, as living rooms, bedroom, kitchen and bathrooms get the same treatment. The simplicity is...
Located in a relaxed area in rural Shiga, Japan, the Japanese studio FORM/Kouichi Kimura architects has developed this beautifully structured family residence; Courtyard House. We invited the architects to tell us a little more about the project: Designed to form a U-shaped building with a courtyard, which secures privacy, the house was requested to incorporate with the scenery while making the best use of the spacious site of about 330 square metres. The interior is configured by a single open room whereby finishes and levels vary to make each space independent and comfortable, creating various scenes as one moves from one place to another. The construction has many remarkable aspects to it, such as its pale grey corrugated metal façade giving the house an industrial aesthetic. As well as the linear water channel through the courtyard directing the eye towards the landscape, and the concrete elements throughout the interior, which all add value to this magnificent, minimalist home.
Architecture infused with natural form: That is how Los Angeles based designer Zaid Affas describes the Spring/Summer 2015 collection of his eponymous label. Luxurious fabrics from the mills of Japan, Europe and Great Britain come in clear but warm colors, such as off white, cream and dark sand, matched with austere silhouettes in black and distressed silver. I’m very much taken by the decisive message of the Zaid Affas’ work, which is perfectly conveyed by the very sunny yet austere imagery of the current collection. The architectural silhouettes are presented by the models like sculptures from an ancient culture, while heat and weathering seem to refine the surface of the fabrics in a unique way. It’s a perfect balance between ease and severity.
This elegant dark home is located in Shiga, Japan and designed by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects. Framing House was built for a small family who desired to live in a habitable art gallery. The home’s name is attributed to the structure’s act of framing key spaces. This framing notion allows each space to feel unique yet still connected to the flow of the house. Three main spaces are carved into the home’s layout: an art gallery, living space, and courtyard. The courtyard links the gallery and living spaces, and has the added benefit of bringing nature and natural light into both areas of the home. In nearly every room of the home, sections of the walls are cut out to frame windows, artwork, countertops, and shelves. These features contribute to the minimal sensibilities of the home by removing the need for stand-alone furniture and hiding clutter. Framing House is not just a home and an art gallery, it is a home as an art gallery. I could not imagine a more beautiful dwelling place. Photography by Yoshihiro Asada.
Shiro Studio is a London based design practice established by Andrea Morgante, committed to the creation of unique architecture and objects. Shiro means ‘white’ in Japanese, but here it implies a philosophical translation where white is perceived as the purest creative approach. An approach which has seen the design of the award winning Nivis — a strikingly sleek and minimalistic bathroom sink for Italian manufacturer Agape. Nivis pays homage to the most intimate and fragile sculptural qualities of snow, its unblemished whiteness and deep blanket fallen on everyday objects. Comprised of white cristalplant, Nivis’s surface becomes a soft, fluid mass where water can seamlessly flow, from the main to the secondary basin by rotating the overflow hole on the horizontal plane.
Exhibited at this year’s Milan Design week this beautiful and minimalist collection of shelves and tables is designed by Japanese studio Nendo for Glas Italia. Slide is a collection that includes two shelving units, a counter unit and a pair of small side tables that express a “slide” of position by focusing on the technology that bonds glass to glass. One black sheet of glass is bonded in a way that it has slid from its original position. Nendo comments: The shelves are particularly challenging to develop, since the black glass that is sticking out has to be attached to a transparent glass using an extremely small area of the cross-section. The same materials are used for the cuboid tables, which have tops shifted away from their dark bases in a similar way. The tables look as though the surface on top of the black box has been opened in a slightly slid position. Extremely simple. I love the glass, which is a radical and pure material and the Slide collection interprets these characteristics perfectly. Photography by Kenichi Sonehara.
AÃRK Collective’s timepiece range is a fusion of tradition and precision. Each piece uses Swiss and Japanese Quartz movements and hand-dipped casings and soft Horween leather straps. The Eclipse is the epitome of this balance and discipline. Inspired by time and the duality of night and day through the dual-tones of materiality and formal placement. The simple, contrasting dial evokes the moon’s movement in relation to the earth and the sun. Based in Melbourne, Australia, AÃRK Collective sees a collaboration of four creative aligned by family and a love of design. Emphasizing the need for quality and considered pieces has meant the resulting design is the uncomplicated and imbues minimalism. There is a simplicity in the undoing, and the careful placement of elements coming together. AÃRK Collective put as much thought into the parts that most people won’t see, and the result is beautiful. Photography courtesy AÃRK Collective.
