G house, a stunning minimalist private residence nestled in Afeka, northwest of Tel Aviv, is the result of the collaboration of Axelrod Architects and Pitsou Kedem Architects whose work may already be familiar among our readers. Their masterful attention to detail reveals itself in the frameless, flushed architecture. The intersecting beams, columns and planes of this project deliver the sunlight in an almost abstract way, penetrating the volumes and reflecting across the glass and walls on the inside. The roof floats over and cantilevers over the structure, providing much needed shade for this home. My favorite part of this project is the narrow, vertical stairwell, the ‘slice’, that faces the street not only serves as egress, but emphasizes the dramatic volume of the interior with the massive height and extensive use of glazing . The back of the house now has a clever way of letting light in. As the architects describe it: The ‘slice’, containing stairs to all floors, is punctuated by a linear skylight and a ribbon window that dramatically illuminates the stairwell. The result is a spectacularly unifying element in what would have simply been the backside of the building. Photography by Amit Geron.
Cereal Magazine and Protein have recently launched Forest, a project to collect and curate woodland photography from around the world, creating a gallery of imagery filled with serene textures, moods and light. Both parties invited their readers to submit photos with a forest theme to be considered for inclusion in an exhibition that will take place at the end of September 2013 at 18 Hewett Street, Protein’s London Gallery space. The chosen images will be published as a photo essay in Cereal Volume 4, and prints of the final photography will be sold on the night of the event, with all proceeds being donated to the International Tree Foundation.
And so Fashion Month has just begun with its start in New York City. When talk about minimalism in fashion, one can’t help but think of Helmut Lang and his legacy. Although the designer departed from the house in 2005, the new duo of Nicole and Michael Colovos makes sure that the same aesthetics are still carried throughout. For Spring Summer 2014, the conversation of the garments seems to be Hello sports, please meet minimalism. The collection was shown with a strong number of black and white pieces, all slouchy and much less structural from their previous collection. The monochromic show was broken by sheer fuchsia dresses, with prints that reminisce of Piet Mondrian, held up with only two thin straps. In a way, that fragility gives an elegance to a much less formal vibe. Comfortability was what the Colovos strived for and that can be seen apparently from the start to the end. Helmut Lang S/S14 sets up a strong promise for the upcoming fashion weeks and I’m excited for that. Photo Courtesy of Style.com.
This beauty salon is located on a busy 6-lane street of Osaka, surrounded by the hectic life of the megalopolis. 10 years after opening of the place, the owner decided to embark on a remodel and bring the appearance in sync with the business’ aesthetic identity. Architect Tsubasa Iwahashi was hired to make this transition happen. On March 30, 2013 the salon was reopened with the new minimalist look. The wide entrance allows to see the serene interior, offering a beautiful combination of white with light wood elements. The space is divided in three areas – reception, styling and a hidden section for beauty procedures. The austerity of the overall design reflects the owner’s philosophy. It also cleverly distinguishes the building among its surroundings.
City Rain designed by 25togo Design is the ultimate combination of androgynous minimalism. The fusing of glass and concrete materiality make for an texturally interesting drinking experience. Made as a labor of love, City Rain is manufactured through the process of mixing the right amount of concrete, and painstakingly hancrafting the set. Taiwan-based 25togo Design studio have this item available through their website. The intention of their site is to turn exceptional ideas into functional everyday objects. City Rain is an exceptional example of this clear passion. They introduce products that tell stories or a fresh point of view by creating them as a designer as well and through selling them online. Practical, beautifully executed and texturally interesting, City Rain is commanding of a designer audience. I like this piece a lot.
Recently I have been on a search for a beautiful new minimal backpack to serve my everyday needs, but at a reasonable price. A search that is not as easy as you may think. Of course, I have come across many bag designs over the years, many of which however, have been discontinued. Just yesterday, I discovered Derbyshire based accessories brand, C6. Their range of accessories includes this beautiful and protective minimal backpack, ideal for laptops and various tablets. Available in two sizes; Large (37cm x 50cm x 25cm) and Small (32cm x 45cm x 25cm), the backpack is also available in two colours; Black and Olive. The large black version is particularly appealing and currently tops my wish-list. Further backpack suggestions are always welcome.
