Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”

This residence on an irregular site located in Islington, London is designed by Atelier ChanChan. The complete demolition of the previous building allowed the designer to instill her own design language into the facade of the house, a Herringbone brick pattern. Brick, being the material that is familiar to the context yet in a pattern that is seldom used on the exteriors. The warmth from the materials used both inside and out of this house exudes the comfort in its minimalism. The stunning detail of the floating staircase brings much light through the interiors; the sliding doors that provide a frameless opening to the courtyard; the walls in the bedroom that extends to the pitch of the roof – the architecture connects the spaces in an elegant and subtle manner that exemplifies understated, minimalist design. Photos via Atelier ChanChan and Dezeen.


Contrasted against the sunny, arid landscape in Portugal is the House in Quinta Do Carvalheiro. The home is designed by Italian based firm Giorgio Santagostino and Monica Margarido, also known as GSMM Architects. The form of the residence is directly related to the topography of the site. The structure is kept small so as to limit human intervention in the landscape. All of the rooms are arranged around a central patio. This patio connects the home to the outdoors without expanding the structure’s rectangular footprint. Large windows embrace the exterior while opaque walls protect the home from overheating at the sunniest points. I love how the house sits low on the horizon. At certain angles the landscape appears about to engulf the residence and pull it back into the ground. House in Quinta Do Carvalheiro achieves a perfect balance of man and nature. Photographs by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura.


MiniMod takes pre-fab living to the next level! Designed by MAPA Architects, this intelligent structure is a lovely solution for alternative and sustainable living. The prefabricated modules are completely customizable, allowing the user to design a dwelling focused on their needs and preferences. After construction, the modules are transported via truck to their final destination. MiniMod is composed of a steel frame with natural recycled pine on the interior contrasted with painted pine on the facade. Several green technologies are featured in the dwelling; among them is a rainwater filter, ventilated facade, green roof, and LED lighting. The single module in the photographs is located in Brazil. Off-site and no waste construction allow the home to leave a minuscule environmental footprint. The 26 square meter floor plan includes a bedroom, living and dining rooms, and a kitchen and bathroom. Floor to ceiling windows and a covered patio connect the home with the outdoors. MiniMod has it all: the elegant design proves that prefabricated living can be beautiful and good for the environment. Minimal in aesthetic and minimal environmental impact, MiniMod is truly a win for contemporary living.


Hideg House  is a sculptural form emerging from the rocky landscape. Located on the site of a former quarry in Koszeg, Hungary, this wooden structure is the first realized project of the young firm Béres Architects. After three long years of construction, Hideg House is a modern vacation home which merges the natural and built environments. The single story design features a dark timber frame punctured with windows and natural wood cladding. The rooms are placed to the far sides of the home, while the voided center is a covered patio. The interior is bright, white, and simple. It is a welcome contrast to the dark exterior and busy terrain. All of the rooms are arranged to maximize the views of nature. The cabin overlooks the best of both worlds: one side faces the exposed rock face of the former quarry, while the south side offers a panorama of the forest. I love the juxtaposition of this design. Pairing nature and man-made structures side by side results in a captivating aesthetic.


Aires Mateus & Sia Arquitectura’s House Melides on the Grandola Crest in Portugal takes the palette back to the basic elements. Situated amongst undulated terrain, overlooking the valley below, it acts as a portal to the vistas of natural elements that exist around it. In this sense, the importance of its quiet minimalism roars loudly. Comprised of unobtrusively, unusual main volumes that overlap in the shape of a cross, the resulting architecture sit both monolithically and subtly amongst its landscape. The interior is comprised of strict whites that seem to imbue its own softness through its interaction with the entering light. The otherwise metered corners throughout the interior are softened through the play on the other lines throughout the architecture. The stillness of space through finishes and articulation of lines is beautiful. The collaboration resulting in House Melides by Aires Mateus & Sia Arquitectura is to be commended. Photography courtesy of Fernando Guerra.


Look carefully or you might miss the tiny Yokaya restaurant and residence in Fukuoka, Japan. This humble white rectangle is nestled on a busy street between several tall condo buildings. Designed by rhythmdesign, the structure is a mere 135 square meters and houses a restaurant on the ground floor with an apartment above. The front facade is entirely opaque on the upper stories, while a cutout on the ground floor invites passerby into the restaurant. Wood and concrete are the main materials used in the interior. In the restaurant, the simple design allows the food to take center stage. The apartment above is arranged with a similar aesthetic: built in storage keeps the space uncluttered and the furnishings are limited to essentials. I love the modest design of this duplex building. The clean lines of the architecture and precise use of materials come together quite elegantly. Yokaya is quiet and reserved, but it is its little form that stands dignified on this bustling street.


