Slip House is a unique entity on a street full of traditional English houses. The three story building is comprised of rectangular forms covered in translucent glass planks. Completed in 2012 by Carl Turner Architects, Slip House is designed with beauty and sustainability in mind. The structure features a green roof, rain water harvesting, and a ground source heat pump. Slip House’s smart design makes it one of the most energy efficient houses in the UK. I love the sculptural quality of this building. The forms and materials are simple yet captivating. Slip House serves as a lovely model for residential architecture that is aesthetically impressive and energy efficient.
Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”
Claus en Kaan Architecten’s White House, completed in 2006 is a standing minimalist beacon. The irony of its purpose and function seems to stand as a direct opposition to its aesthetic. It is instead, a building by the City Cleansing Department and Parks and Public Garden Department. I appreciate this reinterpretation of expected form into an otherwise unconsidered architectural response. Encompassing 6000sqm, the building plays with patterns of expectation, which is deliberately evoked by a highly aesthetic architectural gesture. It creates a field of tension between form and content by throwing into disarray at least the conventions of utilitarian simplicity and the appropriate application of luxurious architecture. This Amsterdam beauty stands bold and clean, although sunken into its terrain. The impression of a fake weightlessness is a further ironical feature in the unusual look of this everyday municipal depot. Claus en Kaan Architeten is to be applauded for their interpretive application of the minimalist discipline. Photography courtesy of Patrick van Dam.
The formal proportions and elements of a classically designed church is given a modern, abstract intervention by minimalist architect John Pawson. Moritzkirche, otherwise known as St Mortiz Church has survived multiple traumas of fires, wars and even changes of religion in its nearly 1000 year history in Augsburg, Germany. The abstraction of the Baroque forms is intriguing because the shapes and proportions from the cupola domes to the windows, from the nave to the apse are familiar yet appear the experience is completely different without the decorative religious elements and color. As described by the project architect, Jan Hobel: The work has involved the meticulous paring away of selected elements of the church’s complex fabric and the relocation of certain artefacts to achieve a clearer visual field. The light that enters and reflects within the reinterpretation of this church evokes a pristine, uninterrupted atmosphere that it is inevitable to find the peace that one seeks in a church. Images by Gilbert McCarragher.
The facade of Can Durban is fiercely unbarred. Nearly every wall of the Spanish home features massive windows or long stretches of terrace. Designed by the Belgium firm Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners, or AABE, Can Durban aims to unite the natural and built environment. The frameless windows provide a transcendent vista of sea, sky, and plain. The stone retaining walls and rugged floor embrace the harsh Spanish climate. Can Durban is formed of two structures: the larger one is the residents’ living areas, while the smaller is a guest house. A partially enclosed courtyard sits between the two. The house is furnished sparingly: custom woodworks and figural sculptures comprise most of the interior objects. Can Durban is a gorgeous dwelling which successfully integrates natural and man-made beauty. Photographs by Jean-Luc Laloux.
AFGH Architects is a Zurich-based architecture firm formed under Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler in 1995. Known for their minimal usage in materials, AFGH has since then established a solid foundation for future projects. Like a bird nest floating above the mirror-like water surface of Lake Rotsee in Switzerland, the 11-meter high lookout was recently completed as the first portion of AFGH’s winning proposal for the new Rotsee Rowing Club. With its functional time being only three weeks per year, this wooden structure was designed to be adaptive with time, with sliding and pivoting shades. They unify the exterior and interior when open, bringing in the views of the beautiful surroundings and out the cleanliness of the space. The entire design is rested on concrete pillars and connected to the inland with a timber dock. From the facades to the structures, everything weaves together harmoniously to form a beautiful cocoon that gives itself to nature every once in a while. Even though the OSB wood interior might seem sterile now, there are many furnishes to be added in the near future. Afterwards, I believe that the relationship between the project and its context will flourish marvelously.
Drawer House, designed by the prominent Japanese designer Nendo, responds to the limited housing situation in Tokyo. Using the concept of drawers, Nendo has designed an elegant home that allows functional elements to slide from the wall into a central living space. Several rooms worth of objects and furniture store easily in the back wall of the home, therefore only the “drawers” necessary for the task at hand are visible. The facade of the home is composed of a simple wood screen that filters light and maintains the residents’ privacy. This straightforward yet unexampled interior design creates an uncluttered space, while allowing the residents to live comfortably in a very small building. Drawer House is yet another impeccable work in Nendo’s extensive portfolio.
