A little over six months ago my wife and I made a very conscious choice to downsize my living space by moving from just under 2000 square feet of modern expanse into 1000 square feet of urban loft. I’m still getting use to the reduced footprint and the challenges that come with it. One thing I do know is, it requires a much more minimal lifestyle, and you use every inch of your space. There is no room for clutter, or things you don’t use. This is why I can appreciate the Kabbinet project from Septembre Architecture. This 85 square meter apartment (approximately 915 square feet) features smart built in furniture that functions as seating as well as storage.
The former manufacturing workshop in a Parisian alley uses the multifunctional wooden cabinetry to line the perimeter of the space opening up the central living area to create a sense of larger volume. High end finishes and a simple black and white color pallet help make the small space feel larger and exaggerate the feeling of luxury living in a small footprint.
This minimalist lighting design from Tokyo based designers Naoki Ono and Yuki Yamamoto from studio YOY shows a bit of whimsy while keeping things clean and unobtrusive. The fixture illuminates through a space that looks as though the wall has been peeled back at the corner. Fitting flat to the wall surface the lamp blends into its surroundings and creates an optical illusion at night. In a dark room the fixture could almost be treated as an architectural detail.
Ono and Yamamoto used OLED as the light source in order to get the fixture as thin as possible and still produce enough light to be a solid source of illumination. The fixture is also designed so that the cord travels down the corner channel of the wall joint. That it won’t stand out and the fixture disappears into the plane of the wall surfaces.
At a period in time when the average size of an American home is right around 3000 square feet, it’s nice to see other parts of the world still think modest. Or at least some architects still think modest. I’ve never understood the need for a massive house with tons of unneeded, unused, space. Modular 4 was just under 1500 square feet. My current loft is a mere 1000. That is one of the reasons I really like this modular glass home in New Zealand by Architect Chris Tate.
This house is not large. If you look at the photos and the schematic, I would say this space is between 1200 and 1500 square feet at most. The house feels huge though, thanks to the copious amounts of glazing that literally blend the dwelling into the surrounding forest. The interior and exterior spaces fold together where the structure is perched in the branches of the densely forested hills of Auckland’s suburb of Titirangi.
I like the small footprint of the home, but I love the clean minimal lines. The limited color pallet, and the fact that the structure forces the occupant to live with less. From every angle of the interior, you are surrounded by dense green foliage. The forest becomes an ever changing backdrop. Even the bedroom which is isolated at the opposite end of the main living area offers a panoramic view of the world outside. This is definitely a place that I could call home.
When it comes to furniture design, there really haven’t been that many game changers in the last twenty years. Nothing like we saw from the end of the 1940’s through the late 1960’s. Today’s materials, processes, and designs for the most part are based on something that was pioneered by designers from the past. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, but it is pretty rare when something really new happens in the world of furniture design these days. I think that is why I like “Synapse” from designer Andrew Perkins.
This might not be ground breaking, but the use of materials and the structural design of the chair impressed me. I love the fact that the chair is held together with two stainless steel components, which not only form the joints of the chair, but create a spring like cushion as well.
The chair has clean elegant lines. It’s stackable. the choice in materials is wonderful. Attention to detail and construction looks amazing. It might not be earth shattering in terms of new materials, or construction methods, but it is a breath of fresh air in a space that is flooded with spin offs on the same old, same old.
Structural comfort and thoughtful use of materials are at the heart of this piece. All the necessary joints of a chair are distilled into one component. The stainless steel component allows the chair to stack and provides a measure of spring to the user.