Minimalissimo


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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.


The Brick Lamp by HCWD Studio is a minimalist lamp that works very intuitively with a hand gesture. A warm toned light is activated when the lamp is raised and deactivated when laid flat. This clever switching mechanism is designed to work on all kinds of firm and horizontal surfaces. The side facets function as a natural handle and also direct the light when the lamp stands on its side. The lamps weight is engineered to make it stand stabilised. The objective is to capture the moment of light — being concealed and revealed. This unique lighting design would turn a quotidian routine into an enriching experience, providing an unexpected, fun quality to a daily object. The Brick Lamp is multi-functional and one can use the lamp wirelessly. A built-in battery allows the lamp to glow for up to five hours with a single charge. The housing of the Brick Lamp comes in three styles: concrete (light and dark), wood and metal (silver and black). My personal favorite is the metal (silver) edition with the matte finish on the facets and brush texture on the top surface.


Casa Na Xemena is a stunning modern home overlooking the Mediterranean in Ibiza, Spain. Ramón Esteve, a design studio based in Valencia, designed the home in 1995 and completed construction in 2003. The site’s natural landscape was crucial in the design of this home. Most of the structure’s form was dictated by the sea, rocky cliffs, and sun. The exterior features a smooth white façade that reflects the heavy Mediterranean sun and contrasts beautifully with the rough cliffs and blue water. Several outdoor terraces are arranged as viewing platforms to gain the best perspective of the sea. A large infinity pool is positioned at a key point on the hillside, so that the line between the pool and the sea is elegantly blurred. The home’s interior keeps the white walls from the façade and features concrete floors and floating staircases. A sprinkling of windows illuminate the home without allowing too much heat inside. Geometric furniture, some of which was designed by Ramón Esteve, is placed in the interior and by the pool. Casa Na Xemena provides a striking response to a remarkable landscape. The house provides a true relationship with the environment, resulting in a magnificent sensory experience for its lucky residents. Photography by Eugeni Pons...


The Knob Spice Grinder by Umbra Shift has a traditional look with a modern twist. The grinder consists of two parts: the grinder and a separate base. On top of the cylinder shaped grinder, one can see the grinders turning mechanism. This mechanism was inspired by an oven knob — an archetype for turning, the creators explain. The grinder includes an internal ceramic mechanism to finely grind spices. The separate base serves as a catch-all or pinch pot for freshly-ground spices. Ideal for cooking or presenting salt and pepper at the table. The grinder has a really nice aesthetic. The base and bowl are both made of beechwood and are available in natural, black and aqua finishes. My personal favorites are the natural and black finished grinders. The Knob Grinder is part of the inaugural collection of Umbra Shift, an extension of Umbra Studio focusing on contemporary collections, presented during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair last year. The mission of Umbra Shift is to rethink all manner of everyday items, in minimal design and for maximum effect.


Spain-based architect Ramón Esteve designed a world-class residence with a privileged high view of the turquoise Mediterranean below; the scale of this project goes beyond 1,200 sqm, nevertheless it manages to nail a challenging combination of extravagance and minimalism impeccably. The outer façade facing the street is quite private and does not give anything away regarding its visual prerogative, a much-understated introduction to its wood-clad and geometric structure. On the opposite side lays a very modernist and playful take on various volumes, each one housing its own veranda and access to the beautiful view of the ocean. This project celebrates the natural landscape, yet the interior design brings forth symmetry defiantly. The interior design thrives in white color dominance, an effort to maintain a homogeneous feel in all rooms. Impressive how such a wide variety of materials managed to build a cohesive unit. Kudos to the excellent timberwork in the kitchen, bathroom and on the beautiful 6m high patio. With luxury comes great responsibility, and I’m pleased to see the architects did not ignore ecofriendly solutions: Two separate pools grace this residence, yet rainwater is recycled to fill each one. Lastly, the energy consumption is kept to a minimum with state-of-the-art...


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.


Cologne based design studio Kaschkasch created a slim wallmounted, foldable desk named Fju. Folded down you have a small workspace with a smooth writing surface. When you are done you just place your belongings in the storage pockets under the desk and fold up. Now the storage pockets are revealed and the desk has transformed into a shelf. Within seconds you create some extra space when needed. Fju consists of two main components: a steel bracket, mounted to the wall, and the wooden body made of 8mm thick veneered oak plywood. Fju comes naturally finished or dyed with charcoal. Like Fju the products of design studio Kaschkasch, founded Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider, are characterized by precise lines and geometric shapes.


