JR Loft is a project located in Brussels, Belgium and was awarded to Nicolas Schuybroek Architects with no specific design architectural qualities in the brief to start with. The original site was a former carpenters’ workshop separated from the adjacent neighbors by a very high separation wall. After obtaining permission to demolish half of the separation wall, the architect took the opportunity to design an extremely large steel framed window over both floors to maximize the amount of light let into the loft. It is the architect’s detailing of the interiors that make this such a beautiful project. The architecture of the loft is expressed within the clean lines of the polished concrete, Carrera marble and reclaimed oak, and the datum of the joints within the materials delicately highlights the contrast of their textures and surfaces – the wood cabinets vs the marble backsplash; the black steel framed shower wall vs the thin edges of the square white tiles etc. Noted by French magazine Architectural Digest in the 2013 Collector Issue as one of the 100 best interior designers, Nicolas Schuybroek had decorated the loft with furniture from Jean Prouvé to Pierre Jeanneret, adding a little mid-century personality to this minimalist loft. Additional...
Vincent Van Duysen is a Belgium architect whose work I’ve been drawn to for quite a while. It was almost too difficult to select only one of his projects to be featured here today and therefore here is a selection of my favorite spaces he designed. The use of singular element, frequently in a large scale, typically either defines the interiors or directs viewers’ attention to that particular element. I’m a big fan of the beautiful white space, panelled walls and strong geometrical shapes re-appearing in his designs. Hope you enjoy.
Héctor Ruiz Velázquez always surprises me with his ability to redefine my perception of space. The omission of the usual separation of spaces, then addition of fluid geometric forms which build a sense of continuity and freedom. So far so good. Serrano’s penthouse, in Madrid is designed by Spanish architect, Hector Ruiz Velázquez. The penthouse’s abstract nature is an enticement to a Zen-like life with minimum consumption and without clumsy fingerprints on white walls—beyond most of us. The curvy volumes create a loosened up and flirtatious space with an illusion of no barriers—a metaphor for goodness and intense contemplative reflection. Openness and freedom are fantasies I can buy into and celebrate. And I can’t think of a better way to send off 2010 with sparkle and many clumsy fingerprints that reveal something about me—it’s just another shade of white. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
We use the ‘Box’ and the ‘Blob’, says Dutch architect Ben van Berkel, and the ‘Box’ is dead. Van Berkel’s Amsterdam-based architectural firm UNStudio refuses to settle into a boxy image. Instead, they experiment with progressive architectural practices, characterized by repetition of just a few elements and asymmetrical curves. This often results in unexpected insights. UNStudio designed this loft in downtown Manhattan for a New York art collector, who is going to live in his gallery. The living space aims to merge life and art, so that both aspects flow into each other. Flowing curved walls were introduced to make the boundaries between aesthetics and functionality disappear. Avant garde interpretations of a living space with a sense of freedom where I can adjust levels of privacy while I live, work and play—in a “lessness” way.
Swiss architects ern+ heinzl Architekten believe an open office creates a learning atmosphere. They feel this approach is great for bouncing ideas back and forth. ern+ heinzl Architekten designed the KSA Kurt Salmon Associates, headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany. You could be chilled by the coldness of the minimalist concept. Or you can be inspired by a large, open white space that encourages people to experiment. As creativity does not always happen at a desk, the space is comprised of a seating activity area and a standing activity area. I imagine myself walking through an office that radiates white. A zone that captures light and holds it for your emotional senses and delight. A living thing. Is light the most sensous perception of space in architecture?
Stairs can speak louder than words about a house‘s style intentions. Something like a grand staircase of marble steps in monumental homes. I am thinking about the exhaustion people feel going down those stairs. Modern stairs are less about circulation. They are more about occupying minimal space and becoming abstract objects. Architect Jacopo Mascheroni, designed the loft in Como’s staircase as a great opportunity to make circulation free floating. A feeling of weightlessness with a skin and bone structure of open treads covered in maple wood. The loft in Como, Italy is an old monastery put to new use: a dream minimalist loft. Maple hardwood floors with custom floor planks; a video projector that plays images on the kitchen wall, hidden cabinets, open spaces, pure white; did I mention everything was custom designed? I oohed and aaahed at the Jacopo Mascheroni project. It comes pretty close to a dream I can aspire to, when I finally get discovered.
Mostly a white palette; polished white quartz floors and a glossy white ceiling. Then there is the clutter – no room for clutter and uncluttered access to views. Once you are in this ultra minimalist apartment, you leave stuff behind. Wayne Turett of Turett Collaborative Architects, considered a white quartz stone floor to open up the ceiling space. Christopher Coleman, interior designer, utilized furniture to the bare minimum for the 3,400 square-foot apartment, on the 39th floor of the Olympic Tower, in New York City. Brilliantly bright white. It’s beautiful! But where to place the ugly stuff? It requires non attachment to clutter and a ‘chilling out’ minimalist approach. You wish stuff becomes invisible and it seems to matter less. That’s a kind of minimalism we can appreciate.
We just received an email from Stephen Roberts, an Australian designer based in New York. He tipped us about the Chelsea Loft, also known as The White Loft. This is a 3,000 square feet loft in Chelsea, New York, which he redesigned completely, together with his team at Stephen Roberts inc. . The gorgeous loft is bathing in light, with white terrazzo floors carrying the light from the windows through the entire space. The ceiling is almost completely free of lighting, sprinklers and other systems. The result is a beautiful podium for the furniture set, which was built up around a small vintage Scandinavian collection already owned by the clients. Roberts added classic design objects such as two vintage Jacobsen Egg chairs in tan leather, and a 1950′s Murano glass light fixture. Photography by Greg Delves.