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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MiniMod takes pre-fab living to the next level! Designed by MAPA Architects, this intelligent structure is a lovely solution for alternative and sustainable living. The prefabricated modules are completely customizable, allowing the user to design a dwelling focused on their needs and preferences. After construction, the modules are transported via truck to their final destination. MiniMod is composed of a steel frame with natural recycled pine on the interior contrasted with painted pine on the facade. Several green technologies are featured in the dwelling; among them is a rainwater filter, ventilated facade, green roof, and LED lighting. The single module in the photographs is located in Brazil. Off-site and no waste construction allow the home to leave a minuscule environmental footprint. The 26 square meter floor plan includes a bedroom, living and dining rooms, and a kitchen and bathroom. Floor to ceiling windows and a covered patio connect the home with the outdoors. MiniMod has it all: the elegant design proves that prefabricated living can be beautiful and good for the environment. Minimal in aesthetic and minimal environmental impact, MiniMod is truly a win for contemporary living.
Hideg House is a sculptural form emerging from the rocky landscape. Located on the site of a former quarry in Koszeg, Hungary, this wooden structure is the first realized project of the young firm Béres Architects. After three long years of construction, Hideg House is a modern vacation home which merges the natural and built environments. The single story design features a dark timber frame punctured with windows and natural wood cladding. The rooms are placed to the far sides of the home, while the voided center is a covered patio. The interior is bright, white, and simple. It is a welcome contrast to the dark exterior and busy terrain. All of the rooms are arranged to maximize the views of nature. The cabin overlooks the best of both worlds: one side faces the exposed rock face of the former quarry, while the south side offers a panorama of the forest. I love the juxtaposition of this design. Pairing nature and man-made structures side by side results in a captivating aesthetic.
Aires Mateus & Sia Arquitectura’s House Melides on the Grandola Crest in Portugal takes the palette back to the basic elements. Situated amongst undulated terrain, overlooking the valley below, it acts as a portal to the vistas of natural elements that exist around it. In this sense, the importance of its quiet minimalism roars loudly. Comprised of unobtrusively, unusual main volumes that overlap in the shape of a cross, the resulting architecture sit both monolithically and subtly amongst its landscape. The interior is comprised of strict whites that seem to imbue its own softness through its interaction with the entering light. The otherwise metered corners throughout the interior are softened through the play on the other lines throughout the architecture. The stillness of space through finishes and articulation of lines is beautiful. The collaboration resulting in House Melides by Aires Mateus & Sia Arquitectura is to be commended. Photography courtesy of Fernando Guerra.
B House is one of the few landmarks on the soft, rolling meadows of Segovia, Spain. Designed by CH+QS Arquitectos, this home was inspired by a prominent color in the natural scenery: yellow. This environment is speckled by yellow in every season. Flowers, wheat, leaves, sheep and sun brighten the terrain with their pleasant hues. B house accentuates these hues using warm wood and soft lighting. The structure is small, almost miniature. Eliminating unnecessary space allowed the architects to shrink the home’s footprint. Indoor and outdoor common areas are situated in the center of the home, with oversize openings framing the views to the east and the west. The private functions of the home are pushed to the outer edges, while the basement den accommodates the children’s playtime. House B is a humble home which enhances the beloved fields that surround it. The architecture emerges from the ground almost organically. With a bit of imagination it’s easy to picture the home growing from the earth along with the yellow trees and flowers. Photographs by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura.
Zoé Girard is a Montreal-based textile student and seamstress who creates comfortable-wear for her independent brand, Zoé G. Kocsis. Specializing in cozy outfits, everything is handmade with natural materials, such as wool, linen and cotton, and defined by comfort and ease of use. Her small collection is called week-end and consists of five soft, simple pieces that are light, airy and ideal for casual adventures, lounging and sleeping. My personal favorite is the featured black romper – such a stylish, simple outfit. The collection can be purchased online. Photography by Jennifer-Lynn Christie.
