Located in Abiko, part of Chiba prefecture, stands a fractal-like structure completely alien to its surrounding premises. A modern and futuristic white residential building, designed by Japanese architecture firm fuse-atelier, graces the neighborhood with a sense of drama and originality. The building boasts beautiful large glass panels on both extremities, albeit hiding inside a striking concrete monocoque and panels from passers-by. The living room sets the tone for the rest of the house, an obligatory passage way and link throughout every ambient. It’s interesting to note the modular-like quality the project defines every function, from the kitchen to the bedrooms. The sense of perception and depth is toyed with on this modernist project, presenting an aesthetic parallel to German Expressionists set designs in movies. The theatrical strength of the concrete walls are clear, with unusual angles and shadows drawn all through the day. The gallery stands tall and absolute as a firm minimalist presence, even if future owners take the interior design to a rustic or traditional style. It sets the mind at ease knowing the owners are more than satisfied with sharp contemporary design to furnish it. This house is in good hands. Photography by Shigeru Fuse.
Located in Texugueira, a village in the north of Leiria, Portugal, this house is a 233 square-metre minimalist residence designed by portuguese studio Contaminar Arquitectos. Texugueira House is made up of three volumes of different shapes and sizes, with narrow terraces slotted in between. It features a retaining wall that extends north to south along the eastern boundary of the site. A corridor follows this wall and forms the house’s main axis. The three blocks all sit in front of this corridor. The first volume is empty at the ground level, providing a covered area for leisure or parking. A studio is located at the upper level, with a small terrace that opens over the landscape, allowing natural light to enter the space. The central volume features the main entrance and the social area including the living room, with a large window over the green surroundings, and the kitchen connecting with the garden. The third volume contains a more secluded and private area, with two bedrooms on the ground floor, which are directly connected with the contiguous garden spaces, and with a balcony suite on the upper floor. This is a remarkable house that includes beautiful details throughout, particularly the use of cork — the typical...
The small and secluded Bolton Residence is located in Eastern Quebec. Designed by the Canadian based firm Naturehumaine, this elegant home focuses on nature and simplicity. The structural form takes its shape from the traditional barns in the region, yet this vernacular is interpreted in a distinctly modern way. Two large rectangles, positioned one on top of the other, form the structure of the home. The top rectangle cantilevers slightly out from the lower, allowing the house to feel as if it is floating along the mountainside. A dark exterior distinguishes the structure from its often snowy landscape. On the interior, long and narrow windows wrap the living room, flooding the home with stunning views of its mountainous setting. The fireplace is uniquely positioned in a media cabinet, which also provides storage. Accents of wood and black create a dynamic interior, bringing depth and light to the small space. This color scheme continues in the bedroom and in the dark tile of the bathroom. Bolton Residence may be small, but it is not short on style. Photography by Adrien Williams and David Dworkind.
Lebanon-based architect Paul Kaloustian took advantage of the height a dense pine tree forest offers, and opted to invert the thumb-rule of broad and horizontal modernism. Designing a residential house infused with a courageous vertical visual identity; often found in museums and university campuses. Taking concrete and applying an interesting curve was vital to inject an unusual shadow play and amplitude of the surrounding woods into the domestic area, such a manoeuvre is often let in the sole hands of wide glass façades. Kaloustian sets this project apart, daring to narrow each room and let the focus be the height feature and achieve an unexpected sense of openness considering the size of each area. Two extra elements are worthy of mention: the interior design selection with raw wood material and an explicit minimalist intention; as well as the very competent and alluring photography of said project, it is an achievement in itself as well. A clear example of what contemporary architecture can achieve deconstructing old-school modernism with maturity and an authentic visual statement.
Israeli architecture studio Pitsou Kedem continue to impress with this 700mq family home completed in 2014. The White Gallery House is a private residence situated in a white box with large windows as decorative elements and a large open space that seems a lot like an art gallery. Vertical lines open like geometric slashes connecting the house to its surroundings, to the garden and to the long and narrow swimming pool that stems from inside the house. The openings make it possible to look out into the surrounding environment if you are inside, or look into the house if you are outside. They allow natural light to penetrate the structure or artificial lighting to seep out into the surroundings during the hours of darkness. These vertical openings also serve as a reminder of a modern stilt house when you see them from the outside through the surrounding trees. Photography courtesy of Pitsou Kedem.
Prazeres, or Pleasures, rests on an unassuming street in the Alcântara district of Portugal. From the exterior, this home looks very similar to its traditionally designed neighbors. On the interior, however, José Adrião Arquitectos transformed the home into a bright and airy paradise. For many years this building was allowed to fall into disrepair. When renovations began its interior was in danger of collapsing, forcing the architects to replace the floors with three slabs of concrete. The new floors divide the building into two main areas: a functional core, for utilities and bathrooms, and open space for the living areas. One of my favorite features of Prazeres is the rooftop terrace. This space is smartly designed as an extension of the interior living spaces, forming a casual environment that can be used all year long. Overall, Prazeres is a gorgeous renovated structure that any family would be happy to call home. Photography by Fernando Guerra FG + SG.
