The beauty that is so obvious in this Parisian apartment is in the stark contrast of the use and proportion of the stone designed within a space that uses minimal details. P Apartment by Claudio Silvestrin Architects while resembling a monastery at first glance, is more like an art gallery when taken for a closer look. Every piece of furniture is custom designed by Claudio Silvestrin except for a Wegner Chair. From the 13m long cast bronze kitchen bar to the flushed mounted wall television, these architectural details have been beautifully positioned and installed. And every view from the penthouse apartment is intentionally designed to frame the amazing Paris skyline. Its contrast from the usual highly decorative Parisian architecture and from the busy city is perhaps a much welcomed escape. Photos by James Morris.
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The San Paolo Parish by Fuksas Architetto, completed in 2009, is a carefully articulated play with volumes. In concept, the main space is a box suspended within a box. It’s a play of intersecting regulated shapes, strategically placed, with emphasis on the void. The relief between volumes is therefore where the natural light enters the structure, allowing for shards of light to move through the spaces over time. Light enters both horizontally and vertically through the space. Emphasising the play with nature and built elements. Located in Foligno, Italy, the San Paolo Parish was initially conceived for a competition, which was won in 2001. The jury cited that the design was a sign of innovation that met the latest international research, becoming a symbol of rebirth for the city after the earthquake. Also therefore capturing the essence of what the spiritual and meditative space is intended to embody. This project features the use of pure geometries and natural day-lighting that create a spiritual connection with the heaven. Comprised predominantly of concrete, glass and metal, the series of regulated shapes that comprise the San Paolo Parish complex is beautiful. The lines are consistent, beautifully executed and each element is carefully curated....
French architects Emmanuel Combarel and Dominique Marrec Architects (ECDM) completed a sanctuary for children within this beautifully constructed building located in the busy city of Paris. The designers address the social needs of the users of a day care especially as well as the constraints of the small site being shadowed by a much taller adjacent building. Interior and exterior access for the users are carefully thought out within the site through a series of paths and terraces so children can get to and play safely with convenient supervision. The outdoor space is oriented to get the most amount of sunlight while it inhabits a site with much taller buildings nearby. Windows of varying heights provide views from the clean, minimal interiors. The undulating exterior pre-fabricated concrete curtain wall, being the most interesting feature of the building, evokes a protective layer in the program, both for the children and the architecture itself against the weather and elements of urban life. What I respect most about this project is the relationship the architects have given it with regards to the other buildings. The windows are of similar sizes, the panels are in proportion to the facades of its neighbors and the 2-storied...
This beautiful piece of modern architecture was recently finished by Vicens + Ramos architect bureau. The church graces a new and largely undeveloped residential area in Cordoba, Spain. The building’s innovative structure is comprised of a single prism and a tall short facade. The facade is combined with the bell-tower and skylight – the components that are usually separated in historical church architecture. The prism, made from white concrete, has a fluted base able to let in horizontal light. The interior of the church is minimal and unembelished. It is designed to accentuate the focal points of the composition, namely the altar area and the roof paintings. The light, coming from the skylight and skillfully directed by the curved shape of the ceiling, completes and unifies the space. Photography courtesy of Vicens + Ramos
Though not the most minimalist posters out there, the reduction of the two cities into one poster series, Paris versus New York, by Vahram Muratyan, cofounder of ViiiZ, really hits the spot. Muratyan puts it most elegantly: A visual but friendly match between those two cities seen by a lover of Paris wandering through New York’s infinite details, clichés and contradictions : this way, please. Something that I know I’d love to receive for a Christmas gift this year!
Villa E is a luxury Moroccan home designed by Studio KO. Studio KO is formed of architects Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, and the firm is based in both Paris and Morocco. Their architectural style expertly blends eastern and western design. Villa E is a lodge located at the base of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Viewed from below, the home appears to be a castle or fortress looming above the rugged countryside. But step closer and you’ll find a warm and comforting home with a distinct style. The facade is of Villa E is covered in Ouriko stone, a red, brick-like stone which is locally sourced and characteristic to the architecture of the region. The windows are carefully placed to create the most airflow and eliminate direct sunlight. In a hot climate such as Morocco’s architects must tailor their designs around the powerful desert sun. The interior features high quality materials such as marble and slate, as well as traditional Moroccan furnishings and artwork. And of course, every room with an oversize window is arranged to maximize the stunning view of the mountains. Villa E is perfectly suited to its harsh environment. I love how the design can be traditional and contemporary, luxurious and minimal. Every element pairs together effortlessly for...
