Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture & Interior 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.


Cardal Holiday House is a striking home built into the hilltop in Bemposta, Portugal. Designed by Cannatà & Fernandes, this building is defined by contrast. The upper and lower level are opposites in color, structure, and material. The lower level is a smooth expanse of concrete that juts out from the hillside. The second story is a light and airy form that appears to float stop the concrete which supports it. A parking garage and small garden are located on the ground floor. The main living areas are contained on the upper level, accessed by a dramatic staircase at the entrance. Cardal Holiday House is a gorgeous pairing of opposites.  The different forms and materials come together seamlessly and blend perfectly with the surrounding environment.


The unique challenge of designing on a site with a 300 year old Beech tree was something Govaert-Vanhoutte Architects were up for. Their style, reminiscent of Mies Van Der Rohe’s post-war modern minimalism with the use of glass and its transparency, seems perfect to bring the experience of the landscape, the context and its history into this hotel with 4 suites in Diksmuide, Belgium. To prevent as little disruption as possible to the 300 year old monument and its landscape, Hotel Notarishuys was erected 50cm recessed from the ground level. The minimalist architecture allows the exterior to become part of the interior, and the building disappears in its understated demeanor around the tree. As described by the architects: The presence of the building is reduced and merely defines spaces in terms of: in and out, in front of a wall, between a wall and glass, on one side of the inner (outer) space or the other, etc. As an extension of an existing restaurant, I love the idea that this hotel manages to maintain its privacy without being secluded. The concrete interiors and homogenous colors of the suites create a calm, reflective presence to be under the Beech tree without being...


100m3 is a Madrid apartment, created by studio MYCC. This urban dwelling is minimal, both aesthetically and spatially. The narrow pad is only 21 square meters in footprint, so designers had to explore vertical space and build several levels, creating a non-linear path. All functional zones are connected and open to view, even the bathroom is within sight. This openness contributes to the illusion of a much more generous size. The all-white colour choice is another smart way to visually expand the interior. I love the flexibility of each room. The bed slides underneath the living zone, the office on top turns into a lounge area. Every segment doubles in function, creating more ways to experience this small space. Watch the animation, showing how the apartment functions in different social situations.


Named for the river it sits above in Austria, Schanerloch Bridge takes a functional structure and transforms it into pure sculpture. Designed by marte.marte Architects, the bridge is a simplified version of a traditional stone arch bridge. The arch has been used in bridge making for centuries due to its structural abilities. This  design uses the basic engineering of the arch but in a modern, graceful form. I love the subtle elegance of this design. When driving on the bridge the unique silhouette is hardly noticeable, but when viewed from the river the twisted form is dramatic and full of motion. The reinforced concrete structure is the perfect compliment to the picturesque river.


All four walls of the Light Walls House in Aichi, Japan are nearly void of windows. Yet the interior of this home is surprisingly bright. Natural light pours down from strategically placed skylights in the exposed wooden beam ceiling. Designed by mA-style Architects, the shady site made introducing sunlight into the home quite difficult. The well-designed skylights distribute and direct the light throughout the structure. Lovely light patterns are formed on the floors and walls, creating natural artwork that changes throughout the day. Freestanding white boxes, accessible only by ladder, form private spaces above the ground floor. Light Walls House solves a common problem with a beautiful solution. I love the how all the elements in this home work together to enhance the natural light. The hidden rooms and built in furnishings allow the home to maintain a sleek, pulled-together aesthetic.


JR Loft is a project located in Brussels, Belgium and was awarded to Nicolas Schuybroek Architects with no specific design architectural qualities in the brief to start with.  The original site was a former carpenters’ workshop separated from the adjacent neighbors by a very high separation wall. After obtaining permission to demolish half of the separation wall, the architect took the opportunity to design an extremely large steel framed window over both floors to maximize the amount of light let into the loft. It is the architect’s detailing of the interiors that make this such a beautiful project. The architecture of the loft is expressed within the clean lines of the polished concrete, Carrera marble and reclaimed oak, and the datum of the joints within the materials delicately highlights the contrast  of their textures and surfaces – the wood cabinets vs the marble backsplash; the black steel framed shower wall vs the thin edges of the square white tiles etc. Noted by French magazine Architectural Digest in the 2013 Collector Issue as one of the 100 best interior designers,  Nicolas Schuybroek had decorated the loft with furniture from Jean Prouvé to Pierre Jeanneret, adding a little mid-century personality to this minimalist loft. Additional...