New House is situated on a street of traditional row homes in Hampstead, London. Designed by London based firm Guard Tillman Pollock, this modern white home focuses on privacy and clean lines. The front façade projects slightly out towards the street and is wrapped with sheer white fabric. This fabric conceals the home from the busy street while flooding the interior with filtered natural light. The boxy composition of the exterior continues inside. Monotone walls and beams are stitched together to form the various rooms. The floor plan has an open, airy quality due to double height spaces and a plethora of large windows and skylights. The white and gray palette is the perfect backdrop for the simple mid-century furnishings. I love how this unique home both stands out and blends in with its Victorian neighbors. The size and scale of New House is consistent with the other structures on its street, yet within these boundaries a truly creative and beautiful home emerged.
Austrian firm Innauer-Matt Architekten designed Haus Für Julia Und Björn on a woody plot in Egg, Austria. The site is narrow and set on a slight hill with an idyllic view of a small village. The ground floor entrance opens up to the living room, a space which spans the whole first floor of the building. The open floor plan allows for a continuous flow of family activities: cooking, dining, and living. The bedrooms and study are located above and make use of the unique spaces created by the steeply sloped roof. Throughout the home, cut-outs in walls provide nooks for sitting areas or study spaces. The interior makes use of a few carefully chosen materials. Local spruce wall panels and flooring give the rooms a light and cosy feel while connecting the home with the natural environment. Light gray walls and big windows intersect with the exposed wood. Accents of black and white bring a clean and modern look to each room. The facade is covered with a wooden lattice structure. This structure offers weather protection as well as an interesting aesthetic. I love the way this house plays with the traditional home archetype. From afar it looks conventional, but up close it is a the...
It’s only natural to encounter visual variations of what can be considered a minimalist project. Loft Kolasinski, a Polish interior design firm, rebuilt and furnished a Berlin House showcasing local flavours and remixing restored pieces. Each room presents a particular dynamic and, in this case, the minimalism isn’t about absence, it’s about fundamental elements for daily routine. The furniture takes on the protagonist role for each area, showcasing beautiful wood textures and terrific industrial design. The pieces are slender and flourish-free, resulting in clean lines and infusing lightness to a heavy material. A careful selection was made for the lamps and chandeliers, each room boasting these proudly as supporting acts that battle for your attention. Last but not least, the tour de force is the grey bathroom flawlessly composed with modern lines, breaking the white colour dominance. The only extra step, that goes beyond the norm, is the Polish pottery collection from the 1950-60’s, conveying an untreated touch. It is a very difficult balance to achieve for a project to preserve a clear minimalist sensibility, and not give in to the usual ‘empty space’ motif. This is a clear example of what minimalism can be championing local rudiments. Photography by...
A Wallpaper* Design Award 2015 winner for Best Brand Extension, the Vipp Shelter is a minimalist prefabricated house designed by Danish design company Vipp. This monochromatic 55m2 structure is designed to be placed in the natural setting of your choice. Furniture, appliances, lighting, tableware and towels have already been picked out and will be waiting for you on your first arrival, six months after you place your order. It contains a large kitchen with a dining and living area, a hall, separate bathroom and a stunning loft space. Morten Bo Jensen, Vipp’s chief designer, explains: We see the house as a product (such as a caravan, yacht, private jet, etc.) and not as a piece of architecture — hence the name “shelter”. The design is completely fixed and everything down to the smallest detail is designed in advance. 75 years of experience with steel processing is used to craft this prefabricated object designed to perfection. The only choice left to the customer is where to place it. So it is neither a house nor a mobile home. Rather it is a spacious, functional, and liveable industrial object. Amazing. Photography courtesy of Vipp.
This modern, monochromatic home in Copenhagen was designed by Sofie and Frank Christensen Egelund of the design brand Vipp. The townhouse was built in 1898 and renovated by the Egelunds several years ago. Five narrow levels hold enough living space for the couple and their four children. The neutral palette and classic furniture pieces tie each level together; every room is brimming with the Egelunds’ elegant design choices. Creative uses of lighting and texture allow the monochromatic spaces to feel dynamic instead of stark. Each furniture and decor piece was carefully chosen to match the home’s Scandinavian style. Custom shelving and built-in storage keep the large family neat and organized. Copenhagen Townhouse manages sleek minimalism with loads of personality.
Pearl Bay Residence was designed by Gavin Maddock Design Studio as a holiday home which the client would eventually retire to. Located in Yzerfontein, 90km from Cape Town, South Africa, it is surrounded by the magnificent landscape of ocean views and coastal dunes. Every single experience within the residence has a view out of the expansive landscape like art that breathes within the living spaces. The operable walls of windows allow an uninterrupted transition between interior and exterior, allowing the landscape to be unavoidable at every level. Structural columns strategically placed to allow the spans of up to 14 meters while over 3 meter ceiling heights create the truly uninhibited experience of being connected to the environment. In the minimalist language of the architecture, small nuances of Mediterranean vernacular details coexist seamlessly with the modern, purist materials of white walls, concrete and wood. Though it was realised on a limited budget, the result is a breathtaking, luxurious habitat where the minimal architecture lets the views take over. Photography by Adam Letch.