Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”

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.


Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s collaborations with the architects behind his spaces are always incredibly compatible with his distinctive creative direction. His most recent boutique is an extension by Tokujin Yoshioka who is also designed the original store. Known as a Reality Lab, this new retail project is supposed to emulate the shopping experience in a laboratory, which I suppose could be interpreted as the way things are organized in this clean, minimalist space. Designated areas have color blocks of blue and green, leaving the rest of the interiors mostly white with exposed, unfinished wooden joists and raw concrete walls. Products are organized according to color and sectioned by category (garments vs Bao Bao bags vs IN-EI lamps) while they are located in areas designed specifically for them. The details that caught my eye were how the functions of the store have been deliberately concealed. The hangers are hidden behind a deep cove so the clothes appear floating beneath a long color band; the cashier’s desk is devoid of any information and direction; mirrors are frameless and nondescript so they pretend to be an extension of the space. This retail project has a lot more depth and layers than it appears to be,...


It is rare to see a modern home with a conventional A-frame roof and wooden facade. Boreraig House, on the Scottish Isle of Skye, proves that chic and modern living can take many forms. Designed by Dualchas Architects, this home aims to connect with the landscape and local heritage. Boreraig House sits low on the skyline so as not to interrupt the stunning mountain views. Instead of adding space in height, Dualchas Architects created the structure in three connected bodies. The main block holds the kitchen, dining room, and lounge. The second space is for the bedrooms; and the third is a private study. The structure’s materials are derived from its surroundings: metal from the farm’s gates, lumber from the fence, and stone from the traditional property walls. I love the combination of modern and rustic in this humble home. The flush paneling and gray color of the wood modernize the facade. The corrugated metal does the same for the sleek roof. Overall, Boreraig House is a lovely, peaceful country dwelling.


House in Shimamoto is located in a busy residential neighborhood in Osaka, Japan. Container Design, based in Kobe, Japan, designed the simple home with the goal of connecting the residents with nature while maintaining privacy from near-by neighbors. The home is comprised of three basic materials: steel, glass, and timber. White galvanized steel plates cover the facade, protecting the retreat from the crowded street. On the north side of the home, large glass windows bring in natural light and offer a peak at the mountainous landscape. Timber is used throughout the interior: the ceiling and wall beams are exposed and the floor alternates between a solid and slatted wood pattern. I love the restricted use of materials in this home. The steel, glass, and wood feel complimentary yet still maintain an interesting contrast. House in Shimamoto is a no-fuss home that is sure to please anyone lucky enough to reside there.


Sekino Architects Office brings an absolute celebration of concrete to its combined House + Office structure in Tokyo. Staying true to the aesthetic that has become typified of Japanese architectural form, this structure is one of absolute minimalism. The clean lines and open voids acting as internal courtyards connect spaces through bridges and uninterrupted rail-work. Comprised of reinforced concrete and glass, House + Office sits on a site just over 800 sqm, providing a very generous, particularly for Japanese standards, 550 sqm of internal floor area. Both the House and Office components of this beauty seem to coexist in an effortless harmony. There is also an overt zen-ness to this space and the experience of moving throughout. This is an applauding example of Sekino Architects Office’s consistent discipline and restrained deliberation. Photography courtesy of Hiroyuki Hirai.


Swedish architecture practice Tham & Videgård has taken the traditional gabled house for a modern, minimalist interpretation. Summerhouse Lagnö is constructed with a series of pitched roofs that run the length the site with a rectilinear plan. The more public living space faces the Baltic sea while the private and service areas occupy the area closer to the forest behind it. It is the uninterrupted design language that I find so appealing in this project. The eaves of the roof weave seamlessly into the walls of the exterior concrete finish. At the same time, the interiors receive the continuity of the shape of the roofs. The use of natural cast concrete makes it possible to create the expansive volumes of the interiors, double height rooms and skylights. A pitched frame with a glass canopy provides cover, connects a separate living space and enables a view from the woods to the water which may have inspired the architects to begin with. Summerhouse Lagnö recently won the World Architecture News House of the Year for 2013. Photography by Åke E:son Lindman.


