The new headquarters of the Benéfico Social Padre Rubinos Institution is an impressive building financed by the Amancio Ortega Foundation and developed by Elsa Urquijo Architects. Opened last week and located in A Coruña, Spain, the building features the following facilities for people in a social emergency situation: hostel/refuge for transient people with no resources or home; redidence for the elderly and day centre with charitable nature; infants’ school for children born in families in a precarious financial situation; and the Padre Rubinos social headquarters. In total, a size of more than 15.000m2, the architects explain: It is a building that renounces the academic composition of the facade and turns it in a front porch that surrounds and defines the square. This invites us to move in that protected porch, discovering the different spaces that are linked to it, creating a frame in which life can flow and develop. A truly wonderful project with a predominantly white colour palette, where luminosity and horizontal lines produce a stable, calm and relaxing environment, and every detail is carefully considered.
Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”
FREAKS Free Architects recently designed this one-story apartment in downtown Geneva, Switzerland. Completed this year, Geneva Flat is arranged to utilise every inch of space and does so brilliantly. The open floor plan is divided by thin white walls and panes of glass. Most of the walls serve more than one function. The walls become a wardrobe, bookshelf, and even a platform for the bed. The glass is a room separator but still allows each space of the apartment to feel connected. It also creates a bright and airy aesthetic throughout the home. Geneva Flat is decorated with monochrome furnishings and an artful light fixture. The gray and white palate of this apartment couldn’t be more simple. Yet, in a space as austere as Geneva Flat, every material is crucial to forming a comprehensive design scheme. Each element was chosen which great care, resulting in a composition that is both minimal and luxurious.
Tokyo-based design office id created a charming wooden garden, for coffee appreciation in its simplest form, for Café Ki. The ambient is a case study for tiny shops, affirming its visual identity through a strong concept and leaving unnecessary embellishments behind. The café consists of a large white canvas in which tables are organically supported by black branches; mimicking a patch of woods. It is worth noting that Ki means Tree in Japanese — the pictogram-like simplification is quite elegant and straightforward — no gimmicks here. The brand identity of Café Ki keeps it functional and affordable with smart stickers and simple print materials as tools for serving each customer’s coffee needs. Not only does the café offer a sharp visual distinctiveness, but I reckon, would make for a great brand to import as a franchise. An increasingly rare and satisfying equation: affordability + style.
Taipei Apartment is a clean white apartment in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. The apartment was designed for a young couple by Tai & Architectural Design. The couple wanted a beautiful dwelling that didn’t require much renovation. The architects answered their request with a bright and causal living environment. Every surface of the apartment, from the floor to the ductwork in the ceiling, is painted white. The whiteness is intended to celebrate the purity of the space. The living room features a grey sofa, pastel-colored end tables, and a projector screen. Across the room is the dining area which includes a white table, wooden chairs, and built-in shelving. A wall of glass highlights the view of the city and opens to a small balcony. A narrow hallway leads to the bedroom and study. These rooms are furnished similar to the living room: white and wood furniture accented with soft colors. I love how such a simple design can express so much character. The white interior is the perfect backdrop for the residents’ colorful furniture and textiles. The stark interior allows these objects to pop and bring personality to the space. Taipei Apartment is sure to be a hit with the current and future occupants.
Belgium based studio Five AM completed the interior of the new bedroom suite at a house in Bellegem, west Belgium, initially designed by studio Arch-id. The space was transformed by lifting the attic roof, which allowed to locate a bathroom isle inside the big open room. Arch-id explain the design: As the owner wanted an open and airy feeling, we designed a monolithic white box that doesn’t reach the ceiling. The height delivers the privacy when needed, but makes it still possible to interact with each other. The entire bathroom was produced in ‘solid surface’, which ensures seamless surfaces. The sidewall can unfold which makes interaction between sleeping and bathing possible. I love the delicate staircase leading to the bedroom and the sense of secluded space inside the all-white bathroom cube. The low bench that wraps around the room conceals ample storage, a nice touch, contributing to the clean and uncluttered state of the space. Photography by Thomas De Bruyne/Cafeine
Koya No Sumika is an extension to a traditional home in Yaizu, Japan. The extension was designed for a young couple by mA-style Architects. The Japanese firm came up with a modern design with space saving solutions. The result is a refreshing juxtaposition to the traditional architecture of the original home. The exterior is a balance between white cement board and natural wood. The mix of crisp white and warm wood continues on the interior. The lofted ceiling features triangles of unfinished wood. White walls frame the lower portion of the home, sprinkled on both sides with built-in furniture. The decor is bare, just a few plants and lightbulbs strung from the ceilings. A simple courtyard garden adds a touch of green and connects the expansion with the original building. Koya No Sumika is a gorgeous structure inside and out. The materials are arranged so as to add character to the space, without losing its minimal appeal. Overall, this is a charming home expansion that the residents will enjoy for years to come.
