Minimalissimo


Jorge San Luis

Keep it simple, stupid!

Building blocks are a toy box staple. They encourage creativity and help develop imagination. Designed by Laurence Calafat for Cinqpoints, a French maker of architectural stationery and toys, Archiblocks is a tremendously beautiful and minimalist construction set of building blocks. The mission of Cinqpoints is to spread contemporary architecture, so Archiblocks is designed to capture modularity, balance and composition, with an intergenerational appeal. The set contains 16 pieces, smooth to touch and with precision-cut edges and angles, made from untreated lime-wood, and then sanded by hand. They are also available in three colours: natural, black and white. Photography courtesy of Ode to Things.


Hocker Heinrich is a precise, elegant and minimalist stool, hand-made in Berlin and designed by Panatom with Matthias Froböse. The first edition of the stool has been appointed to the permanent collection at Kleist-Museum in Frankfurt (Oder). Its geometry produces an interesting effect on light and shadow, creating a game of shifting perspectives depending on the angle of observation. Comprised of concrete, the surface varies from piece to piece due to air pockets that develop during the setting process, giving each stool a unique appearance and making it one-of-a-kind. Available in anthracite or light grey, Hocker Heinrich can also be pigmented other colours upon request, and a dark grey stool cover can be added for more comfort. Lastly, the weatherproof character of concrete also renders the stool suitable for outdoors.


LinePosters is a lovely collection of modern, minimal and graphic interpretations of popular city transit systems, created by graphic designer, Cayla Ferari and engineer, John Breznichy. The first poster began with an illustration of the NYC subway designed by Cayla for their first apartment together. Then, after receiving compliments and encouragement from family and friends, they designed a first black and white offset poster, selling from card tables throughout NYC. Subsequently, the hobby turned into a business. Now the collection is compounded by more emblematic cities, such as London, Tokyo or Sydney, and available in several colour combinations as well as other materials, like t-shirts and various stationary.


Located in a relaxed area in rural Shiga, Japan, the Japanese studio FORM/Kouichi Kimura architects has developed this beautifully structured family residence; Courtyard House. We invited the architects to tell us a little more about the project: Designed to form a U-shaped building with a courtyard, which secures privacy, the house was requested to incorporate with the scenery while making the best use of the spacious site of about 330 square metres. The interior is configured by a single open room whereby finishes and levels vary to make each space independent and comfortable, creating various scenes as one moves from one place to another. The construction has many remarkable aspects to it, such as its pale grey corrugated metal façade giving the house an industrial aesthetic. As well as the linear water channel through the courtyard directing the eye towards the landscape, and the concrete elements throughout the interior, which all add value to this magnificent, minimalist home.


Janus is an extremely beautiful and smart family of candleholders developed by the multidisciplinary and award-winning designer Joe Doucet. Standard taper and tea light candle can be used interchangeably, just by rotating the holder. An elegant and simple solution thanks to its asymmetric shape. They are made from hand turned solid steel, the tallest one weighing nearly 10 lbs, to emphasise their durability and quality, designed to become a modern heirloom, passed down from generation to generation. The collection is available in solid steel plated and polished in copper, silver and black nickel, and measuring 2.5”ø x 5”, 2.5”ø x 3.5” and 2.5”ø x 2”.


DIY is an original and beautifully simple coat rack developed by the Austrian product designer Philipp Divitschek, based in Vienna. As its name indicates, the design is based on the idea of building a minimalistic coat rack by oneself, using materials that can be typically found at regular home improvements stores. The challenge for Philipp Divitschek was to achieve a modern product with a professional appearance. The DIY coat rack is made using just ordinary copper pipes, suitable copper fittings, limiting the unions to 90 degree angles, and simple plumber tools, forming a very interesting asymmetric and functional structure with just three supporting points on the floor. Photography by Martin Croce.


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.


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.


Light in Water is a remarkably beautiful installation developed by Parisian DGT architects, initially four years ago during Milan Design Week, but has now been relaunched in the Éléphant Paname Art and Dance Centre, located in Paris, for its opening event of 2015. Sixteen rings of slotted tubes fitted to the ceiling, with each hole providing sixty drops of water per second falling due to gravity, for a total amount of three tons of water continually recirculating in the space. This creates an immersive and sensitive experience using two different tones of light. The architects tell us: Light and water are essences of everything; without any light and water, there is no evolution in life for all. Light in Water is part of the exhibition Lumieres — The Play of Brilliants and will be exhibited until 31 May.


The Headquarters Building at Science Park at the University of the Basque Country, located next to the University Campus of Leioa, Spain, is a fantastic architectural project developed by ACXT. The building was conceived for being an innovative space to link the business world to the university and students, attracting new companies based on knowledge and technological research. A particularly notable feature of the building is its spectacular north and south façade composed of a double skin, an inside curtain wall and a expanded metal skin outside, with a gateway for maintenance between them. In spite of this, the predominantly white interior is a bright and wonderfully minimalistic space throughout.


Poster is an interesting new project developed by the Japanese studio YOY. It is a series of minimalistic wall lamps that appear as a basic A2-sized poster — a great example of simple and smart design with few elements and an abundance of creativity. The shape of the lamp shade is created in the middle of a sheet of paper with several cuts, to fix to a wall with tape or pins like a poster. The lamp also features a small LED light that is hidden beneath the paper. The final result is quite incredible, whether on white or black, and the ability to print various colours and patterns can onto the surface is an added bonus.


When great creativity is followed by perfect technical work, the result can be something as astonishing as this campaign for the Dutch company Friesland Campina Kievit — promotion of their powdered milk creamers. The fully integrated marketing campaign was created by Norvell Jefferson agency, where the Belgian photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte developed a lovely photo shoot, capturing the acrobatic dancer Noi Pakon moving with fine particles of powdered milk. Without doubt, a remarkable and complicated collaboration that investigates many of aspects such as motion, still and light, to create a plain and pure result. You can also the watch the fantastic making-of video.