Espace St-Denis is a contemporary apartment located on the ground floor of a building in Montreal, Canada. Designed by Anne Sophie Goneau, this home aims to highlight the building’s raw materials. The exposed brick wall and structural steel frame were found during the renovation of the apartment. These existing features provide the home with visual focal points. The interior of the home is void of opaque walls. There is, however, a glass wall which divides the bedrooms from the living room. This wall provides a boundary while making the apartment feel open and airy. It also allows the bedroom’s exposed brick wall to be viewed from every room. The kitchen is the predominant feature of Espace St-Denis. It spans almost the full length of the apartment. I love the mix of black, white, and brick in this space. The long black counter-top is a simple and functional piece, while the white tables blend with the floor and ceiling to create the illusion of wide open space. Epsace St-Denis is a small apartment with big style. Photographs by Adrien Williams.


The concept is straightforward: A simple retail space gets a wall treatment made out of a simple material of 22,000 wooden sticks. Yet the engineering behind this took customized digital tools to manage the quantity of sticks for every CNC-drilled hole on the wall, which defined the direction of each stick. Behind this concept and the new boutique for mens streetwear label MRQT in Stuttgart, Germany, is the Swiss architecture firm ROK. As described by the architects: The installation refers to the flowing forms and delicate texture of textiles and cloth. It creates a unique and sensational background for the fashion items displayed on the smoothly integrated clothes hangers. The flow of wooden sticks and subtle lighting frames a central full height mirror and forms a central “stage” for the customer. Besides the idea which inspired the unique feature wall, I love effort that went in the details of this minimalist space: how the frame to display clothes protrudes from the wall of sticks, how the mirror is backlit and adds more depth to the wall, how the rest of the walls and floors are kept calm and minimal in contrast to the warmth and energy exuded from the feature wall. The...


Standing in a row of traditional townhouses is the long and narrow House in Lisbon. Designed by ARX Portugal, this modern beauty is comprised of two main materials: limestone and concrete. The front facade is enveloped in limestone, one of the most common materials used in Lisbon. The limestone is set in a modern design yet still links the home with its conventional neighbors. The rear of the house focuses on the outdoors: giant windows and several balconies overlook a secluded backyard garden. Almost the entire interior of the house is made of raw concrete. This material twists and turns to define the walls, floors, stairs, and furniture. The house is arranged with the public areas on the lower floors and the more private rooms above. An outdoor refuge is located on the roof: limestone walls hide the user from the street below while a lone tree brings life to the space. Overall, House in Lisbon is a lovely design which uses simple materials to create a harmonious space.


The office of Pasel Kuenzel Architects has recently completed this project, Urban Villa, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In an almost utilitarian language, the residence is designed as stark and minimalist while the exterior and the details of the construction tell the story of what the house is about. The large 3300sf house is made of up 2 intersecting volumes – a horizontal for living spaces and a vertical for the more private office, bedrooms and a roof terrace. Using white painted raw timber boards made of Douglas fir that clad the exterior, the architects included large windows with black frames to punctuate the facade. The clean detailing of both the interior and exterior makes this project extremely elegant. My favorite part of this architecture is that all the white floors, ceilings and walls seamlessly define the space, leaving the texture of the exterior walls and grounds to reflect back through the large window walls, further emphasizing the personality of the building. Photography by Marcel van der Burg.


Bitten House derives its name from the four “bites” in each corner.  What started as a simple cube has been carved away to create openings in the north, south, east and west. The “bites” allow for a covered entrance and back patio, as well as the decks on the second story. Anau estudi d’arquitectura designed the home with privacy and connectivity in mind. The rough concrete exterior creates a quiet, intimate interior, while the openings allow the home to embrace the surrounding environment rather than guard against it. The carving away of space is a design technique not seen enough in architecture; many designs are focused on the addition of form and material. Bitten House is a lovely dwelling which embraces this simple and effective approach to design.


D&V Concept Store is a Retail project designed by Swedish architecture team Guise.  The volumetric interior is the result of duplicating every display surface 4 times, clever syncing a multi-level table, floating shelves on a console system and window platforms within this would-be shop. As described by the architects: The first step in the process was to take an area of 400×400 mm and extrude it and let it grow to 800×800 mm, then to repeat the process until a desired height has been reached. The demand for flexibility was met by introducing a custom made changeable shelf system. A system of L-profiled beams were designed with a perforation running along the beams as a stitch. It is the sequence of the photography that helps tell an interesting story of the relationship between all these elements of display, especially without any merchandise: solid and void, heavy and light, slender and massive, grounded and floating. I love the fact that such simple, minimal forms can create such a dynamic space. Information courtesy of Guise. Photography by Brendan Austin.