The program guidelines for the Pocinho Centre for High Performance Rowing was to design a complex that not only facilitated training and preparation for the Olympics, but also to provide residential quarters and social interaction areas. Architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade had the task of delivering the 8,000m2 project with a possible subsequent expansion phase of the housing area, without a significant impact on size and the landscape. Divided into 3 zones: Social, Housing and Training, the complex is built mostly into the terrain of Douro Valley in Portugal. I really appreciate how the structure echoes the undulating geography with deep respect to the context of the low buildings and slopes around it. The minimalist building of angled roofs and wave-like volumes blend in seamlessly with the terraces while the pristine white dry-stone walls give the Pocinho Centre an identity that is modern and chic yet functional at the same time. Photography by Fernando Guerra.


For the fashion house Rubens Luciano, Italian architect Simone Micheli has designed this spectacular office and showroomm inside a 19th century building near Venice, Italy. Its main feature is perhaps the careful use of light and glass, emphasized by the large open working spaces, the white furniture and walls, and the rounded edges and organic shapes along all elements of the building. On the other hand, the integration of these contemporary elements with the antique building is perfect, achieving a balance in some rooms and contrasting in others — yet always in harmony and very meticulous with each detail and finish. All previous elements of the building give to the project a great personality that makes it unique and distinguished. I like this.


B House is one of the few landmarks on the soft, rolling meadows of Segovia, Spain. Designed by CH+QS Arquitectos, this home was inspired by a prominent color in the natural scenery: yellow. This environment is speckled by yellow in every season. Flowers, wheat, leaves, sheep and sun brighten the terrain with their pleasant hues. B house accentuates these hues using warm wood and soft lighting. The structure is small, almost miniature. Eliminating unnecessary space allowed the architects to shrink the home’s footprint. Indoor and outdoor common areas are situated in the center of the home, with oversize openings framing the views to the east and the west. The private functions of the home are pushed to the outer edges, while the basement den accommodates the children’s playtime. House B is a humble home which enhances the beloved fields that surround it. The architecture emerges from the ground almost organically. With a bit of imagination it’s easy to picture the home growing from the earth along with the yellow trees and flowers. Photographs by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura.


This sleek home is located on a sandy site in Comporta, Portugal. Designed by RRJ Arquitectos, this structure meets the needs of living in a harsh environment. Sun protection is a main concern in the scheme of House in Comporta. The single story home sits low on the site, maximizing coolness and minimizing sun exposure. The thick, concrete walls guard the home from the sun at the most vulnerable points. All the windows are recessed in the facade for extra shade during the brightest parts of the day. Clean lines, white walls, and hardwood floors are featured on the interior. I love how this home merges perfectly with its environment. The concrete facade appears to emerge directly from the sandy floor. The home is also sized so as to enhance the view of the trees and sky, rather than distract from them. House in Comporta is a perfect example of a structure inspired by the unique characteristics of its site. Photographs by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura.


The Hongkun Art Gallery is a stunning interiors project by architects Penda, located in Bejing. Its monolithic exterior gives the first hint of the arch – a typical architectural element – at the entrance of the gallery. However, what appears on the inside takes one for a pleasant surprise. How can one make an art gallery more interesting? Penda’s solution implements a volume of continuous curves defining the space as walls, partitions and even into the cove ceilings. I love the consistency of the design that molds the typically white space for viewing art into a piece of sculpture itself, its curves as if a reflection of the landscape. Even the utilitarian areas maintain the proportion of the arches with the single use of wood for all surfaces, making it a beautiful, minimalist art gallery, which is as if art on its own.


House in Daizawa is located in a residential neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. Designed by The Archetype, lead by Nobuo Araki, this structure aims to maximize outdoor space while creating a private environment for the residents. The home is situated in the middle of the site, allowing for a roomy patio in the front and a lovely backyard garden on the southern half of the lot. Concrete walls on both ends of the site separate the home from neighbors and the street. The interior features an open floor plan with large windows and hardwood details. I love Nobuo Araki’s simple yet thoughtful design. The outdoor spaces are perfectly framed by the concrete walls and large windows of the house. Inside and outside, the structure evokes a sense of seclusion reminiscent of a country dwelling. In a city as busy as Tokyo, the peaceful House in Daizawa is truly an accomplishment.