The White Retreat is a seaside apartment with a nearly all white interior. Located in the beach town of Sitges, Spain, the client wanted a bright white space which would highlight a few favorite art and furniture pieces. The combination of a small space and small budget called for a simple and efficient design. Colombo and Serboli Architecture divided the space into three areas: the bathroom, bed/living room, and terrace. White doors hide the kitchen, bathroom, and closets. Oversized windows flood the space with natural light. There are so many elegant design choices in this small apartment. The white resin floor, bathroom tiles, and folding doors all help achieve a uniformity that is still visually exciting. The dedication to white here is impressive: even the plumbing fixtures are matte white! The White Retreat is the perfect space for quiet and creative living.


Jay Atherton Architect’s Meadowbrook Residence was initially inspired by fluctuating seasons of light. Situated in Phoenix, Arizona abounded by an undemanding audience, the architectural formwork is an overt abstraction; yet consciously unspoiled and quiet. Despite the employment of natural materials and local stone, the building itself sits framed by its surroundings, as well as resting respectfully amongst it. The Meadowbrook Residence, completed in 2008, stands much akin to a light box in a landscaped setting. It is organized around three main sculptural rooms, and each receives light differently through the day and year. At night, it is a seamless lantern where the contrasting finishes and textures stand to highlight and emphasize one another. The junctions between the series of uninterrupted planes throughout are finished beautifully and celebrate minimalist principles. Jay Atherton Architects are to be commended for this work and for their dedication to the firmness of discipline. Photography courtesy of Bill Timmerman.


With its breathtaking location directly facing Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains, this New Concrete House by Wespi de Meuron Architects protrudes stoically on a steep slope while connecting itself to existing and new construction on the same site. The minimalist design in concrete, while simulating the color of natural rock, reflects an organic presence back to the landscape while its volumetric openness exposes the warm oak finish of the millwork and furniture to the exterior. Sunlight pours through these seamless connections of volumes, blurring the lines of where the exterior starts and interior ends. The architect’s implementation of the continuous use of concrete to highlight different experiences within the house is what I love about this project, to say the least. The direction of the concrete slab towards the picture window subtly orients your eye towards the framed landscape while the concrete floor catches the gleaming sunlight and reflects it back up into the space. The calmness of that experience with the view of the mountains and the lake could be considered a cliche by some, yet it is a summer getaway desired by most. Photography by Hannes Henz


Migliari House is an impressive arrangement of white forms loacted in a suburban area of Brazil. Designed by Domo Arquitetos, the structure consists of several boxy forms, each of which contains a different space organized by function. The living spaces are separated by interior walls that feature cutouts, light wells, and large openings instead of traditional doors. The bedrooms are grouped together in the east wing of the home. The linear grouping of the bedrooms represents family union. The exterior is largely closed off from the street, allowing for an introverted space that emphasizes domestic life. The back of the home, however, features sliding glass doors that embrace the tranquil outdoors. I’m captivated by the concept of this home. I love how the different masses interact: their intersection creates exciting shapes and shadows. The division of space by individual forms is a logical and beautiful design for a family home.


Stein van Rossem’s London Tower Apartment in Antwerp is a deliberate and beautiful fusion of contrast. Comprised of rarely specified dark-coloured fixtures with a white-based palette, this apartment is sharp. The materiality and clean lines of the form work create clearly defined surfaces, spatial arrangements and flanking architectural moments. Brussels-based and with a completed portfolio of works throughout Europe, the Stein van Rossem studio is one of a consistent and strong minimalist authority. Although their work displays an obvious controlled restraint, there exists a delicateness to the connections and junctions between materials. There exists an almost obsessive thoughtfulness, which is by no means unappreciated. This London Tower Apartment is a beautiful muse for minimalism and pragmatism combining.