Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”

Located on the coast of Geojedo, an island south of South Korea, Mug Hakdong sits on the beach off of the main street. It was designed by Hyunjoon Yoo Architects for a client who runs a medium-scale sales distribution company and wanted his employees to be able to utilize the space for training, learning as well as enjoying the cafe and its facilities. The architects developed the concept for this hotel to be as flexible as the program requires. There would be a varying number of people and customers at different times so the hotel would need to accommodate the constantly changing needs of the client’s staff and its own guests. The stunning result is a beautiful convertible space of mobile walls that rotate or fold to provide this flexibility. The intersection of walls as planes that overlap and dissect the interior spaces make an intriguing and complicated volume. I was drawn to this project not only of how beautiful it is aesthetically, but that the challenges of program requirements of connecting public and private has turned into a landmark that also helped revive the local community. Photography by Youngchae Park.


Factory Building on the Vitra Campus is the result of incredible work by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, who founded the studio SANAA almost 20 years ago, and won the Pritzker prize in 2010. The single circular factory is used by Vitrashop, a shop fitting company within the Vitra Group. Its interesting shape is explained: This proposal, which at first seemed unusual, was based on the realization that logistics and production methods no longer adhere to strictly hierarchical principles, but require flexibility. This was especially true in the case of the future occupants of the new facility. The circular footprint of the building permits the delivery and loading of goods in completely different locations, so that the flow of traffic inside the hall is reduced, optimized and simplified. The factory is more than 160 metres in diameter and reaches 11.4 metres in height, with a singular and characteristic facade, made of acrylic glass with three wave patterns on the  surface to avoid a visual repetition, seeming infinite and homogeneous.


House F for a Violinist is another gorgeous build by one of my favorite Japanese firms, Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects. The small, dark structure is situated on a narrow plot in busy downtown Tokyo. The architects responded to the site’s slim condition with a three story home, which uses height and depth to meet the needs of the occupant. The ground floor is a covered entrance, which also functions as a carport. The second and third stories contain the living and sleeping spaces, as well as a practice studio for the resident’s musical needs. I love the dark silhouette of this thin home. The arched opening on the ground floor and the large windows above add visual interest to the facade while serving practical purposes. This lovely structure is simple and beautiful, and looks great when illuminated at night!


This two family dwelling is located in Minamikarasuyama, Tokyo. Atelier HAKO Architects formed the two homes in one building on a narrow plot. Concrete is the primary material used in this structure. A concrete facade ensures privacy for the dwelling while projecting a sleek and modern aesthetic. The pattern of dots on the concrete are a result of the fabrication process. In this home, however, they form a simple, lovely pattern on the exterior and interior walls. Louvered screens cover the large windows: they filter the light and create additional privacy for the residents. Each story of the building contains a home with all the necessities for a small family: bedrooms, bathrooms, and a main living area with kitchen. The interiors are divided by white walls that compliment the exposed concrete. Floating staircases lead to a glass-covered terrace on the upper story. Dwelling of Minamikarasuyama is an elegant solution for a multi-family home in a crowded city.


Ermitage is an example of minimalism in its truest form. Designed by the French architecture collective Septembre, this teeny cabin is located between the woods and the sea on the Swedish island of Trossö. Septembre’s goal was to keep the design as minimal as possible in order to give full attention to the pristine surrounding landscape. The home is incredibly basic and features only the necessities: a double bed, storage drawer, and an attached sauna. Large windows and a sliding glass door illuminate the tiny space and connect the home with the outdoors. This cabin denies the barrier of inside/outside by welcoming the natural environment into the home visually and physically. Ermitage allows its residents to connect with nature without the distractions found in many traditional vacation homes.


Nicolas Schuybroek Architects’ DT Appartment in Brussels, Belgium is a beautifully muted pallete of monochronism. The celebration of marble, stone and timber is harmonious and brings the spaces together effortlessly. Essentially posing the challenge of being a small apartment, NS Architects have managed to create a series of spaces that add a sense of warmth. The contrast in materiality throughout is well orchestrated and has a seeming natural feel. Named one of French Architectural Digest’s Best Interior Designers of 2013, Nicolas Schuybroek is beyond emerging. His career has spanned cross-continental borders having studied in Belgium, worked in Canada and continued collaborations across the two nations. His work is primarily high end residential, and is without a doubt, one to watch. Photography courtesy of Nicolas Schuybroek Architects.