Sostre is an urban canopy designed by the Spanish studio Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, that references traditional structures of mediterranean cultures to provide service to a restaurant with more space. When it is not in use, it gives service to the citizens as a meeting point, playground or a shade to stand, and not interfering with their transit because of its geometry with only two support points. Sostre is comprised of a solid surface material that covers a metallic structure, generating a minimalist and continuous block. In addition, Sostre has lighting, sound, air conditioning as well as a retractable shading device to produce a more intimate setting.
This florist’s home in Japan’s Mie prefecture was designed to inspire the resident’s craft. The dwelling was completed by Japanese firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates in May of this year. Florist Studio utilizes a refreshing simple design to offer seamless views for a creative live/work space. The most stunning feature of the home is the glass walls that span the entire length of the building. The glass is held in place by the floor and roof slabs; this structure eliminates the need for view-impeding columns. The long stretch of windows is reminiscent of a painting in a gallery. The gallery aesthetic continues throughout the home. A cantilevered counter runs the full length of the structure, forming a bed headboard and bathroom vanity on one end, and an office desk on the other. Carefully chosen furniture is placed in the other rooms. The attention paid to each detail makes the whole home feel like a work of art. Florist Studio a perfect dwelling for its resident and its environment.
Iconic Award 2014 — Architect Andrea Dragoni is the overall winner of the best of the best in the category of public buildings with Gubbio Cemetery expansion in Italy. The architectural design of Andrea Dragoni defines the space for silence and meditation. The expansion investigates a new model of civil buildings and triggers a reasoning in physical continuity with the historic city and deeply tied to the mountainous landscape that represents the natural scenery of the city. The plant is an urban structure within, which a series of stereometric volumes, arranged transversely to the system of the mountains, allows us to take a look through the space for dialogue with the verticality of the mountain to the north, and with the horizontality of the plain to the south. This architecture is emphasized by the intrusion of large squares to imagine how the squares that measure the rhythmic structure of the system. Squares of silence in the form of a cube broken through the ceiling, evokes an open window at the top with the profile of a framed sky, allowing the look and the thought of abandoning the severity of mother earth.
Alain Carle Architecte is a Québecois architecture firm whose style is self-described as modest. Led by Alain Carle himself, who graduated from the School of Architecture of University of Montréal, the firm has received a lot of recognition in the past few years by many publications. In 2013, the firm completed L’Écran, a home situated in Wenworth-Nord, Canada. Surrounded by nature, the house is a minimal sculpture that was raised from the ground with black brick claddings and wooden interiors. Situated on a site with slopes, the architecture was broken into fragments and connected through the use of materials. The use of a black exterior was to create a heat absorbent to then cut down the energy use of house in such a cold environment. Wooden panels also create a sense of warmth for the residents. The contrast of the white walls against the black bricks, one smooth and one rough, complemented with shades of brown from wooden panels, was what drawn me to this structure. The abruptness of its appearance on the site is not foreign, but rather like a response to its surroundings. Photography courtesy of Alain Carle Architecte.
Shirahama Roh Pinggu is a small seaside home designed by Okuwada Architects Office. Located in Wakayama, Japan, this single story home is structured to work with the island landscape. The sand and sea are on the southern side of the home, while mountains surround the other three sides. The southern wall of windows embraces the sea views. The kitchen and living room are situated in this part of the home. The mountain facing rooms contain more private areas, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms. Wooden floors connect the home with the forest behind it. A white and glass facade, and a galvanized steel roof, complete the home’s light and airy aesthetic. I love the simple design of this resort home. The soft colors and low lying structure minimize the visual impact the home has on the environment. The simple interior allows the residents to direct their focus out towards the landscape. Overall, Shirahama Roh Pinggu is a lovely vacation dwelling for a family. Photography by Tada Yuko / Yuko Tada Photography.
House for Mother is a simple home on a rural plot of land in Linköping, Sweden. Designed by FAF Architects, the home is composed of three staggered volumes. The foremost volume holds the entrance of the home and the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. The bedrooms and studio are located in the second volume. The third is a bathroom and laundry room. The rooms are sparse in material and furnishings. The interior features timber ceilings, plywood walls, and a polished concrete floor. These raw materials allow the home to feel modest, but not under-designed. Built in furniture completes the minimal aesthetic. The facade is covered in corrugated aluminum, lending the exterior an industrial chic look. I love how FAF Architects plays with the traditional house archetype. While the shape of House for Mother is classic, the materials and window placement are unexpected. All in all, House for Mother is an no-fuss design that doesn’t fail to captivate its viewer’s interest.