Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture”

Lebanon-based architect Paul Kaloustian took advantage of the height a dense pine tree forest offers, and opted to invert the thumb-rule of broad and horizontal modernism. Designing a residential house infused with a courageous vertical visual identity; often found in museums and university campuses. Taking concrete and applying an interesting curve was vital to inject an unusual shadow play and amplitude of the surrounding woods into the domestic area, such a manoeuvre is often let in the sole hands of wide glass façades. Kaloustian sets this project apart, daring to narrow each room and let the focus be the height feature and achieve an unexpected sense of openness considering the size of each area. Two extra elements are worthy of mention: the interior design selection with raw wood material and an explicit minimalist intention; as well as the very competent and alluring photography of said project, it is an achievement in itself as well. A clear example of what contemporary architecture can achieve deconstructing old-school modernism with maturity and an authentic visual statement.


Israeli architecture studio Pitsou Kedem continue to impress with this 700mq family home completed in 2014. The White Gallery House is a private residence situated in a white box with large windows as decorative elements and a large open space that seems a lot like an art gallery. Vertical lines open like geometric slashes connecting the house to its surroundings, to the garden and to the long and narrow swimming pool that stems from inside the house. The openings make it possible to look out into the surrounding environment if you are inside, or look into the house if you are outside. They allow natural light to penetrate the structure or artificial lighting to seep out into the surroundings during the hours of darkness. These vertical openings also serve as a reminder of a modern stilt house when you see them from the outside through the surrounding trees. Photography courtesy of Pitsou Kedem.


Prazeres, or Pleasures, rests on an unassuming street in the Alcântara district of Portugal. From the exterior, this home looks very similar to its traditionally designed neighbors. On the interior, however, José Adrião Arquitectos transformed the home into a bright and airy paradise. For many years this building was allowed to fall into disrepair. When renovations began its interior was in danger of collapsing, forcing the architects to replace the floors with three slabs of concrete. The new floors divide the building into two main areas: a functional core, for utilities and bathrooms, and open space for the living areas. One of my favorite features of Prazeres is the rooftop terrace. This space is smartly designed as an extension of the interior living spaces, forming a casual environment that can be used all year long. Overall, Prazeres is a gorgeous renovated structure that any family would be happy to call home. Photography by Fernando Guerra FG + SG.


New House is situated on a street of traditional row homes in Hampstead, London. Designed by London based firm Guard Tillman Pollock, this modern white home focuses on privacy and clean lines. The front façade projects slightly out towards the street and is wrapped with sheer white fabric. This fabric conceals the home from the busy street while flooding the interior with filtered natural light. The boxy composition of the exterior continues inside. Monotone walls and beams are stitched together to form the various rooms. The floor plan has an open, airy quality due to double height spaces and a plethora of large windows and skylights. The white and gray palette is the perfect backdrop for the simple mid-century furnishings. I love how this unique home both stands out and blends in with its Victorian neighbors. The size and scale of New House is consistent with the other structures on its street, yet within these boundaries a truly creative and beautiful home emerged.


Austrian firm Innauer-Matt Architekten designed Haus Für Julia Und Björn on a woody plot in Egg, Austria. The site is narrow and set on a slight hill with an idyllic view of a small village. The ground floor entrance opens up to the living room, a space which spans the whole first floor of the building. The open floor plan allows for a continuous flow of family activities: cooking, dining, and living. The bedrooms and study are located above and make use of the unique spaces created by the steeply sloped roof. Throughout the home, cut-outs in walls provide nooks for sitting areas or study spaces. The interior makes use of a few carefully chosen materials. Local spruce wall panels and flooring give the rooms a light and cosy feel while connecting the home with the natural environment. Light gray walls and big windows intersect with the exposed wood. Accents of black and white bring a clean and modern look to each room. The facade is covered with a wooden lattice structure. This structure offers weather protection as well as an interesting aesthetic. I love the way this house plays with the traditional home archetype. From afar it looks conventional, but up close it is a the...


It’s only natural to encounter visual variations of what can be considered a minimalist project. Loft Kolasinski, a Polish interior design firm, rebuilt and furnished a Berlin House showcasing local flavours and remixing restored pieces. Each room presents a particular dynamic and, in this case, the minimalism isn’t about absence, it’s about fundamental elements for daily routine. The furniture takes on the protagonist role for each area, showcasing beautiful wood textures and terrific industrial design. The pieces are slender and flourish-free, resulting in clean lines and infusing lightness to a heavy material. A careful selection was made for the lamps and chandeliers, each room boasting these proudly as supporting acts that battle for your attention. Last but not least, the tour de force is the grey bathroom flawlessly composed with modern lines, breaking the white colour dominance. The only extra step, that goes beyond the norm, is the Polish pottery collection from the 1950-60’s, conveying an untreated touch. It is a very difficult balance to achieve for a project to preserve a clear minimalist sensibility, and not give in to the usual ‘empty space’ motif. This is a clear example of what minimalism can be championing local rudiments. Photography by...