This well-designed loft renovation delivers the perfect balance of existing and new features. Before the renovation, San Francisco Loft was an open 1,200 square foot space with a doug-fir structure and exposed brick. Line Office Architecture‘s smart renovation utilizes the existing features of the space while incorporating fresh new elements. The wooden structure of the loft has a strong visual affect: the beams and columns are complimented by the addition of a hardwood floor and wood accents on the furniture. Juxtaposing the wood is the dark black of the built-in furniture in the kitchen and bedroom. It isn’t easy to transform an open loft apartment into a space this cool and elegant. Many designs do too much or too little: they overpower the space or leave the viewer wanting more. This design suits the loft perfectly: it is sleek and modern but preserves the charm of the original space.


It think that the project of the award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando for Tom Ford’s ranch could not be more beautiful, with its modern, clean and minimalist lines and shapes throughout as well as the detail of the construction. The plain concrete walls are maybe the most characteristic of the project with the abrupt contrast of light, as well as the road on the small lake. It is located outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has almost 100,000 square meter, being perfectly integrated with the arid lands of the state due to a rustic palette of colors.


Casa V is a redevelopment project by architecture team Dosis de Arquitectura of an existing house that was constructed in the early 1960s. A stunning volume of curved walls and stark white embody this holiday home for the owners for half a century. As the years went by, the growth of the family could not be contained in the original house hence the work to adapt and expand on the multi-generation, multi-purpose building. Casa V was already located on a breathtaking site in La Coruña, Spain. The structure is reminiscent of Corbusier’s nom de plume: A house is a machine for living in. Form follows function - it exists to serve its purpose of facilitating activities within and to experience the views of the landscape. The present architects have continued the legacy as they so eloquently describe it: Spaces are defined by the unfolding of matter in space-time, which topologically adapts itself to what happens inside. The new house is formalized by the continuous flow of a completely neutral wrap – no edges, no color, no texture – and, within this wrapping, life, action, is the protagonist. Dosis de Arquitectura have aligned the design language – the characteristics of the wrap and typography of the architecture - with...


Rainha House is designed by the Belgium based studio Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum, or ABBE for short. The small, rectangular structure is home to a family in Portugal. Glass and concrete are the primary materials used in this residence. Polished concrete can feel cold and sterile, but this is not the case with Rainha House. Hardwood floors and well-placed lighting add warmth to the space and balance the coolness of the concrete. The full length glass windows bring in sunlight and connect the home with the natural environment. I love the use of concrete in Rainha House. Exposed concrete is a pure and beautiful material; it elevates this home from a basic structure to a fine work of art. Rainha House is an elegant dwelling perfectly suited to its inhabitants and environment.


The layout of this industrial loft apartment in Brussels is quite simple. Interior FOR has few windows and no interior walls. Designed by adn Architecture, the defining features of the apartment are two freestanding metal towers. Accessed by thin, white staircases, these towers house the bathroom and laundry rooms on the ground floor, and the bedroom and office on the second story. The majority of furniture in the apartment is built-in, allowing the space to have a continuous flow and material palette. I love the simple functionality of this apartment. The towers are a smart way to add rooms and divide the space of an open plan apartment. The white walls and exposed concrete create a clean aesthetic that match the simple design of the floor plan. Interior FOR is a lovely and perfectly designed apartment.


This tranquil space is an assisted reproduction clinic, completed by Barcelona based designer Susanna Cots. The owners wanted to avoid sterile coldness of a hospital and put their clients at ease with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. At the same time, the interior had to look and feel professional and trustworthy. Here is how designer explains her concept: We have designed a space aimed to creating connections through sensitivity and emotions. In the project, the materialization of this bond to life is very visual. On one hand, the reception-waiting room has been created as one piece so that clients feel accompanied all the time. On the other, the corridor that connects this area with the consulting rooms has been projected as a great wooden cube slightly illuminated –again, looking for the roots in nature- that symbolizes the transition to life. The corridor is not the only feature that bears a double meaning. Nearly every element of this interior is symbolic. Two large oak trees, greeting customers at the entrance, represent strength and family values. And the minimalist whiteness of the place symbolizes purity and new beginnings.