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 The new design draws its cubic form from the original house, yet many details from the original have been retracted or redesigned.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.
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.
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.
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?
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.