The Australian label Bassike is well known for their structured collections that emulate both minimalism as well as the carefree attitude of beach living. In their Spring Summer 2013 Women’s Campaign, each piece appears well tailored while looking relaxed; chic in the minimal palette and elegant in forms and material. Reputed for using high quality in material and an emphasis on local production, Deborah Sams and Mary-Lou Ryan, the duo behind the label, always design with comfort in mind for both sexes: The beauty of bassike is its appeal to men and women whose easy-going style still requires an element of subtle luxury. Bassike’s very specific aesthetic is influenced by the contrasts of loose australian beach style and the integrity and simplicity of japanese design. Draw-string and dropped-crotch pants have not looked any more stylish on women with Birkenstock sandals. This collection Bassike has taken relaxed luxury to another level.
Sackler Crossing is another wonderfull project by John Pawson, the minimalist architect who has been featured a number of times here on Minimalissimo recently. Located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in southwest London, it was developed as part of a new route and won the RIBA National Award in 2008. Pawson writes: Set low to the surface of the lake, its serpentine form seems to float across the water, allowing people to experience the surrounding landscape from new vantage points. The walkway is fabricated in only two visible materials, each chosen for their hardwearing qualities. The deck is formed of granite treads, laid like railway sleepers between bronze uprights that serve as a balustrade. There is not much more to add, as this just a great example of simplicity and elegance.
The 7 Möbelstücke collection is an inspiring collaboration between a designer, Herbert Schultes, and a craftsman, Friedrich Reich. Both men had the intent to explore new ways to produce wooden objects, furniture pieces, using modern production methods, but taking mass production out of the equation. In their quest they focused on what was essential to the sitting experience of a chair and stripped back the other elements. The result is a minimalist, pretty basic, collection that consists of a chair, two stools, two tables a desk and a bread case made of European maple, American maple and oak. Frank furniture pieces made with attention for detail. Have a look at how the wood pieces run into each other, the bevel joints, etc. All furniture pieces are produced on request and can be purchased directly through Herbert Schultes Design.
This chic laconic bag has been created by London based designer Katharina Eisenkoeck. The piece is crafted from high quality leather and intended for your laptop and not much else. Here is how designer explains her vision: It is hard to find well-made, simple, and non-fussy bags without the usual extra pockets and gold or silver additions. Hence the laptop bag was designed against the movement toward excessive decoration. The challenge of determining the simplest solution possible was playing a major role in this project. It was crucial to create a minimalist and functional shell through sharp lines, a subtle colour, and smart proportions. I love the versatility of the piece – you can use it as a backpack or a tote. The shade and thinness of the bag resembles a simple manila folder, which adds to its understated beauty.
House K may look small from the street, but this intelligent design is large enough to house two families. With a maximum width of a mere seven feet, House K stretches into the sky to create additional square footage. Designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects, this home achieves a comfortable living space by utilizing towers and space-saving staircases. Two thirty foot towers are connected by a central hall. Each tower holds the living areas for one family, allowing for privacy as well as connectivity. I appreciate this housing concept: two distinct but coupled spaces allow for an extended family to live in sync. The combination of wood and concrete is also lovely: the wood evokes the memory of traditional Japanese homes, while the concrete is distinctly modern. House K’s thoughtful design is a solution I hope we can see more of in multi-family housing.
Math done simply. Designed in the Swiss style, Sumhold is a calculator that instantly calculates and stores numbers with a fiercely reductive interface and simple swipe gesture. This is the result of a beautifully developed iPhone app by Chad Voss, an independent interaction designer from Seattle. Sumhold, featuring an attractive minimalist design, makes complex calculations and number storage simple. Sumhold is made for those everyday calculations (e.g. groceries and budgets) when you need to do simple arithmetic while keeping track of previous calculations and results. Unlike most basic calculators, Sumhold keeps a running tally of your current calculation at the top and, when calculations become complex, automatically inserts parentheses to keep everything clearly readable. There is no need for an “=” button because it calculates as you type. When a calculation is complete and you need to store the result for later, you simply drag it down toward the keypad into Sumhold’s scratch-line to make a temporary button. Having downloaded this app myself, I must say that it is a joy to use. Incredibly simple both in aesthetic and function. Currently available on the iTunes store.