I have long been a reader of Thisispaper Magazine, and when in late 2012 they decided to expand to the analogue world, selling a range of stunning and simplistic products, I for one, was thrilled to explore the designs. Initially launching a series of bags and rucksacks, Thisispaper Shop also recently introduced a beautiful range of kitchenware. It is however, one of their bag designs that I find to be something our Minimalissimo readers will appreciate most. The Natural Irma Bag is incredibly basic with a light linen material. Measuring 25 x 42cm, the bottom is made of nubuck leather. Other leather elements are made of vegetable-tanned natural leather. The lining is 100% cotton and features two small interior pockets and a thick cotton string. Beauty, we believe, lies in the simple objects we use everyday, without even acknowledging it.
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Located in Savion, an exclusive residential area of Tel Aviv, is The Corten House, designed by the architectural studio Pitsou Kedem. In this beautiful house the concrete alternates with Cor-Ten and plays with open and closed spaces, with lights and shadows through a design made of contrasts wisely balanced. Outside, the concrete is predominant and the robust walls seem to emerge to protect the airy internal areas shaped by the textures of Cor-Ten capable of filtering the external light on the wide openings. Two floors of regular lines where the use of brown woods is dominant and gives warmth to the interior. On the ground floor, the living rooms are bright and spacious, while on the second floor one can admire the bedrooms, walk-in closet and bathroom. The double height is dominated by a long internal balcony at the upper floor. On the ground floor there is no continuity between the living area and the courtyards that lead to the garden dotted with well-positioned plants and, considering the hot weather of this area, with a rectangular swimming pool perfectly aligned to the building. Natural light and wide spaces are the elements of a design that invites one to experience the...
Swiss studio Mizko Design are the creators of this elegant and simple decorative home accessory — a maple wood bird called Woodput. Natural and clean, strong and unagitated, it is produced in small series by a local sheltered workshop in Aurau, Switzerland. The designers explain: The aim was to create a decorative object from a piece of wood with as few oscillated slices as possible. We wanted to experiment with how much you can reduce the shape so that the object is still identifiable as a bird. Woodput is meant to be an object, that tries to convince with its simplicity. Mizko Design was founded in 2012 by Sarah Hügin and Benedikt Löwenstein, two industrial designers, who’s collaborative efforts have seen them awarded a Red Dot Award in product design.
At the top of a Manhattan high rise is the pristinely designed home of Kanye West. Kanye West Loft was completed in 2007 by the esteemed Italian designer Claudio Silvestrin. Every aspect of this loft — the architecture, interior design, furniture and lighting — was designed by Silvestrin. This serene and monotone apartment features an open floor plan to allow for a continuous flow of space. Strong geometric forms are created from soft white walls, limestone, and pear wood. The forms divide the space as needed while also acting as the home’s main decoration. Two stone islands, reminiscent of sculptures, provide a built-in kitchen and bathtub. Hidden light sources at the top and bottom of the walls add to the calm, gallery-like quality of the rooms. This loft has ancient quality which I attribute to the generous use of stone and minimal furnishings. This quality allows Kanye West Loft to feel both expertly designed and remarkably natural, not unlike Mayan temples of the ruins of Rome.
Apartments, unlike house projects, do not have the benefit of a customized façade. Naturally the common outer shell of each building is shared by all its inhabitants, as a result it is quite usual for interior design to take on the challenge of injecting a unique persona for each unit. Architect Keiichi Kiriyama, head of Airhouse Design Office, proposed a daring makeover for a 40 year old apartment, to alter it with the same liberty as a house, with all the benefits this practice may bring. Completely ignoring the original plan, with its standard square-like rooms and run-of-the-mill dynamics of a common apartment building; Kiriyama took the request of a ‘large-sized closet space’ and took it to another level. The dress room became a central section of the apartment, with every visitor having to through it to reach the main social area, much like a runway. By doing so, fashion blends into life, and I believe that the space became a place to change the client’s mood whenever it was passed by. This renovation project was done by constructing spaces through re-examination of the conventional ideas of clothing storage. The rest of the apartment keeps the prerogative of dynamic functionality...
Casa Brunhais is an elegant white home located in Póvoa de Lanhoso, a municipality in Portugal. The home was completed in 2009 by architect Rui Vieira Oliveira with Vasco Manuel Fernandes. When viewed from afar, Casa Brunhais is a simple white form against a rocky landscape and blue sky. On closer inspection, this house is brimming with impeccable details in a dynamic structure. Multiple forms comprise the structure of Casa Brunhais. Shape, height, and material subtly differentiate the intersecting volumes. A traditional courtyard is placed at the center of the form, creating a private outdoor space for the residents. Few windows are placed on the exterior facade, as the interior courtyard brings plenty of natural light indoors. The interior features large expanses of white walls and floors, along with neutral curtains on the many large windows. Built-in furniture and recessed lighting allows Casa Brunhais to be as minimal on the interior as it is on the exterior. I find this house absolutely captivating: the design is strong yet still exudes a sense of humility. Photography by Fernando Guerra FG + SG.