Amelie Riech’s Uncommon Matters series is a striking collection of idealistic future lines. The pieces are based on simplified geometric forms that supplement the users own style, using subtlety and an understated design philosophy. There is also a strong connection to the enduring craft techniques of the past with the construction of the pieces being well considered and constructed with exemplarily quality. Reich is based between both Berlin and Paris and her work is said to reflect a luminous energy that is reflected by the sleek, fluid surfaces of the pieces. There is also a timeless and sensuous manner to the way in which light interacts with the elements through movement. See list of stockists for all available pieces. Photography courtesy of Matthias Wingartner
This minimalist Piggy Bank is created by Selma Durand during her Master thesis of Industrial Design in ENSCI-Les Ateliers, Paris. Durand wanted to focus on the everyday situation where people collect pocket change without being aware of its value. In fact they usually put it in a pin tray where it stays untouched. Especially the cent coins are undervalued and one can use Piggy Bank to collect those. Piggy Bank, made of a ceramic outer container and a brass inner container, uses a clever hidden mechanism to weigh the pocket change as coins are stacking. Both containers level when the value of the coins is approximately 1 euro. I chose to focus on 1 euro because it is a standard unit which also corresponds to the price of a baguette, a coffee or a stamp. Being one stashing my pocket change in an old box, where it stays untouched, I really like the thought behind this minimalist piggy bank. Love the combination of materials too.
Adelaide-based collaborative duo Daniel Emma have partnered with Field to bring Magnifier onto the stage. Essentially it is a magnifier, beautifully crafted from brass with a brushed seamless finish. This piece also acts as a handsome paperweight and serious desk accompaniment. Daniel Emma is comprised of Daniel To and Emma Aiston who established their practice in 2008 after graduating in 2007. They studied concurrently in the industrial design discipline in Adelaide. Their work has been shown in Paris, Tokyo, New York, and Berlin and throughout Australia after first showing in London in 2008, early on. Their list of current exhibitions is endless and recognition within the design field also through their design work and installations is commendable. Available through Field, Magnifier is an extension of the duo’s ethos to create the unexpected from simple objects using simple forms. Photography courtesy of Leonhard Hilzensauer.
Sydney based menswear label Song for the Mute unites Parisian-born, Italian-trained fashion designer Lyna Ty and graphic artist Melvin Tanaya under its wings. Coming from these two different angles, it seems to be the fabric’s surface which initially brings the two creatives together and inspires the work on any new collection: In essence, the label is a symphonic poem of tactile expectations and contemporary dreams. Visiting the flagship store of Song for the Mute in Sydney, I am not only awed by the impeccable fit and the cutting edge use of fabrics, but also by the all-round perfect and inviting set up of the label’s branding, the most friendly staff imaginable, and an open and honest interior design. And although it is definitely a menswear undertaking, there are more than a few pieces in the current collection I would love to wear myself. So I am very much looking forward to the upcoming online shop opening.
Renowned Lunetier Lionel Sonkes whose store on a small street in Brussels had commissioned Nicolas Schuybroek Architects with Marc Merckx Interiors to completely refurbish and rethink the existing shop, atelier and facade, in a warm, minimal and elegant volume. For over 20 years, Sonkes has been selling imported high-end glasses as well as custom made ones. Recognized as the Belgian equivalent of Maison Bonnet in Paris, the retail architecture by the design team had to reflect that reputation. What this optical store lacked in physical footprint was made up in its luxurious interiors. All the custom-made furniture and simple facade was designed with respect to the sleek minimalist character of the store. What I love most about this project is that instead of displaying an overwhelming variety of product, Sonkes Lunetterie has let the interior architecture speak for the atelier. The best examples executed here are the subtle volumes for merchandising, beautifully designed into wall niches, black metal framed vitrines and Carrara marble pedestals. The grey veins of the marble compliment the grey/white brushed oak wall panels and chevron-laid reclaimed oak floors, tying into the overall elegant and minimal architecture. Photography by ©CAFEINE/Thomas De Bruyne for NSArchitects and images courtesy of Nicolas Schuybroek Architects.
Most minimalist lighting projects shun wires, treat them like an eyesore that should be hidden from view. Paris based designer Arik Levi embraced the enemy and made it a focal point of his pendant light collection Wireflow for the Spanish brand Vibia. These lights consist of thin extra long metal rods with the LED fixtures on its ends. These long wires can create various two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes. I love how sculpturesque these lamps are. Who would have thought that a simple thread of metal and a light could create such powerful presence in a room. The Wireflow collection has won the Wallpaper Design Award 2014 as the Best Line Work.