This residence on an irregular site located in Islington, London is designed by Atelier ChanChan. The complete demolition of the previous building allowed the designer to instill her own design language into the facade of the house, a Herringbone brick pattern. Brick, being the material that is familiar to the context yet in a pattern that is seldom used on the exteriors. The warmth from the materials used both inside and out of this house exudes the comfort in its minimalism. The stunning detail of the floating staircase brings much light through the interiors; the sliding doors that provide a frameless opening to the courtyard; the walls in the bedroom that extends to the pitch of the roof – the architecture connects the spaces in an elegant and subtle manner that exemplifies understated, minimalist design. Photos via Atelier ChanChan and Dezeen.
Minimal. Fundamental. Elemental. Relevant.
Co is the collaboration between Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern whose Spring Summer 2014 collection is elegant, minimalist, strong and feminine at the same time. The selection of material holds an important part in their direction of this collection. The tailoring of leather and draping of silk in their designs are seductive in both the style and the comfort in its essence. The forms of pouf sleeves, reversed Georgian V-neckline and draped, cascading silk bring much femininity to the monochromatic color scheme. The duo behind Co have impressed with the subtle elegance and easy minimalism with this collection. Photos courtesy of Style.com.
The program guidelines for the Pocinho Centre for High Performance Rowing was to design a complex that not only facilitated training and preparation for the Olympics, but also to provide residential quarters and social interaction areas. Architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade had the task of delivering the 8,000m2 project with a possible subsequent expansion phase of the housing area, without a significant impact on size and the landscape. Divided into 3 zones: Social, Housing and Training, the complex is built mostly into the terrain of Douro Valley in Portugal. I really appreciate how the structure echoes the undulating geography with deep respect to the context of the low buildings and slopes around it. The minimalist building of angled roofs and wave-like volumes blend in seamlessly with the terraces while the pristine white dry-stone walls give the Pocinho Centre an identity that is modern and chic yet functional at the same time. Photography by Fernando Guerra.
Embodied in the collection of Sydney-based label Ellery’s Pre Fall collection is a variety of rich fabrics such as brocade, velvet and duchesse satin, in the emphasized silhouettes of sculptured necklines and luxurious bustiers. Kym Ellery, who is behind the label, takes an innovative direction using flares, drapery and folds over the sleeves and collars to accentuate the volume of these pieces. At the same time, she maintains the femininity of the collection, keeping the design to a minimal while letting the softness of the curves and sculpted fabric reveal and accentuate the female form. It is this direction that makes it a bold collection, one that is unique yet familiar in the most recent Pre Fall shows of 2014.
The Hongkun Art Gallery is a stunning interiors project by architects Penda, located in Bejing. Its monolithic exterior gives the first hint of the arch – a typical architectural element – at the entrance of the gallery. However, what appears on the inside takes one for a pleasant surprise. How can one make an art gallery more interesting? Penda’s solution implements a volume of continuous curves defining the space as walls, partitions and even into the cove ceilings. I love the consistency of the design that molds the typically white space for viewing art into a piece of sculpture itself, its curves as if a reflection of the landscape. Even the utilitarian areas maintain the proportion of the arches with the single use of wood for all surfaces, making it a beautiful, minimalist art gallery, which is as if art on its own.
Marni’s Homme collection for Fall 2014 exhibits a subtle, minimalist direction with emphasis on texture and volume of materials inspired for the working wardrobe. Typically known for their bold colors and geometric prints, Marni’s language for this mens’ season consists of sombre polished suits and layers of incredibly rich and interesting fabric over the usual tweed and polyester. Consuelo Castiglioni, who is behind the Italian label, piques the designs with newer proportions of tailoring which I find quite appealing after it caught me by surprise. The elegance of a man’s suit is not just simply defined by its shape and style but the personality behind putting it all together, like this collection by Marni.
