This is Oak, the result of an extracurricular, collaborative student workshop at Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden. The goal: to explore archetypes and stereotypes in the world of furniture. The group developed a range of independent pieces, but which are actually impressively coherent. Of course it helps that they’re all made from the same single material, American oak. One of the participaring students, Karl Jönsson, describes how all pieces were stripped down to their origins. From those elements, together with a hint of humor, new pieces have been created, while considering form, usage and interaction with their surroundings. The icing on their cake: Oak was exhibited during the Milan fair 2011.
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La Piscina del Roccolo is a luxurious indoor swimming pool designed by Italian architecture firm act_romegialli. The concept for the project was to create a pool and bathing house that would capitalize on the view of the countryside. The result is a humble structure nestled in the hilly site. On the western end of the building is a long stretch of windows placed adjacent to the pool. The windows visually connect the pool to its landscape all year round. In the warmer months this wall slides open, creating an indoor/outdoor bathing experience. Much of the structure is housed underground so as to impede the landscape as little as possible. The locker rooms and fitness center are placed in this underground area, allowing the pool an interrupted view to the outside. White mosaic tiles mingle with oak accents and exposed concrete on the interior. This marriage of materials brings depth and dimension to an otherwise simple space. On the exterior, stone walls and plenty of plant life ensure the structure stays integrated with its environment. La Piscina del Roccolo is an ideal space for exercise, relaxation, and connecting with nature.
London-based Fourfoursixsix’s Villa Mörtnäs combines considered Scandinavian style together with abounding contextual deliberation. Designed over three levels, the minimal formality of this villa clearly helps define a lineation of spaces within. Each floor plays its own, almost completely differing, function from the next. Entering at ground level is support space, which is submerged into the landscape and acts as the private entrance to the house. Ascending upward, the first level then houses the areas for rest and sleep, with the remaining living spaces on the upper most level, all accessed through stairs. The intentional vistas throughout, the regular and purposed window locations, create selected key apertures revealing the view. The living areas have been placed at the top of the building in order to enhance sunlight. There is also a notable differentiated volume in height between the floors. The living spaces almost seem to be double in volume, compared to the other levels. The intention is to amplify the light accessibility into the spaces. Completed in 2014, the arrangement on site of the villa to be facing the sea helps create a connection to the landscape beyond. The materiality of concrete, glass, oak and a muted palette, creates a sense...
During this year’s Milan Design Week, Frankfurt-based e15 company presented a plain and powerful new solid wood product family, compounded by the Fayland table, the Fawley bench and the Langley stool. Designed by the multi award-winning British architect David Chipperfield, the table was originally developed for Fayland House, a residential project in the English countryside, being essentially a modern farmhouse table. The family is made from European walnut and solid oak in oiled or white stained surfaces, and offered in black as well, highlighting the elegant silhouette. The material is used on its maximum expression to create a categorical yet elegant combination.
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.
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.
Little Bishop is a clever, minimalist, ceiling hook specifically designed for cable hung pendant lights. Little Bishop, shaped and cast by hand, wears a lighting cable like a “cloak”. Smooth curved flowing channels in the hook guide the cable, locking itself down. The cable is a feature of the hook, eliminating the need of any knots or clamps. Little Bishop is available in three different post heights. Little Bishop is designed with eye for detail. The hook is unique in form and function. The hook is not a feature. Hanging seamless from the ceiling it just feels like it is part of the home. It is present but not overwhelming. The designer behind Little Bishop is Melbourne based Antony Richards from Hunter & Richards. Little Bishop was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter.
Kristalia, an Italian furniture design studio, has designed a new version of the stunning Thin-K table, introducing the minimalistic Thin-K Longo Outdoor table. It features a top that is not only very thin but also considerably long: almost 3 metres. Kristalia wanted to create an extremely long top reaching a truly impressive length while maintaining perfect linearity and sturdiness. To achieve this result, the legs and the under-top frame have been strengthened, but these details have been concealed. In order to perfectly finish tops of 120cm x 295cm dimensions, an ad hoc procedure has been developed, in which the under-top frame acts as a support during the lacquering stage — this is carried out using epoxy powders that are UV-ray resistant and weatherproof. The aluminium top is available in a choice of coloured lacquers, or in European oak or black oak wood veneer with a brushed finish that highlights its natural grain. Thin-K Longo is almost entirely made of aluminium, with the addition of a few steel components. Remarkable work.
Gerard de Hoop, designer and interior architect from The Netherlands, has created a beautiful, minimalist, free standing bookshelf named Frames 2.0. My ambition is to make unique designs that carry the elements simplicity, surprise and versatility in them. Simplicity is mainly brought about by the use of basic geometric shapes. The bookshelf is a grid made of 12 wooden rectangle frames. De Hoop makes use of oak or American ash. When de frames are assembled the shelf has an inconsistent composition creating an interesting play of graphical lines. I love the negative space! The inset tracks give the opportunity to store books but you can also place a hanging planter and use Frames 2.0 as a room divider. Thanks to its clever design one can easily dissamble the bookshelf and store it into a pair of flat boxes. Ideal for transport.
Arnhem based Dutch designer Jet de Bruijn creates beautiful interior products with clean lines manufactured from pure materials, under the label jet. Her latest design is the minimal, modular and elegant lamp, Tammel, comprised of a slim stainless steel frame and oak/walnut socket. The Tammel lighting range is a reference to her childhood — Tammel being the name of the farm where she grew up. This is where her predilection for craftsmanship and the application of wood and steel originates. The lamp, which can can used as a table or wall lamp, is available in a variety cable colours, including white, red, yellow, and black. An incredibly simple concept, but beautifully executed. Photography courtesy of Joyce Croonen.
Home 11 is an elegant dwelling in Amsterdam. The structure was previously a large garage. i29 Interior Architects renovated the garage into a modern apartment for two people. The color palette is defined by three materials: white sheetrock, natural oak, and gleaming black surfaces. The elevated kitchen is composed of wooden cabinets and a black island. Step down into the living room and you’ll find an oak wall with black shelving and a small fireplace. The doors to the bedroom and bathroom blend with the wood-clad walls. Skylights run across the ceiling and provide a plethora of natural light. To connect the home with the outdoors, i29 Interior Architects included a small outdoor patio and designed the living room carpet in a green mossy pattern. Home 11 is an incredibly posh dwelling. The materials and furnishings combine to give the home a luxury feel. The skylights are a wonderful addition. Never underestimate the power of simple materials, natural light, and great design. Photography by Ewout Huibers.
Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.