Windows serve multiple essential functions in any project, from framing views to providing daylight and natural ventilation. As human needs have shifted and technology has advanced significantly throughout the years, these have evolved in character, shape, and use of materials. What began as small arrow loops used for defense in medieval fortifications later transformed into wider openings that exemplified status and wealth. The Romans were the first to use glass, but it was considered a precious commodity for centuries. Intricate stained-glass panels adorned countless of medieval churches and cathedrals, while most home dwellers had to settle for covering their “windows” with wood, fur and other materials.
Minimalism: The Latest Architecture and News
A few weeks ago, this year’s edition of the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. Designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, it’s an evocative project, its cylindrical form referencing American beehive kilns, English bottle kilns, and Musgum adobe homes found in Cameroon.
What the pavilion is named tells the viewer a lot more about its intentions as a spatial experience. Titled Black Chapel, it houses a spacious room with wraparound benches, and an oculus above that allows daylight to filter into the space. It’s a fairly minimal interior – designed as a site for contemplation and reflection. This minimal quality of Gates’ Serpentine Pavilion raises particularly interesting questions. How artists and architects opt for a “less is more” approach when designing meditative spaces, but also how these introspective spaces have been equally enhanced by ornamentation.
Modernism could be described as one of the most optimistic styles in architectural history, drawing from notions of utopia, innovation, and the reimagination of how humans would live, work, and interact. As we reflected in our AD Essentials Guide to Modernism, the philosophy of Modernism still dominates much of architectural discourse today, even if the world that gave rise to Modernism has changed utterly.
As we say goodbye to 2019, a year that saw the centenary of the Bauhaus, we have collated a list of key architectural styles that defined Modernism in architecture. This tool for understanding the development of 20th-century design is complete with examples of each style, showcasing the practice of Modernism that lay behind the theory.
This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Click here to learn more about the annual event.
It took a few years and multiple failed career attempts for renowned minimalist designer John Pawson to truly enter the world of architecture. Though he’d cultivated an interest in design from a young age, he’d initially shied away due to his beliefs that he needed to be good at math and that design was an innate skill rather than something that could be taught.
On March 1, 1967, João Batista Vilanova Artigas, Brazilian modernist architect, proffered at the College of Architecture and Urbanism of Sao Paulo University an inaugural lesson that marks his return to the university after the exile imposed by the Brazilian military coup. This lesson became one of the most influential concept to the next generation of Brazilian architects and we share here the entire speech.
Are you in the market for a new set of minimalist earrings or a necklace inspired by the constructivist movement? You can now own all of this and more, with RIIA's line of minimalist-inspired jewelry. This Los Angeles-based jewelry designer is removing the overly decorative elements in jewelry and bringing to light the beauty of pure forms.
The launch of a building in downtown São Paulo - Brazil was the talk of the town due to its surprising apartment sizes of only 10 square meters. This raised the debate about the market trend to produce ever smaller properties and the ability of these properties to meet the needs of its residents.
There is no doubt that, this type of real estate is related to newest trends of family compositions. It is increasingly common for residences to be occupied by only one person, or at most two. According to data from the SEADE Foundation for 2010, in the State of São Paulo, almost 40% of households have these characteristic, 13% of which is made up of a single resident.
Without a doubt, it is interesting to enjoy architecture from a new perspective. Minimalist photography, characterized by clean compositions where geometry and abstraction take center stage, is one of the most popular trends when it comes to documenting architecture. In celebration of this distinctive photographic style, we have selected 14 minimalist images by prominent photographers such as Joel Filipe, Sebastian Weiss, and Nelson Garrido.
Today, April 26th 2017, marks I.M. Pei’s 100th birthday. The occasion offers a wonderful opportunity to take a retrospective look at one of the most significant and productive architects of the past 100 years, with many organizations hosting events, celebrations, and symposiums to talk about Master Pei and his notable projects. However at these events, just as throughout I.M. Pei’s career, there is unlikely to be much intellectual conversation about Pei’s architectural legacy. The main discussion around I.M. Pei is still focused on his design talent and intriguing narratives about the charisma he used to convince clients to continue through tough projects.
Though I.M. Pei himself has never talked at length about his design theory or the intellectual basis of his projects, these simple narratives leave certain questions unanswered: Where does I.M. Pei’s inspiration for architectural form come from? How did his architectural design affect his peer group of architects and artists, and contribute intellectually to the contemporary art world?