Japanese design firm Nendo is not only brilliant at creating beautiful products in any medium, but they are also good at getting featured on Minimalissimo. As a collaboration with Italian furniture maker Glas Italia, Nendo has created a series of three frosted glass tables for this year’s furniture fair in Milan. Although the description might sound simple, the overall aesthetic is much more complex due to the gradient hues of these tables’ edges. During the process of making these sculptural objects, bright strips of colors were applied onto the outer rims of each frosted panel, giving a visuality of neon tubes running along the seams of the cubes. Nendo lets us know: What is more, the reverse side of the frosted glass was printed with a pattern to make it look as though the same colors were blurred on the glass surface. That explains the name Soft. The dialogue between the pattern and the edge’s gradient is cleverly tailored to illusorily imply that these tables are glowing softly from the inside. One of the things that I absolutely love about Nendo is their design philosophy which challenges the way that we understand materials. By minimally designing and tweaking small elements...
Ando Corporation’s Rooms project is a submerged Japanese house set into hillside, peaking out over the ocean. This minimalist series of volumes that all seem to play cooperatively together in the landscape, are a stark and beautiful contrast to the coastal terrain. At nearing 290 sqm, Rooms is a modest nod to the Japanese lifestyle; discreet, contained and respectful. Each volume of white plaster seems to come together seamlessly through a series of walkways and terraces, to create this unassuming sanctuary, nestled in the sloping elevation. The site’s location is optimally primed to maximize on the incredible Pacific Oceanic aspect. Fenestration is purposely restrained to not be full-height, to frame views and to leave some of the unknown, unknown. Set in Wakayama, Japan the clean white plastered forms contrast the natural site, while playful formal landscape geometry engages in nuances and details throughout. Rooms is the epitome of what residential dwellings should aspire to be, a sanctuary; a closing of the door to the chaos, and an opening to the beyond (in this case, the limitlessness of the ocean beyond). Ando Corporation has created an incredible example of reflective architecture, celebrating minimalism. Photography courtesy of Kimikazu Tomizawa.
Located in Abiko, part of Chiba prefecture, stands a fractal-like structure completely alien to its surrounding premises. A modern and futuristic white residential building, designed by Japanese architecture firm fuse-atelier, graces the neighborhood with a sense of drama and originality. The building boasts beautiful large glass panels on both extremities, albeit hiding inside a striking concrete monocoque and panels from passers-by. The living room sets the tone for the rest of the house, an obligatory passage way and link throughout every ambient. It’s interesting to note the modular-like quality the project defines every function, from the kitchen to the bedrooms. The sense of perception and depth is toyed with on this modernist project, presenting an aesthetic parallel to German Expressionists set designs in movies. The theatrical strength of the concrete walls are clear, with unusual angles and shadows drawn all through the day. The gallery stands tall and absolute as a firm minimalist presence, even if future owners take the interior design to a rustic or traditional style. It sets the mind at ease knowing the owners are more than satisfied with sharp contemporary design to furnish it. This house is in good hands. Photography by Shigeru Fuse.
Simple and straightforward projects are the solution for crowded work environments, such as the usual chaotic and busy beauty parlour. Japanese architect Hiroyuki Miyake took on the challenge to design TROOVE — a space fit for one lone stylist to take care of his salon, with all the benefits a minimalist space can bring to the daily hustle and effortless style for the clientèle to enjoy. Building upon a concrete structure, Miyake makes good use of Japanese oak to endow the salon and map out each space to its function. The charming reception and waiting room; the main styling room and the shampoo booth; each one cleverly distinct from one another. Kudos to the beautiful folding screen made in galvanized iron, inserting lightness into a big visual feature. Since the 2011 earthquake, several power saving policies were put into practice, directly altering the daily life and perception of darkness and how much it is necessary to live by. The archetypal Japanese paper lamps plays a remarkable role as the gatekeepers of this charming salon. The shadow play and well defined light project spread throughout is symbolic of smart adaptation to a new reality and, remarkably, a nod to the past.