Located on the coast of Geojedo, an island south of South Korea, Mug Hakdong sits on the beach off of the main street. It was designed by Hyunjoon Yoo Architects for a client who runs a medium-scale sales distribution company and wanted his employees to be able to utilize the space for training, learning as well as enjoying the cafe and its facilities. The architects developed the concept for this hotel to be as flexible as the program requires. There would be a varying number of people and customers at different times so the hotel would need to accommodate the constantly changing needs of the client’s staff and its own guests. The stunning result is a beautiful convertible space of mobile walls that rotate or fold to provide this flexibility. The intersection of walls as planes that overlap and dissect the interior spaces make an intriguing and complicated volume. I was drawn to this project not only of how beautiful it is aesthetically, but that the challenges of program requirements of connecting public and private has turned into a landmark that also helped revive the local community. Photography by Youngchae Park.
Designer Tom Dixon has collaborated with Adidas to produce an innovative collection known as The Capsule which consists of both apparel and accessories that are multifunctional, utilitarian and modern all at once. Recently featured at Pitti Uomo in Florence and London Design Festival, this project spawn from Dixon’s one experience of having to sleep on a park bench when he could not get a hotel one night in Milan. The idea of having the basic necessities that were transformable to climate and condition inspired this survival kit – being prepared for the unexpected. And what a sharp, smart looking kit it is. With its focus around two pieces of luggage – one hard and one soft, their multiple compartments hold the basic collection of minimal and utilitarian outfits of reversible tops, adjustable pants and customizable shirts where you can cut the hemlines to the desired length. Padded parkas can be turned into sleeping bags, separates that can be assembled by buttons into a one-piece suit, and shoes that come in two parts for ease of storage can be put together by PVC stitch tape. I love that the thought process that went into the function of each piece, and yet remains stylish....
Minimalism is incredibly sexy in this 2013 Spring Summer collection by Sydney based UNIF.M, a creative collective whose objective is to reinvent everyday wear while complimenting what already exists in the closet: UNIF.M garments are developed to integrate seamlessly into an existing wardrobe and create a strong foundation. There is a stunning softness to this collection’s appeal past its first glance of basic forms and colors. Leather bras to silk pyjama blouses, pinafore to empire-line, the styles and materials exude a quality of feminism that is not over-girly. Instead, the designs are confident, the proportions are well crafted, and I love the fact that the studio used traditional methods of manufacturing industry-grade uniforms to deliver their clothes.
As previously introduced on Minimalissimo, Canadian based fashion designer Rad Hourani also has a beautiful and stylish line of minimalist backpacks that expresses within the same language as his ready-to-wear collection. Designed in variations of black leather with white denim, black foil or black crepe, its top handle and straps can be oriented to be used as a handbag. I especially love its clean and sleek detailing which attribute to its unisex versatility, making it a great luxury accessory whether on a casual night out or a formal work day. Its style is timeless, much like the rest of Hourani’s minimalist direction.
Casa V is a redevelopment project by architecture team Dosis de Arquitectura of an existing house that was constructed in the early 1960s. A stunning volume of curved walls and stark white embody this holiday home for the owners for half a century. As the years went by, the growth of the family could not be contained in the original house hence the work to adapt and expand on the multi-generation, multi-purpose building. Casa V was already located on a breathtaking site in La Coruña, Spain. The structure is reminiscent of Corbusier’s nom de plume: A house is a machine for living in. Form follows function - it exists to serve its purpose of facilitating activities within and to experience the views of the landscape. The present architects have continued the legacy as they so eloquently describe it: Spaces are defined by the unfolding of matter in space-time, which topologically adapts itself to what happens inside. The new house is formalized by the continuous flow of a completely neutral wrap – no edges, no color, no texture – and, within this wrapping, life, action, is the protagonist. Dosis de Arquitectura have aligned the design language – the characteristics of the wrap and typography of the architecture - with...
Coming across LA based designer Kieley Kimmel’s Autumn Winter collection Revolt, She Said, was refreshing because it has both masculine and feminine details in a warm, approachable quality that we don’t come across often in high fashion brands. This collection was inspired by a strong feminist essay by Donna Haraway and named after a book by the philosopher-feminist Julia Kristeva, yet in contrast, the general feel is soft and understated. I can’t help but appreciate that it is this balance of androgyny that heightens the minimalism in the art direction, a revolt that our expectations of feminism isn’t always what we’re used to. Photography by Logan White.