German architecture firm Bruno Fioretti Marquez has completed a grand redesign of the House Gropius. The original House Gropius, designed by renowned Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius, was revolutionary for its time. The simple, geometric forms, large windows, and minimal decor were new architectural features that were thought to define modern living. In 1945, the bombings of WWII destroyed Walter Gropius’s modern masterpiece. After the war, the only part of the home that remained was the basement. This basement provided the foundation for Marquez’s reinterpretation of this important historic structure. The new design draws its cubic form from the original house, yet many details from the original have been retracted or redesigned. The decision to change the design was thoughtful: the architects chose to pay homage to the home’s complete history, destruction and all, rather than build a replica as if nothing had happened. The result is a structure that is a shadow of what it once was. At times the building looks unfinished, damaged, and unfit for occupancy. This unique design interpretation perfectly memorializes the Gropius House and its complicated history.
Restraint is a very underrated trait for simple projects, especially when taking into account a very fine line to cross and become just a run of the mill modern house. Therefore, what deserves to be considered a minimalist project? Is it the perfect balance of furniture and bareness? The symmetrical touches laid out throughout the residence? Perfect control of adornment? Crosby Studios answers with all of the above, presenting a very charismatic apartment near the centre of Moscow. Looking up you can’t help but see the remnants of past decades on beautiful raw concrete, worthy of note decision. The apartment rests inside a building built on 1900, a 64sqm space adapted for a couple. With clever solutions and divisions, the architects managed to include all aspects of social and daily life infused with utter lightness. The black colour is where restraint was so ingeniously addressed and accounted for, since all the furniture was taken into account from the get go. Harmonising white walls and dark elements was the main visual argument for this apartment, and so to guarantee amplitude, few inclusions were made. It’s inevitable to take notice of the metal and glass doors acting as frontiers between private and...
CD Poolhouse is a simple yet elegant space designed by Belgian designer Marc Merckx. The structure’s defining feature is its sleek, dark façade. Stretches of straight timber merge with black-framed glass and a metal trellis. The darkened wood continues throughout the interior, along with light gray walls and concrete details. The pool sits directly parallel to its house and is equally beautiful. Green, glassy tiles create a soothing aesthetic reminiscent of an ancient Roman bath. As a bonus, the peaceful water allows for a gratifying reflection of the stunning house and its wooded setting. Black outdoor furnishings blend seamlessly with the poolhouse, while the light interior furniture provides a refreshing juxtaposition to the structure. CD Poolhouse is the perfect design for a refreshing and relaxing getaway.
Hiking on the Swiss Alps, slowly making your way up, crossing small rivers and dodging persistent trees that get in your way, you finally arrive at a Classic log cabin for a much-deserved rest. Something unusual pulls your attention on the final approach though. Without a doubt, it is all made in concrete, irrefutable grey concrete from top to bottom. Nickisch Sano Walder Architects were very faithful to their client’s absolute request of preserving, at all costs, the original framework from the cabin. The 40sqm cabin is smartly divided in two floors: on the ground level, there’s a friendly cooking space and living room. The geometric angles work plays off with surprising results with the fur and fireplace. On a converted cellar, remnants from the original structure, the bedroom and bathroom are concealed amongst a beautiful wall of rocks. An intimate atmosphere springs from a surprising monolith residence. An alluring and beautiful minimalist retreat comes forth, with the help of very well planned windows to control the lighting and hand-picked fabrics to counterbalance the austerity of the concrete. Concrete proves time after time that it’s an ideal play date for a number of materials, even fur.
S3 City Villa is a stunning white structure with a spacious floor plan designed for a family of five. Located in the city of Tübingen, Germany, this hillside home was designed by Steimle Architekten. The clean aesthetic, modern materials, and unique floor plan create a home that is as artful as it is practical. The living areas are spread across three floors: the lower-most floor holds the open-plan common room, while the bedrooms are located on the more private upper floors. White is the dominant color for the interior, accented slightly by light-colored floors and the dark trim of the windows. The furniture and lighting contribute to the sculptural feel of the house. On the exterior, oversized glazed windows meet polished concrete siding. A soft wood terrace creates a pleasant outdoor area by the large pool. Built-in lighting ensures the terrace and pool can be enjoyed by day or night. Despite having close neighbors, S3 City Villa is sculpted so as to face the hills and river valley, giving the home a sense of privacy and remoteness. It is a clever design that is sure to please the lucky family that lives here.
In Slovenia there is a very distinct type of vernacular architecture on their bucolic fields, visually it is very similar to the archetypal barn, however it is used specifically to dry hay and similar goods. The hayrack is often made in wood and clad in adornments, that is until Arhitektura d.o.o. strips the structure down to its most minimalist form and lines; all that is left is a beautiful contemporary variation of a traditional building. The Black Barn successfully updates its visual aesthetics but its functions as well. On the base level, the building serves its original intent, storing tools, various fruits and honey. On the middle floor is an expansive social area for dining, lounging and playing billiards. The furniture design complements the color palette with a slight extension from the black outer shell. On the top level stands the private chambers. The bright ash tree panels cover all three floors flawlessly, making for a peaceful interior. Minimalism can be harsh on tradition; or it can shed new light on what is worth revisiting on new scenarios. Old farming and stark geometry can manage to cooperate with each other for something meaningful and tasteful. Photography by Miran Kambič.
