Here are some examples of minimalist works
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said that “perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. This is how minimalist architects think, that the perfect work or design is reduced to the minimal, the essence.
“Less is more” was the way Van der Rohe defined minimalism, a philosophy that not only is present in architecture, but also in design and every art in general. It was in 1929 when this architectural style really started, when the father of minimalism worked on the Barcelona Pavilion for the International Exposition. This building is considered one of the four great works of the modern architecture, with the villa Saboya by Le Corbusier, the Fallingwater House by Wright and the Bauhaus building by Gropius. The Barcelona Pavilion offered a new way to understand contemporary architecture: open spaces and the reduction of boundaries between the inside and outside. It is known for its simple form and its spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as travertine, red onyx and marble. When the exposition was over, the pavilion was closed for many years, until it was reconstructed by some spanish architects between 1983 and 1986. They used the same materials, to honour the original work from van der Rohe.
Minimalist style has been influenced by van der Rohe, but it has taken over in the last years, being present in a lot of modern houses. Its popularity is increasing more and more, as we can see every year new public buildings of private residences inspired by minimalism, including the interior design.
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Jumex Museum, by David Chipperfield
There isn’t a unique style in minimalism, as we can find different architectural studies, authors and trends inside minimalism. Every single building has his own style, even though it is inspired in so many different schools or styles. Anyway, David Chipperfield is considered a minimalist architect, with an specific kind, called conscious minimalism. This british architect studied with personalities such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, and he is known for works like the AM Gallery Kupfergraben in Berlin, or the “Veles e Vents”, built for the American Cup in Valencia. Furthermore, he has written the book “Theoretical Practice”, where he explains his own vision, as he sees architecture as a mainly intellectual activity. In opposition with some other architects of his generation, such as Moneo or Siza, Chipperfield’s minimalism is a transformation of modern language, without local or expressionist references.
One of his most important works is the Jumex Museum, in the financial center of Mexico DF. It is a plain and compact block of light travertine, with a saw-tooth crest on top and any other kind of ornaments. Open spaces, functionality and minimalism is what you can find when you visit it.
City Villa S3, by the architectural study Steimle, in Germany
S3 City Villa is located in Tübingen, Germany, in the surroundings of the city, where there is space for trees and vegetation. This house has been designed by Steimle Achitekten, a prestigious study of Stuttgart. The minimalist facade is easily observed at the very beginning, a white and absolutely unornamental facade gives contrast with the green grass of the outside. The main materials used for this building are polished concrete and anodized aluminum panels, but thanks to the big window in the south part of the house, from the inside one can enjoy the beautiful sightseeing of the Swabian Alb hillside.
In the minimalst interior design we can find monochrome and sober spaces. The main colors are beige and white, to make the light shine even more, specially natural light from the outside. Minimalism is also present in interior materials, such as wood, metal, glass or leather. The inside and outside are more connected thanks to the large window, that makes the interior atmosphere more natural and beautiful.
The city Villa 3 takes part of its temperature from the outside, thanks to the natural light, that gives a better termic sensation, specially in winter. Details as this contribute to a more economic use of resources, something very typical of minimalism.