Minimalissimo


Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”

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.


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.