Minimalissimo


Categorized “House”

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?


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.


Rob Kennon Architects designed this lovely family home located in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Burnley House is a perfect example of beautiful and liveable modern design. The home is divided into private and public areas, distinguished by a clever use of materials. The public areas of are filled with airy materials and a plethora of natural light, while the private rooms are smaller, darker, and cozy. The large and open great room features tall ceilings and a stretch of white cabinetry. Long, sleek windows occupy a position on every wall and wood floors bring a pleasant texture into the room. In the bedrooms, the walls are clad in a deep brown wood and the floors are covered with soft rugs. The mix of materials in Burnley House is flawless. Concrete, wood, black-framed windows, and smooth white surfaces are incorporated throughout the home, creating visual interest and continuity of design. I love how the furnishings completely compliment the surfaces and textures of the structure. Every piece of Burnley House is seamlessly pulled together, creating a structure any family would be lucky to call home.


Unusual geometry and minimalism makes for an incredible pair, especially when applied to renovation projects and updating old structures to contemporary standards. Taking over an existing post-and-beam building, maintaining all the best elements to its advantage and adapting the inner workings to the owners’ lifestyle are Patrick Tighe Architecture’s triumphs for this Malibu based residence. The ceiling makes its presence quite obvious throughout the house, as it shapes itself as a main feature; for this reason, the visual dynamic is built around the roof’s geometry. The windows and furniture work their way around it, with unconcealed adaptations in the bedrooms, living rooms and even bathrooms. This residence remixes a timeworn architectonic element that is often hidden or modified to achieve uniformity, and breathes new life with eclectic variations. The owner’s art and design collection is tastefully incorporated into the daily life; as display niches, special lighting and white canvas spaces make room for each piece to shine. The end result is a very dynamic and vibrant residence, with sharp angles and various textures in all rooms. The grand entry door says it all, its uneven shape introduces the concept in a glance. Minimalism can flirt with eccentricity from time to...


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...


Nowadays working with a site area as large as 1,000 sqm for residential projects is a luxury; Israel-based Pitsou Kedem Architects did not take this privilege for granted. Opting for a white canvas as basis for every ambient isn’t the only alluring feature of this project, but also the main room as an extravagant living area hosting all social activities; all the while effortlessly upholding a minimalist awareness and aesthetic for a 450 sqm home. Housing a living room, dining area, kitchen, library and a seamless entrance to a beautiful terrace with a pool is the tour-de-force the architects have to offer as the heart of the residence. The ample 6m high ceilings offers lightness and amplitude to counter balance what could have been a crowded room. Some design details manage to sneak in, adding great personality, such as the floating stairs, subdued but stylish white furniture, geometric and clean closets in all rooms and a blatant hanging light above the dinner table. Equilibrium is the key word for the Ramat Hasharon House, as it manages to balance a wide spectrum of functionalities with concise minimalist architecture immaculately. Photography by Amit Geron.


Minimalism, one can argue, heightens one’s experience of the details and the surroundings. Not only that, it also creates the notion of multi-functionality of an object or a space. A perfect example is a minimal home in Montréal, Canada called In Suspension by Naturehumaine. The house, with a rather open floor plan, provides a double-height space in the social area for a physical exercise room with a few corresponding fixtures. That atrium then is utilized as a light bringer for its two sides, occupied with a kitchen and a study room that looks out to the main road. Up above on the second floor are two plywood-cladded boxes, each having a bedroom and a bathroom within. These boxes cantilevered over the social space below, being held up by a continuous black wall, which holds various programs on the inside. Calling the project In Suspension is similar to creating a minimal house, with the idea of having more than one use. Structurally, the private spaces are suspended above. Functionally, the social space has suspended furniture for gymnastic purposes. Together, the entirety merge together effortlessly to create a minimalism that is both exciting and undeniably beautiful.