A Wallpaper* Design Award 2015 winner for Best Brand Extension, the Vipp Shelter is a minimalist prefabricated house designed by Danish design company Vipp. This monochromatic 55m2 structure is designed to be placed in the natural setting of your choice. Furniture, appliances, lighting, tableware and towels have already been picked out and will be waiting for you on your first arrival, six months after you place your order. It contains a large kitchen with a dining and living area, a hall, separate bathroom and a stunning loft space. Morten Bo Jensen, Vipp’s chief designer, explains: We see the house as a product (such as a caravan, yacht, private jet, etc.) and not as a piece of architecture — hence the name “shelter”. The design is completely fixed and everything down to the smallest detail is designed in advance. 75 years of experience with steel processing is used to craft this prefabricated object designed to perfection. The only choice left to the customer is where to place it. So it is neither a house nor a mobile home. Rather it is a spacious, functional, and liveable industrial object. Amazing. Photography courtesy of Vipp.


This modern, monochromatic home in Copenhagen was designed by Sofie and Frank Christensen Egelund of the design brand Vipp. The townhouse was built in 1898 and renovated by the Egelunds several years ago. Five narrow levels hold enough living space for the couple and their four children. The neutral palette and classic furniture pieces tie each level together; every room is brimming with the Egelunds’ elegant design choices. Creative uses of lighting and texture allow the monochromatic spaces to feel dynamic instead of stark. Each furniture and decor piece was carefully chosen to match the home’s Scandinavian style. Custom shelving and built-in storage keep the large family neat and organized. Copenhagen Townhouse manages sleek minimalism with loads of personality.


Pearl Bay Residence was designed by Gavin Maddock Design Studio as a holiday home which the client would eventually retire to. Located in Yzerfontein, 90km from Cape Town, South Africa, it is surrounded by the magnificent landscape of ocean views and coastal dunes. Every single experience within the residence has a view out of the expansive landscape like art that breathes within the living spaces. The operable walls of windows allow an uninterrupted transition between interior and exterior, allowing the landscape to be unavoidable at every level. Structural columns strategically placed to allow the spans of up to 14 meters while over 3 meter ceiling heights create the truly uninhibited experience of being connected to the environment. In the minimalist language of the architecture, small nuances of Mediterranean vernacular details coexist seamlessly with the modern, purist materials of white walls, concrete and wood. Though it was realised on a limited budget, the result is a breathtaking, luxurious habitat where the minimal architecture lets the views take over. Photography by Adam Letch.


Casa Balint is an elegant white home located adjacent to a golf course outside of Valencia, Spain. Designed by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, this unique home is formed of one sweeping elliptical motion. This form extrudes and intrudes at key moments to create space for rooms and windows. The arched roof, cantilevered at certain points, is supported by four concrete posts. The roof dictates where shadows hit the home, providing light and shade where needed. This shape serves practical functions in addition to its aesthetic value. The elliptical allowed the structure to take up minimal space on the site, minimizing the disturbance of the surrounding landscape. The interior features three floors. On the ground floor, the kitchen and living spaces have large windows that look out on to the garden. The bedrooms are located in the more private spaces upstairs, while an underground area provides additional living and patio space. In the backyard, a curved pool mimics the shape of the house. Casa Balint embodies the notion of architecture as an art form. This home is so much more than a functional living space; it is a true work of art.


Located in Savion, an exclusive residential area of Tel Aviv, is The Corten House, designed by the architectural studio Pitsou Kedem. In this beautiful house the concrete alternates with Cor-Ten and plays with open and closed spaces, with lights and shadows through a design made of contrasts wisely balanced. Outside, the concrete is predominant and the robust walls seem to emerge to protect the airy internal areas shaped by the textures of Cor-Ten capable of filtering the external light on the wide openings. Two floors of regular lines where the use of brown woods is dominant and gives warmth to the interior. On the ground floor, the living rooms are bright and spacious, while on the second floor one can admire the bedrooms, walk-in closet and bathroom. The double height is dominated by a long internal balcony at the upper floor. On the ground floor there is no continuity between the living area and the courtyards that lead to the garden dotted with well-positioned plants and, considering the hot weather of this area, with a rectangular swimming pool perfectly aligned to the building. Natural light and wide spaces are the elements of a design that invites one to experience the...


Within Tokyo’s dense urban fabric, residences often face the challenge of getting enough light, privacy and usable interior spaces to live in. Wiel Arets Architects has completed a house in the neighborhood of Nishi-Azabu that is designed with these considerations in mind. The A’ House is clad with textured glazed panels that gently reflect the life and movements of the narrow residential street it is located on. Yet the beauty is in its double-layer glazed windows made of a transparent layer and the same textured panels that match the rest of the exterior. These windows allow the residents to slide between the transparent and translucent, adjusting their privacy as needed while getting sufficient light inside. On the exterior, the uniformity of the façade is interrupted by the extended frame tracks of the windows so the views can be expanded to the maximum length, enabling an uninhibited view to the outside. The interiors are finished with mostly concrete in minimal details, from the bedrooms to the kitchen and livings spaces, while the warped surfaces and corners provide some relief in the architecture in a language that ties itself to the exterior. The concrete also reflects the light, so the spaces seem...