Minimalism often equates luxury. This home in Pulle, located in Belgium and designed by Contekst, is a project that fittingly channels those two words. With large windows spanning from floor to ceiling and encompassing the entire house, the greeneries from outside are brought in to reflect against the minimal interior. The white curtains emit an ambience that is both peaceful and spacious. Tactics such as creating a double-heighten space directly above the living room boosts its usefulness and effectiveness. The elongated hallways that take up both the ground and second floors are divided by glass barriers to give a visual connection, yet still separates different kinds of program within the architecture. The use of materials from oak to grey stones does not pull away the minimalism of the structure, but creates exciting moments, such as the staircase. Perhaps that is my favorite feature of this house, due to its wooden appearance and the indented treating for the handrails. Luxury and minimalism in this home in Pulle go hand in hand due to the vastness that the latter creates for the former. Photography by Nils Van Brabant.
Faire Chaolais is a lovely holiday home located on the coast of Morar, Scotland. Designed by Dualchas Architects, this small home frames the views of the coast’s peaceful beaches and stunning skies. The structure of Faire Chaolais is unique: a long rectangle with a traditional roof partially cantilevers over a hillside. Under the gabled roof the structure is partially recessed to create room for an unobtrusive balcony. A lower story is tucked into the hillside under the cantilever. The living spaces are located on the upper floor, capitalizing on the sunlight and landscape views. The bedrooms rest below in the smaller and more private rooms buried partially underground. The furnishings are limited to the necessities; just the things one would need for a weekend getaway. I love the form of this house. It is dramatic and exciting, yet still simple enough to not disrupt its natural landscape. What more could one want in a holiday house?
Proudly standing on the idyllic Swiss countryside is a curious building resembling an old-timey milk ranch. There is a glaring difference though; the whole structure is made in pure unadulterated concrete. Architecture firm frundgallina dauntlessly inserted a modern building in between two stone-clad historic buildings; it’s surprising how much the minimalist presence injects modernity into a traditional setting in the right measure. The Community Shelter serves as a multi-function hall; potentially hosting meetings, dinner parties and classes. The main room is an ample and subdued space furnished with a lone, but extensive, table; a central element with very clear functionality. A huge window is responsible for the beautiful lighting variance that permeates the room, enriching the experience of the guests and adding texture to the homogeneous surface. The reduction of the façade down to the most basic geometric lines is old school minimalist sensibility as the main guiding line. As concrete reigns supreme throughout the shelter, it’s clear how classic structures can reach new heights with the right dose of contemporariness. Photography by Milo Keller.
Situated in the district of Mompiano in the north part of the Italian city of Brescia, this beautiful swimming centre is characterised as urban architecture, open to a specific relationship with the surroundings. The aim of the architects — Camillo Botticini, Francesco Craca, Arianna Foresti, Studio Montanari and Nicola Martinoli — was to design something different from the classic sports building seen as a ubiquitous object. The architectural theme is expressed by treating the compact block of the brown Clinker through a sequence of excavated fronts, that change its character in relation to the interior spaces and the different conditions of external reference. The distribution organises three functional parts: a large main room with a pool for water polo, a nucleus of changing rooms on three levels and a room with two small pools for courses. The main room has a large window facing the north outside lawn and to the east side it opens towards a patio with beautiful bamboo’s plants. I love when good design is applied to the spaces for public use. The people of Brescia can swim in a beautifully minimalist environment. Photography by Niccolò Galeazzi.
Overlooking the seaside in Greece is the elegant Villa Melana. Created by local designers Panagiotis Papassotiriou and Valia Foufa, the focal point of the home is the spectacular view of the sea and sky. Each of the main living areas was designed to take in the stunning Greek environment, and the materials used were carefully selected to incorporate the home into the natural landscape. On the exterior, rough stone walls tie the home in with the rocky surrounding landscape. Bright white walls contrast with the stone façade. The white walls also reflect the sun, which helps the house stay cool in the dry heat. Climate-appropriate landscaping, wood terraces, and stone paths create an inviting outdoor atmosphere. The stone continues on the interior, providing a welcome connection to the landscape outside. Walls of glass provide a view to the pool while sleek doors open to a covered terrace. Adjacent to the terrace, the infinity pool pairs perfectly with the soft Mediterranean water. Just imagine the lazy days and perfect nights at this seaside getaway. What could be more perfect?
Unambiguous visual contrast with the surrounding landscape and a great concern for self-sufficiency are the main draws for Villa Kogelhof; the prize-winning piece from Paul de Ruiter Architects, a Netherlands based firm. A true case study on how to reconcile appropriate indulgence and sustainability, while achieving such feat relying solely on two minimalist volumes. In the age where privacy is an ever-changing concept, it’s a luxury to build a residence with no worries for discretion. The glass box is supported by a courageous steel V-frame, housing the living rooms, kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms; it takes sophisticated planning to make it all work on a mono-volume such as this. The whole façade is made of glass, making a permanent panoramic view for its occupants, imprinting a contemporary aesthetic often found in corporate buildings. This modern-looking residence stands bravely in the middle of a 25-hectare state, a visual intervention on the bucolic countryside. The brave adjective wasn’t applied lightly in this case, since this residence is energy neutral. Applying numerous technological solutions, the glass box manages to harvest energy throughout the year. It achieves complete autarky with a stylish exterior and a timeless interior design thanks to classic furniture from Eileen Grey...