Situated in Paço de Arcos, a seaside neighborhood of Lisbon, this beautiful and entirely white house, designed by Jorge Mealha architect, proposes an arrangement of several solids trying to attenuate the overall mass due to a huge functional program requested by the client. A very functionalist approach. The result is a dialogue between a range of different solids and voids, using light to draw or reflect on the surfaces, proposing a changeable reading of space and volumes during the day. The metal screening/shading devices create large smooth textured surfaces on the façade of the house, emphasizing forms and controlling the relationships between indoor and outdoor, or between external and internal spaces. The staircase and main corridor are finished in white painted metal, which are slightly detached from the walls, leaving opportunity for natural light to pass in between. Pure minimalism at its best. Photography by Jorge Mealha.


Situated in Vallvidrera, a stunning Barcelona neighborhood with excellent views of the city, Vallvidrera House lies on a small land between a valley and a pine forest. This beautiful and totally white single family home was designed by Barcelona-based studio YLAB Arquitectos and was built to cover the maximum amount of square footage on a tight budget, while at the same time positioning the house for great views and to maintain absolute privacy. A smart solution with incredible effects. The structure is a single and compact cube that consists of three levels. The geometry of the volume directly reflects that of the sloped land it sits upon. The façade is covered in a white finish on all surfaces including the roof. The windows are flush with the façade creating a smooth surface. A fine perforated steel fence surrounds the low end of the land. I love how this white cube sits low on the ground in perfect balance with its surroundings and nature. Photography by Marcela Grassi.


Casa Na Xemena is a stunning modern home overlooking the Mediterranean in Ibiza, Spain. Ramón Esteve, a design studio based in Valencia, designed the home in 1995 and completed construction in 2003. The site’s natural landscape was crucial in the design of this home. Most of the structure’s form was dictated by the sea, rocky cliffs, and sun. The exterior features a smooth white façade that reflects the heavy Mediterranean sun and contrasts beautifully with the rough cliffs and blue water. Several outdoor terraces are arranged as viewing platforms to gain the best perspective of the sea. A large infinity pool is positioned at a key point on the hillside, so that the line between the pool and the sea is elegantly blurred. The home’s interior keeps the white walls from the façade and features concrete floors and floating staircases. A sprinkling of windows illuminate the home without allowing too much heat inside. Geometric furniture, some of which was designed by Ramón Esteve, is placed in the interior and by the pool. Casa Na Xemena provides a striking response to a remarkable landscape. The house provides a true relationship with the environment, resulting in a magnificent sensory experience for its lucky residents. Photography by Eugeni Pons...


Spain-based architect Ramón Esteve designed a world-class residence with a privileged high view of the turquoise Mediterranean below; the scale of this project goes beyond 1,200 sqm, nevertheless it manages to nail a challenging combination of extravagance and minimalism impeccably. The outer façade facing the street is quite private and does not give anything away regarding its visual prerogative, a much-understated introduction to its wood-clad and geometric structure. On the opposite side lays a very modernist and playful take on various volumes, each one housing its own veranda and access to the beautiful view of the ocean. This project celebrates the natural landscape, yet the interior design brings forth symmetry defiantly. The interior design thrives in white color dominance, an effort to maintain a homogeneous feel in all rooms. Impressive how such a wide variety of materials managed to build a cohesive unit. Kudos to the excellent timberwork in the kitchen, bathroom and on the beautiful 6m high patio. With luxury comes great responsibility, and I’m pleased to see the architects did not ignore ecofriendly solutions: Two separate pools grace this residence, yet rainwater is recycled to fill each one. Lastly, the energy consumption is kept to a minimum with state-of-the-art...


This elegant dark home is located in Shiga, Japan and designed by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects. Framing House was built for a small family who desired to live in a habitable art gallery. The home’s name is attributed to the structure’s act of framing key spaces. This framing notion allows each space to feel unique yet still connected to the flow of the house. Three main spaces are carved into the home’s layout: an art gallery, living space, and courtyard. The courtyard links the gallery and living spaces, and has the added benefit of bringing nature and natural light into both areas of the home. In nearly every room of the home, sections of the walls are cut out to frame windows, artwork, countertops, and shelves. These features contribute to the minimal sensibilities of the home by removing the need for stand-alone furniture and hiding clutter. Framing House is not just a home and an art gallery, it is a home as an art gallery. I could not imagine a more beautiful dwelling place. Photography by Yoshihiro Asada.