Cowrie Chair is an elegant and attractive design inspired by the concave lines of sea shells, being its curvilinear shape possible after an extensive research and innovation process that combines handmade and digital tecnology. The result is a brilliant single surface monocoque fold formed in Ash faced plywood with either a natural or ebonised finish, something that also gives it a great feeling of contuinity and simplicity. Cowrie Chair is part of the Cowrie collection that includes an elegant rocking lounger too, all designed and developed by Brodie Neill, the creative director of Made in Ratio, a new brand launched this past April in Milan.
Ermitage is an example of minimalism in its truest form. Designed by the French architecture collective Septembre, this teeny cabin is located between the woods and the sea on the Swedish island of Trossö. Septembre’s goal was to keep the design as minimal as possible in order to give full attention to the pristine surrounding landscape. The home is incredibly basic and features only the necessities: a double bed, storage drawer, and an attached sauna. Large windows and a sliding glass door illuminate the tiny space and connect the home with the outdoors. This cabin denies the barrier of inside/outside by welcoming the natural environment into the home visually and physically. Ermitage allows its residents to connect with nature without the distractions found in many traditional vacation homes.
Nicolas Schuybroek Architects’ DT Appartment in Brussels, Belgium is a beautifully muted pallete of monochronism. The celebration of marble, stone and timber is harmonious and brings the spaces together effortlessly. Essentially posing the challenge of being a small apartment, NS Architects have managed to create a series of spaces that add a sense of warmth. The contrast in materiality throughout is well orchestrated and has a seeming natural feel. Named one of French Architectural Digest’s Best Interior Designers of 2013, Nicolas Schuybroek is beyond emerging. His career has spanned cross-continental borders having studied in Belgium, worked in Canada and continued collaborations across the two nations. His work is primarily high end residential, and is without a doubt, one to watch. Photography courtesy of Nicolas Schuybroek Architects.
Heart of Gold is a new edition of the stunning concrete kitchen line we featured in one of our previous posts. Designed by Martin Steininger and Michael Paar, Heart of Gold adheres to the same minimalist principles as its predecessor. The seamless look is reinforced by several new elements – hidden water outlet in the sink, magnetic drawer partitions, ceramic hobs visible or hidden by an automatic panel. I love that in spite of its technological sophistication, the piece looks austere and uncluttered. All elements are modular and can fit together in various combinations. The kitchen can be made from three materials – grey or brown concrete, ceramic and natural stone.
Rainha House is designed by the Belgium based studio Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum, or ABBE for short. The small, rectangular structure is home to a family in Portugal. Glass and concrete are the primary materials used in this residence. Polished concrete can feel cold and sterile, but this is not the case with Rainha House. Hardwood floors and well-placed lighting add warmth to the space and balance the coolness of the concrete. The full length glass windows bring in sunlight and connect the home with the natural environment. I love the use of concrete in Rainha House. Exposed concrete is a pure and beautiful material; it elevates this home from a basic structure to a fine work of art. Rainha House is an elegant dwelling perfectly suited to its inhabitants and environment.
Accessories have become such an important element in everyday’s fashion. With the constant rush of life, their flexibility also has transformed over time. Having that idea in mind, Paris-based industrial designer Isabelle Bois collaborated with & Other Stories, a womenswear fashion company founded in Sweden, to generate a capsule collection of bags, pouches, and cases. Made from vegetable leather, these products vary in sizes to offer a wide range of usage — from business meetings to casual rendez-vous and formal dinner parties. Being minimal in appearance with natural colors like peach, nude, and black, those factors create a versatility to these accessories when one has many occasions with little time. As a fashion enthusiast, I love the oversized portfolio-like pouches. Others might see them as a bulky addition to an outfit, but I view them as a way to create a character to the wearer. They compose a certain boldness that is not overpowering, but rather both artistic and professional. Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories and Glamour