Established in 2011 by Amy Venter and based in Durban, South Africa, Jane Sews is an artisan clothing and accessories line with a beautiful, fresh, simple aesthetic, prioritising uplifted feminine staples and timeless pieces. Every design element is carefully considered and close attention is paid to fine construction and finish. I love the airy simplicity of the pieces and the elegance of the accessories. The brand launches seasonal small run collections crafted from high quality natural fabrics, seeking to be both functional and easy to wear.
Cement as a material for a luxury residence. The young Mexican architect Abraham Cherem of Cherem Arquitectos, recently completed the design of a residence on the outskirts of Mexico City. House P was built for a well-known football player, Aarón Padilla and his family of four, who wanted a concrete home that blended well with its surroundings. The project is based on the study of the house views and the circulation of the light inside. The architect created two large blocks of cement, creating a complex set of rectangles and curved walls. The goal was to minimize the view on degraded suburbs of the metropolis, focusing on the vast central patio. Inside, the walls are designed as cement curtains, which regulate the spaces and the entrance of light at different times of the day. Cherem Arquitectos used elements of modern Mexican architecture to design the courtyard, but were also inspired by the traditional Mexican patio, which creates a space to reunite elements in the centre of the house. I love cement houses integrated in natural surroundings. House P is the perfect place to live with a golf course as good neighbour.
Czech duo Vrtiska Zak introduces their interpretation of minimal children’s toys, in the shape of their WOO Collection. The series represents transportation, on a very basic level, which is manifested in the resulting minimal forms. The simplicity of the materiality and its composition is both beautiful and streamlined for ease of use also. Made from bent veneer and varnished wood, there is an emphasis on symbolizing three natural elements (water — the sailboat, air — the airplane and ground — the bulldozer). WOO itself is intended to represent an injection of motion, interjection of amazement while also being a nod to the wood that comprises the pieces also. Vrtiska Zak is the combined brainchild of Roman Vrtiska and Vladimir Zak, who met during their studies and later formed a partnership during their internships at Alvar Alto University in Helsinki, Finland. Their work is an encompassment of product design, architecture and graphic design disciplines. With resulting forms such as WOO, they are a solid contender in the design realm. Photography courtesy of Vrtiska Zak.
Based in Portland, Oregon and hailing from Los Angeles, designer T Ngu has recently released three new collections within her lovely and elegant Upper Metal Class jewellery line: Arc, Grace and Wave. Boasting a minimalist style with a hint of light hearted fun, each hand-crafted design is developed with simplicity in mind while drawing inspiration from architecture, math, science and the natural life around us. Personally, I’m enjoying the fresh, minimalist use of typical geometrical shapes found not only within our surroundings but also in busier visual styles like the renaissance of Memphis-inspired graphics. UMC also seeks to follow an environmental friendly practice, using recycled metals and packaging that is biodegradable. Photography by Dawn Di Carlo.
Located in a residential area of the northwestern part of Takashima, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, lies a beautifully minimalist white structure. On the first floor is an aesthetic dental clinic White Essence Takashima and on the second floor an aesthetic salon — Salon de M. Following his client’s requirements, designer Ryutaro Matsuura explains: The building can give the neighbourhood a sense of affinity and good impressions as a symbolic object in the town. The interior offers a the space that is enclosed by four buildings into a void area with a top light. It was turned into a comfortable place with natural light. Perforated metal screens are fixed on the outside of the windows of the first floor treatment rooms to set up buffer spaces bridging the inside and outside. This made the cozy treatment spaces with soft daylight and patient privacy. Waiting in a dental surgery has never been so pleasant. We hope that this building will endear itself to the town’s people and be nurtured by them as a new landmark of the town. In this Japanese town, a visit to the dentist will no longer a daunting experience.
Pâtisserie À la Folie is a lovely little bake shop in Montréal, Canada. Designed by the Montréal based firm Atelier Moderno, this shop uses a minimal, neutral palette to show off the baked goods. The interior is a renovation of a former retail space. Existing concrete floors and exposed brick are painted in a warm, soft gray tone. Natural wood panelling has been added to parts of the ceiling and walls as a contrast to all the gray. A few hanging lights illuminate the register and display cases. While the design of this bakery is stunning, the real star of this interior are the rows and rows of colorful macaroons, pastries, and cakes. I love how the store’s simple palette highlights the goods for sale. Pâtisserie À la Folie is a bakeshop not easily missed on the streets of Montréal!