Two adjoining houses had been renovated to create this one House in Valencia, Spain by Fran Silvestre Architects. Designed to separate daytime and nighttime activities, public and sleeping areas are located at opposite ends of the site, leaving the services and circulation concealed within the core. The minimal architecture defines and connects the interiors like a sanctuary that draws light into its very linear spaces. The choice of lighting fixtures in this house compliments the strong amount of daylight designed to be let it through the big panels of glass on the exterior. The designers at Fran Silvestre Architects do what they do best in this project which I found by chance while browsing through their stunning portfolio: making minimalism desirable. Photography by Diego Opazo.
This two-story house has beed completed by Case Design Studio in Ueda Nagano, Japan. The site surrounding the building is a part of a peach and pear orchard, which provides a beautiful green panorama. This backdrop of cultivated greenery emphasizes the laconic color scheme of the house, ranging between black and white with ochre yellow accents. The ample terrace creates a secluded frame, separating the building from the open fields. I love how light is organized in this project. Open lower level almost becomes one with the outdoor space, while the second floor has more private feel, achieved by a narrow window frontage, overlooking the tops of the fruit trees.
Called Kiritoushi House, this small structure in Japan doesn’t reveal much from the street. The front of the home features a dark facade broken only by a sculptural cutout that holds the entrance. Designed by the Tokyo firm Sugawaradaisuke, the house is designed to allow the residents to live in tandem with the surrounding environment. The dark facade allows the home to sit unobtrusively on its site. A large opening in the back of the structure brings in light and connects the home with the outdoors. The simple forms and materials of the Kiritoushi House create a lovely design that is artful yet not overly fussy. I love how the home appears guarded at the entrance, yet is entirely open in the back of the site. Overall, this is a handsome structure that works beautifully with the natural environment.
With the growth of population and the lack of land, Japanese dwellings have become a device that’s made to adapt. Four meters wide, the Shiga based Promenade House by Kouichi Kimura Architects uses its elongated massing to make up for the narrow width. The corridor formed by the proportion is broken up with footlights in response to the light shortage. It then opens up to the backyard fully to mirror the entrance – a poetic visual connection. The minimal exterior of white and grey is brought into the interior, reflected through the white walls and concrete stairs. Wooden floor and furniture accents the otherwise stark ambience. Similar to many Japanese residential projects, the project’s lower and upper floor is linked again by a simple ladder. The hallway above divides into two, with one leading to a green space, literally, that is the washroom. The other leads to the bedroom and the child’s room, accompanied with skylights. The other end of the hallway is also painted green to weave together the front and back. With a small color manipulation and the clever execution of a long space with different widths, Kouichi Kimura Architects was able to create an experience of discovering...
This beautifully linear house has been completed by mA-Style Architects in Shizouka, Japan. The building consists of two volumes connected by a wooden patio. On a sunny day, the sliding glass doors can be opened, and the entire footprint of the house can become one room. The different levels of the interior are accessible via ladders that are minimal and transparent. I like how fluid the layout is. Every room, aside from kitchen and bathroom, is interchangeable and can be used as the mood or necessity dictates. Designers elaborate: Although Idokoro is merely somewhat ambiguous, it produces various scenes. Idokoro also brings various expression and sense of distance to space. Another interesting element is the combination of different wooden textures. Artfully alternated and put against the white backdrop of the walls, they create perspective and warmth. These wooden frames also pay stylistic homage to traditional Japanese architecture.
+node is a home located in the Hiroshima Prefecture of Japan. Designed by UID Architects, +node creates a place where the natural world and the man-made world seamlessly intersect. The timber clad building is composed of two rectangular forms, one for support and one which extends beyond the hillside to form a spectacular cantilever. The cantilever hovers high above the forest floor and features a partially open floor, allowing trees to grow up into the home. The main floor contains the living area, study, and outdoor space, while the bedrooms are located on the lower story. I love how this structure utilizes smart design elements to improve the convergence of building and environment. The wooden facade and cantilever allow the home to feel as if it is a part of the terrain, rather than fighting against it.