Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture”

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...


La Piscina del Roccolo is a luxurious indoor swimming pool designed by Italian architecture firm act_romegialli. The concept for the project was to create a pool and bathing house that would capitalize on the view of the countryside. The result is a humble structure nestled in the hilly site. On the western end of the building is a long stretch of windows placed adjacent to the pool. The windows visually connect the pool to its landscape all year round. In the warmer months this wall slides open, creating an indoor/outdoor bathing experience. Much of the structure is housed underground so as to impede the landscape as little as possible. The locker rooms and fitness center are placed in this underground area, allowing the pool an interrupted view to the outside. White mosaic tiles mingle with oak accents and exposed concrete on the interior. This marriage of materials brings depth and dimension to an otherwise simple space. On the exterior, stone walls and plenty of plant life ensure the structure stays integrated with its environment. La Piscina del Roccolo is an ideal space for exercise, relaxation, and connecting with nature.


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...


Micro-Apartment Moabit is the result of a creative renovation by Berlin-based design studio spamroom. This tiny Berlin apartment was in need of a unique renovation not only because of its small size, but because of its early 1900’s construction. Like many buildings built at the turn of the century, this apartment featured several small and crowded rooms and was heavy with layers of renovations from previous owners. The design plan was to open up the space by removing all of the interior walls and rebuild an interior system that maximized the potential of every square meter. A central core was created to hold the kitchen and bathroom, and a mezzanine, accessed by a small white staircase, was added for the sleeping space. This simple design takes advantage of typically wasted space, such as tall ceilings and stair landings, to create a supremely functional living area. Many of the home’s original materials were salvaged during construction and incorporated in the renovated home. As a result, this light and airy design has a touch of Art Nouveau charm. This micro-apartment is just 21 square meters; not a space that most people would jump at living in. But with the right design team, even the tiniest of homes can be...


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.


The subject of this compelling photo series is MBAM, or the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal in Canada. The photography is by Matthew Brooks with assistance from Nathalie Quagliotto. MBAM is documented in a unique manner: rather than focusing on the function of the space, the attention is placed on the details of the architecture. The building is shown from an abstract perspective to spotlight the structural form. Several of the photographs feature a distortion of scale, which reveals the more sculptural qualities of the museum’s construction. In the images, glass and plaster collide in transcendent formations, stairs fall to the edges of the frame like waterfalls, and steel beams appear as delicate as spider webs. These photographs unmask the intricate details of the structure. Museums are used for exhibiting artwork, but, refreshingly, Brooks’ photography puts the museum itself on display.


Imagine taking a stroll through the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, enjoying breathtaking views of the natural landscape that embraces the city. While visiting the famous Parque Lage you notice an unusual structure inside the central Palace. When you dare to enter the tiny citadel, everything is covered in plastic and overtly orange. You’ve been lured in by the art collective known as Penique Productions. The duo builds customized inflatable balloons that fit and fill their chosen venue, guerrilla style: Penique Productions appropriates the original site that loses its routine to become part of the work getting a new identity. The balloon acts as a border and frames a new space. The container is also the content blurring the idea of the art object. The beauty of this site specific lies in numerous factors: the invasion of space by a vessel that manages to alter the perception of a visitor but does not harm the building in any way; it denies the original textures to shower it with a homogeneous quality; and finally, it works as conceptual exercise in reduction and simplification. It is a variation of minimalism when a classic building, filled with details and adornments, finds itself...


Penthouse V is a holiday home for a family of seven in Pörtschach, Austria. The Austria based studio destilat positioned the penthouse in the roof structure of a 1930’s cinema. The center of the apartment is a kitchen hidden in plain sight. Gray wall coverings and a matching island integrates the area with the apartment’s design, while white covers hide the utilitarian appliances and cabinetry. An extruding fireplace, set in the same gray tile as the kitchen, is the focal point of the living and dining room. The bedrooms surround the main living area, providing plenty of space for the family and guests. Soft gray flooring mingles with the plaster and asymmetrical tiled walls creating a modern yet cozy aesthetic. A mix of lighting, built-in and hanging from the ceiling, keeps the home well-lit in all areas. Every design element in the apartment is child-friendly, allowing this home to be as functional as it is beautiful.