Ryusenji House by Tomoaki Uno Architects cuts quite the brutalist and impassable figure. Located in Nagoya (Japan) this house is the ultimate expression of the raw beauty of concrete. Both internal and external façade elements and partition walls all comprising this similar grey hue, the shades of intensity determined only by the concrete’s play and relativity to light. At an initial glance, Ryusenji House could be mistaken more for an urban sculpture than a place of residence. A far cry from the over-adornment of trinket-ry commonly found. For this reason, I am very drawn to this space. The absence of furniture, and place-makers for human interaction, allows, I think, for the materiality to be showcased. It also creates an opportunity for the port-holes and vistas that penetrate the concrete shards to be featured. These details are beautiful and should be celebrated. Its positioning in amongst subtle architectural endeavours typical of Japanese architecture is a very bold move by Tomoaki Uno Architects. A move that I think has paid off immensely.
Search results for “oak”
Brooklyn based Oak Studios create websites and applications. Last week, Oak released their first iOS app, Blue. The app provides 36-hour weather forecasts relevant to your location in a fast, fun and of course minimal interface. Simply swipe up to see each hour represented in a beautiful, colourful gradient visual – regardless of where you are in the world. The hourly colours are generated based on three variables: temperature, humidity, and sunrise/sunset times for your current location. Temperatures are shown in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. I have seen a few impressive weather apps with a minimalist interface, such as Solar, which is not dissimilar to Blue. Which of them offers a better user experience? I’m going to download them and find out for myself.
A Frame is a collection of elegant linear folding tables, created by London based designer Tomás Alonso for furniture manufacturer Karimoku New Standard. Each table has a simple A-frame base (hence the name), which folds completely flat when the piece is disassembled. Designer explains: It is a proposal for a “temporary” piece of furniture that accommodates to contemporary living in cities, which implies living in small spaces, that change from time to time as we move from one flat to the next. I like the idea of a single colorful metal leg, it gives artistic individuality to each of these objects. The tables are made from Japanese oak and powder coated steel, they come in different sizes and diameters.
Today I would like to share the Riding coffee table designed by Emilie Cazin with you. The table is made of white oak and the parts are joint by elastic straps and leather bands. The straps and bands play a decorative over a functional role but give the table an own personality and make the composition as a whole more exciting. The wood and the vibrant red straps give a nice contrast. The table is part of Cazin’s Riding collection which also includes a bench and a storage piece. Cazin closely collaborates with the French furniture company Singularité who provide these, limited edition, furniture pieces.
The Feather chair has been created by Swedish designer Jens Fager for the office furniture manufacturer Edsbyn. Based on a traditional office chair design, Feather is more lightweight and comfortable than its predecessors. The designer explains: The name Feather evokes elegance combined with spring and resilience. We wanted it to attract all consumers, from young design offices to the dining room of a huge factory. A chair for everyone. One of the notable features of this piece is the detachable rubber-covered armrests. They instantly add comfort and allow chair to be hung off the edge of a table when mopping the floor. The frame is available in chrome, white lacquer or silver lacquer and the seat and backrest are available in white ash, natural oak, black stained oak and natural birch.
Designed by Miguel Marcelino, the House with Three Yards fully embraces the sunny attributes of its location in Benavente, Portugal. Situated in a gorgeous landscape of oak trees, this home is two stories and features a warm, copper-colored facade. The main features of the home are, as the name suggests, the three yards. Each yard is a different size and shape. The first is an intimate courtyard which embraces a large oak tree. The second is a long patio located on the side of the house. This space features a large horizontal opening which frames the landscape. The third yard is a partially enclosed patio which contains a set of stairs leading to the home’s pool. I was first attracted to the gorgeous exterior color of this home. The copper color fits perfectly with the sandy Portuguese landscape; I love how the sunlight illuminates the facade! The organization of this home is also superb. It is great to see a home which incorporates so much outdoor space in the design! The three yards provide an array of outdoor living options. This home is a perfect design for a family looking to make the most of a beautiful landscape and warm climate!
We are going to Hollywood Hills today, visiting home built in 2008 by XTEN Architecture. As always I particularly love the integration of architecture into the landscape while opening it to the city below. There is a lot to notice but let’s have a closer look at the materiality throughout: steel beams, glass in various renditions (such as fixed clear plate panels, mirror plate walls, light gray mirror glass panels), dry stacked granite (fireplace), charcoal concrete (cantilevered stair), floor to ceiling rift oak panels, dark stucco, cut pebble (flooring). The repetition of building elements deepens the continuity of space but with the right amount of interest, don’t you think? The house opens on every side “to capture the prevailing breezes to passively ventilate and cool the house” and I can easily see myself spending warm Californian afternoon here.
NYC-based architecture firm Tacklebox is behind the design and concept for skincare brand Aesop‘s store in Elizabeth Street. Succintly filled with oak shelves stocked with products aligned with spartan precision, the main feature of this space, however – and nearly unseen due to its very subtle texture - is the the concept of newsprint walls (stacked strips of newspapers held within a continuous oak wrapper), covering nearly every surface of the shop. Like paper, they will age over time, as the architects affirm: Just as oak is commonly used to store and age wine and spirits, so too will the newspaper age, turning a light tan, thus marking the passing of time. In this way, the history of Aesop North America will be recorded within the very walls of this first store. Photography by Gianluca Fellini and Tacklebox.
I really think this bookshelf is a fine example of minimalist design. It has been designed by the Belgian Pieter Desmijter and produced by the manufacturer and editor of design furniture, Feld. The bookshelf is called Liana because its design has been inspired by this plant: arising from the wall, curling the books and finally disappearing back in the wall. It is made from oak with a varnished or stained finish, and you can install it using just two screws. I’m particularly interested in Liana because the design reduces a bookshelf to a basic form to achieve its function, whilst using minimum material.
Italian Graphic designer Luca Vagnini, based in Pesaro, is the creator behind Chick Lamp – a simple, attractive and portable rectangular light on legs. The simplistic and modest form of the Chick Lamp allows it to be used as a table lamp due to its size, or as a portable floor lamp, providing a lantern-like effect. Made with oak wood, the lamp has been designed with the option of both black and white lacquered iron rods. The whole structure is fixed by only two small screws located under the wooden box and is best used with low energy bulbs. It has a retro quality to it, which certainly appeals.
The KM Table, designed by french architect Jean Nouvel is a narrow 85cm wooden table, made to measure, with a minimum length of 4m. The example exhibited here measures 6m 35, according to the dimensions of the gallery. The extraordinary proportions of the table are determined by a constructive principle whereby its span is miraculously supported within the thickness of the material itself, which is a lamination of oak and hornbeam. With this building technique, any length of table is imaginable, even one kilometre…The table is produced in Italy by Unifor. Like many of his modernist predecessors who worked across related disciplines, Nouvel describes himself as an architect who also makes design. Jean Nouvel says: The key word of my work is elementariness. I’m rather looking for singularities and traits linked to simple functions. I have a special affection for tables because a table is a simple thing, but it is not because it’s simple that it is easier to do.
German industrial designer Günther Schunn is the creator of this sturdy, elegant and eco-friendly toy, infusing playtime with a valuable lesson in sustainability. The oscillating motion of the Calidu Rocking Horse powers an OLED lamp, instigating children to produce power and light by themselves. The horse is made from oak wood, metal handles and a leather fringe tail that completes the look with a touch of authenticity. Sometimes there is no better way to teach something than through the act of play, and this beautiful toy is a simple, captivating way to do that.