Near the Norwegian village of Geilo, a popular skiing destination, Oslo-based firm Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter have designed Split View Mountain Lodge, an extremely beautiful family home for their holiday. The architects tell us: This holiday home has a clear and clean-cut expression. The volume has a main wing, housing mainly bedrooms, which naturally adapts to the terrain and divides into two branches of living zones. The shift in program and use of different levels allow this part of the building to adapt to the slope of the site. With the same timber cladding on all of the outer walls and on the roof, the holiday home is unified in one structure. If the exterior is great, no less remarkable is the interior, both made using mainly locally-sourced Norwegian piner, with huge gable-shaped windows to enjoy the unique views of the valley.


Layers of White is a penthouse apartment located high above the city of Tel Aviv. Designed by the Tel Aviv architecture studio Pitsou Kedem, this large home is a meditative escape from the busy streets below. The house is divided into two wings: one holds the kitchen and dining spaces, and the other the bedrooms and bathrooms. Both wings feature sitting rooms and spacious exterior terraces. Oversized windows adorn nearly every wall, offering natural light and spectacular views in every room. This home’s monochromatic color scheme incorporates texture in unique ways. Smooth plaster is juxtaposed with an embossed polygonal brick patten. Soft fabric curtains hang loosely over the bedroom windows. On the terrace, a concave wall allows space for stacks of container plants. Lighting is also integrated in uncommon ways. In the kitchen, long bar lights dangle above the countertops, while in the living room, clusters of sculptural light fixtures adhere to the ceiling. The textures and lighting create the dynamic layers of white in the home’s namesake. It’s amazing how one hue can feel so rich and varied. A white palette has never felt so colorful. Photography by Amit Geron.


An exciting balance between Scandinavian minimalism and slightly melancholic drama: that is what Copenhagen based womenswear designer Vibe Johansson light-handedly fuses in her current summer collection. Maybe it’s due to her growing up in the Hamlet city of Elsinor, or maybe she just perfectly manages to integrate the impressions of her extensive travels into her northern soul. Whatever the cause, Vibe Johansson’s designs radiate a subversive elegance which makes its wearer stand out without being invasive. Questioning beauty and looking for it in dark places, physical as well as mental, is where it all began for me. — The Kinsky Interview I simply love the way this collection combines expressive textures with pure geometric shapes and a soft flow of fabrics. Vibe describes the behavior of her garments as defiant, yet controlled. And I feel like this is an attitude which might nicely mark off onto its wearer. Photography by Emil Monty. Art Direction by Marlo Saalmink. Styling by Vibe Johansson.


The Australian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale is complete, just in time for the opening of the 56th Biennale in May of this year. The International Art Exhibit, taking place once every two years, has been held in Venice’s Giardini della Biennale, or the Biennale Gardens, since 1895. It is traditional for architects to design their home country’s pavilion as a unique identifier for their nation. The gardens include works by architecture greats such as Carlo Scarpa, Gerrit Rietveld, and Alvar Aalto. Australia’s Pavilion was in major need of an update: the country had been using the same temporary structure since 1988. Designed by Melbourne-based firm Denton Corker Marshall, the new pavilion’s dark square mass looms powerfully over its bordering canal. The facade is made from large slabs of black granite which protrude at points, allowing natural light to enter the windowless interior. The entrance floats on a concrete terrace, accessed by a dark steel ramp. On the canal side, the structure cantilevers slightly; this subtle gesture both embraces and respects the distinct environment. The interior is a clean, white box: the perfect canvas for various art exhibits. Australia’s sculpture-like pavilion is sure to be a hit at this Biennale and many...


This unassuming family home in Finland is designed by OOPEAA, or Office for Peripheral Architecture. OOPEAA strives for an architecture that finds its inspiration in the state of being in-between – between urban and rural, but always in relationship to both; between a deep respect for tradition and an appreciation of the contemporary. House Riihi is the perfect example of OOPEAA’s mission. House Riihi is reminiscent of a traditional Finnish cottage, stationed alone in an often snowy field in the small village of Alajärvi. The home is comprised of three buildings: the main house, a garage, and a lofted studio. The pale wood structure sits low to the ground and is arranged around an inner garden. This arrangement is inspired by Finnish farms, where cottages were positioned around a central courtyard. With this composition, the garden is protected from the harsh climate and becomes a peaceful refuge all year long. The interior is clad from floor to ceiling in natural and white-painted spruce. The light colors allow House Riihi to feel airy and bright, as well as warm and cozy. Minimal furnishings, some matching the spruce of the walls, create an atmosphere of openness where the home’s architecture can really shine. House Riihi is...