The beauty that is so obvious in this Parisian apartment is in the stark contrast of the use and proportion of the stone designed within a space that uses minimal details. P Apartment by Claudio Silvestrin Architects while resembling a monastery at first glance, is more like an art gallery when taken for a closer look. Every piece of furniture is custom designed by Claudio Silvestrin except for a Wegner Chair. From the 13m long cast bronze kitchen bar to the flushed mounted wall television, these architectural details have been beautifully positioned and installed. And every view from the penthouse apartment is intentionally designed to frame the amazing Paris skyline. Its contrast from the usual highly decorative Parisian architecture and from the busy city is perhaps a much welcomed escape. Photos by James Morris.
Categorized “Architecture & Interior design”
In January of this year was the inauguration of the new L’Óreal Academy in Barcelona. The project has been developed by the international architecture studio, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and it could not be more spectacular. The project is a tribute to beauty and to Barcelona. The main concept that inspired the project is the beauty and hair, a place for training, meeting and presentation of the latest industry tendencies. Each detail of the inauguration has been carefully considered and executed with precision. From the floor, the walls and the ceiling, featuring lamps inspired by hair, to the the collages and the furniture, all designed specifically for the occasion.
This unique structure in Tokyo is a smart renovation of a traditional Japanese home. Called simply Arrow, the renovation features a second floor living space accessed by a dramatic entrance staircase. The existing structure on the ground floor has been transformed into a photography studio. A unique skylight and floor-to-ceiling windows flood the home with soft, natural light. Designed by Apollo Architects & Associates, Arrow effectively achieves a work-life balance. It is rare to find peace and privacy in the dense neighborhoods of Tokyo, especially when the house must function as a home and studio. The division of program, window placement, and unique entrance create a structure that is as practical as it is beautiful.
This light-filled apartment in the Bialik area of Tel Aviv was refurbished by Italian-born and London-based Chiara Ferrari Studio. The open-plan arrangement and the expansive surfaces with no visible joints allows for the original concept of seamlessness desired by the designer. The high-ceilinged space was split and used to create flexible and functional niches, and there is also a glazed extension, providing the master bedroom and bathroom with beautiful natural lighting. Set within a historic building, the project used locally sourced materials, keeping the design true to its surroundings. Images courtesy of Chiara Ferrari Studio.
Speed down the highway in the town of Shimanto, Japan and you might miss the little house on the side of the road. And that is exactly what architects Keisuke Kawaguchi+K2-Design intended. The House of Shimanto is located next to a major roadway, but it doesn’t feel like it. The minimal design makes it barely visible from the road, deterring any curious drivers’ eyes. Three sides of the structure are designed as a barricade against the noise and views of the highway. The back of the house opens up to the environment with large windows and outdoor space. I love how the architects managed to provide a comfortable and livable home despite the challenges of the site. House of Shimanto provides creative solutions to big problems: it is quite simply a great design.
There have been a lot of attempts to revive the essence of what the design of the Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe stood for but none quite so relevant as the LM Guest House by Desai Chia Architecture. Located upstate New York, its biggest success is in its efficiency both in construction and in utilization. Radiant flooring, motorized solar shading, photovoltaic panels, and rainwater harvesting have been designed to support the minimalist warm wood aesthetic of the interiors. Unlike its predecessor, it has been designed to further emphasize the floating without the use of columns and cantilevering over a concrete foundation wall. And my fondness for this building, like most architecture, is in the construction details. The simple strategy of stopping the interior floors before it meets the glass walls makes the pictureque wall windows seem to go on forever, the only opportunity to feel like you are floating in that beautiful landscape. Photography by Paul Warchol.
The hugely impressive Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 in Kensington Gardens was designed by multi award-winning Japanese architect, Sou Fujimoto. It is a white lattice structure made up of 20 mm steel poles, occupying some 350 square-metres, and its feeling of lightness and transparency is incredible, based on the idea of a cloud. Fujimoto explains: For the 2013 Pavilion I proposed an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.
At first appearance, the Torre di Moravola may not appear to be a minimalist structure, or even a modern one. But step inside and you will be immersed in a contemporary dwelling like no other. An abandoned watchtower, the Torre di Moravola was steeped in Italian history and charm. Yet the structure was no where near safe and livable. Thus began a long and extensive renovation by partners Christopher Chong and Seonaid Mackenzie. The design seeks to maintain the beauty of the original tower while incorporating a modern aesthetic desirable in the luxury hotel market. What appears as a simple, clean design is actually a serious of complex interventions nine years in the making. Chong and Mackenzie’s thorough renovation turns a disregarded piece of history into a timeless attraction. I love the contrast of the modern materials against the original stone masonry. Torre di Moravola is an architectural marvel any traveler would be lucky to experience.
Located on a mountaintop in South Korea, and adjacent to an oak preserve, sits the Hansol Museum. After a tiring seven years of construction, this institution opened to the public this past May. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the Hansol Museum houses the private art collection of its namesake, the Hansol Group. The stone and concrete structure sits low to the ground on a large reflecting pool. The interior is constructed with concrete and contains simple light wells to lighten the stark passageways. The Hansol Museum is characteristic of Ando’s minimal, thoughtful design style. The building subtly incorporates the surrounding environment, allowing for a peaceful merging of architecture, art, and nature.
This house sits near the town Krumbach in the Austrian countryside. It was designed by Bernado Bader Architects who used locally sourced elm, spruce and fir in the construction. 60 trees were strategically used in the finishes, structure and even the furniture, a highlight of this efficient design project. The use of wood and concrete are not only efficient building materials, but they compliment each other visually in the architecture of this residence. The minimalist design take a step back while allowing for opportunities of the changing landscape to fill the interiors through the large windows and intersecting deck. The essence of the Austrian countryside vernacular architecture in terms of the proportion of the volume within and its connection to the expansive landscape makes this an incredibly desirable rural escape for the summer. Photography by Adolf Bereuter.
Cioccolato Bakery Boutique, located in Monterrey, is a wonderful project by the Mexican multi-disciplinary studio Savvy, where they successfully developed a rebranding, visual identity, stationery, packaging and interior design, for this pastry boutique specialised in custom deserts for special events. The colourful concept evokes cravings of sweet sugary treats, which is enhanced by the simple, white structure as a basis of the interior design, filling it with the products and their variety of vibrant colours to create a superb combination where the products themselves are the focus.
The S House is a single-storey holiday home in the South of France, recently completed by Belgian architect Nicolas Schuybroek. The building, located on the Côte d’Azur (more specifically in Cap d’ Antibes), is surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the Mediterranean. The austere, linear structure plays beautifully against the surrounding terrain. The large openings frame view of the sea and the pool, letting plenty of light into the inner space of the house. I love the use of the material in this project. Understated gray concrete changes shade and texture depending on a light. It also creates the feeling of serenity and depth, blending exterior and interior into a fluid architectural whole.