Introducing Catskill Mountain House in Catskill Mountains, New York by Audrey Matlock. Built based on simple forms and applying fluidity within spaces, the home becomes a retreat where architecture and nature become one. Some of the interesting architectural features are the white framework and a large cast concrete wall that protects the terrace, pool, and outdoor fireplace from a rocky slope. Full height windows allow for maximum light and expanding views of the Catskill Mountains. Interiors consists mostly of a monochromatic palette of black, white, and gray with the addition of blue and green coming in from the outside in a form of skies and nature. It would be difficult to compete with such beautiful views, don’t you think? Other features include heated and polished concrete floors, slate accent walls and ebony stained ash cabinetry.
Colorado based design studio Berger & Föhr practice cohesive visual communication characterized by modernism, minimalism and objectivity. Recently they launched Recher, world’s first gesture based calculator. Math is beautiful. Arithmetic is simple. Rechner is both. Rechner has gestural functions for +, -, = and clear. There is a hidden actions drawer for x, ÷, ±, √, % and erase. I love the concept but I can imagine that it will take a while before one is used to the gestures. Rechner is now available on the AppStore.
Cavo Tagoo hotel is located in Mykonos Island in Greece and it is owned by an award-winning architect Paris Liakos. Cavo Tagoo strives to be “a canvas upon which visitors can color their dreams” and it has deservedly gained its 5-star status through minimal and sophisticated design. A sense of craft and luxury is visible in all areas of the hotel while the water is still very much the setting element that embraces the hotel. Other defining materials are pebbles that cover the roofs, wood, stone, and bamboo. The interiors are wrapped in washes of white with bold splashes of colors, gold in the lobby being my favorite. Paris Liakos collaborated with Aggelos Aggelopoulos, Yannis Mourikis and George Gavalas and as a result, the hotel is a “masterful combination of traditional rustic elements with modern minimalist purity.” I am a big fan of hospitality design and admire Cavo Tagoo’s essence of calming environment and curated design decisions.
We are going to Hollywood Hills today, visiting home built in 2008 by XTEN Architecture. As always I particularly love the integration of architecture into the landscape while opening it to the city below. There is a lot to notice but let’s have a closer look at the materiality throughout: steel beams, glass in various renditions (such as fixed clear plate panels, mirror plate walls, light gray mirror glass panels), dry stacked granite (fireplace), charcoal concrete (cantilevered stair), floor to ceiling rift oak panels, dark stucco, cut pebble (flooring). The repetition of building elements deepens the continuity of space but with the right amount of interest, don’t you think? The house opens on every side “to capture the prevailing breezes to passively ventilate and cool the house” and I can easily see myself spending warm Californian afternoon here.
Vincent Van Duysen is a Belgium architect whose work I’ve been drawn to for quite a while. It was almost too difficult to select only one of his projects to be featured here today and therefore here is a selection of my favorite spaces he designed. The use of singular element, frequently in a large scale, typically either defines the interiors or directs viewers’ attention to that particular element. I’m a big fan of the beautiful white space, panelled walls and strong geometrical shapes re-appearing in his designs. Hope you enjoy.
Matthias Schade was born in 1984 in Berlin, Germany. His latest work is a series of photographs named (un)defined spaces – an investigation of urban space. An investigation of our living environment. Schade explains the concept behind the series: Contrary to the daily natural perception of urban space, my artworks of the (un)defined space series offer a directed and focused view on our surroundings. They invite the beholder to critically and consciously face its environment. It is not about a mere documentation of our environment but rather the chance to question things and to create new experiences. The young artist has been shortlisted for the Celeste Prize 2011 within the photo, digital graphics category back in November 2011. I love these very minimal and undefined photographs.
The Minimalissimo team would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas. We appreciate all the comments and discussions had on here and look forward to many more in the future. Enjoy the festivities and food with family and friends. Overindulge. It’s allowed. - Carl, Stan, Benoit, Natalia, Anna, Marina, Jorge and Niels-Peter The elegantly minimal festive photograph was sent in by designer Michelle Wentworth over at Mo+Mo Living. Thanks, Michelle!
Birillo by Alessi, is the ultimate no-mess bathroom set. It is made up of 10 minimally designed bathroom accoutrements assembled out of imperfect squares and wrong circles, according to the designer, Piero Lissoni. And while they are clearly designed to camouflage themselves, items like the soap dish can’t help but stand out as particularly pleasing forms. Great minimal design.
Continuing his research into the meaning and use of colour in objects, Sebastian Bergne has made a small studio edition of a contemporary Colour Nativity set. Each of the characters is a minimal wooden block that is recognisable by it’s colour, proportion and place in the composition. Bergne says: The project makes use of our learned experience from exposure to thousands of images, toys and christmas cards over the years. The hand made and painted beech wooden blocks are stored in a box that completes its character as a toy set with a difference.This signed and numbered studio edition of 6 sets are available only through Sebastian Bergne website.
Before writing about the readers suggestions made on my last post about minimalist music, I would like to share that after writing that post, I realized that one of my favorite artists has many minimalist songs. I am talking about Moby, a musician, DJ and photographer based in New York. Throughout his career, he has played several genres with many different influences, but always maintaining a focus on electronic music. I do not think he can be considered a minimalist musician, but he has always had minimalist songs on his albums. Hymn is a perfect example of this, from the 1995 fantastic album Everything is wrong. I just love this song, it is pure passion and feeling for me.
Designed by Benjamin Graindorge, in association with Paris based Design Gallery YMER&MALTA, betweenShadows is a minimalist and very poetic alcove. A piece of art produced in only 8 pieces signed and numbered. I love when art meets design. Graindorge says: An alcove made for day-dreaming, covered in a veritable ceramic bisque skin, betweenShadows places us in an in-between world on the line between the profane and the sacred; where shadow comes from light, where they reveal one another. The space where fire comes to life. Light doesn’t just sparkle; it can also be calm and profound. I like to think that this shadow object lights up our inner life, a space that is too fragile to take too much brightness. Benjamin Graindorge was selected two years in a row for the Design Parade festival and won the Cinna and Audi Talents Awards in the design category.
We have written very little about minimalist music on this blog and I did not even know what the definition of minimalist music was really. So I was looking for some information about it and I think this is a fairly good definition: Music created with limited resources, the same notes and sound sequences repeated over and over again but end up creating a structure. On the other hand, I found that one of the most important figures of minimalist music is Philip Glass. He has not been the pionner of the style but is considered the most influential musican of it. He is a prolific composer who has also written operas, musical theatre works, solo works and film scores, for example. I would like to start by recommending the Piano Solo album, from which the song Metamorphosis Two was featured on, performed by Branka Parlic, because the feeling of the entire album has caught me from the first moment I listened to it. I hope you like it and I will appreciate your comments about it and suggestions for future posts about minimalist music.