Minimalism is defined as a style of art and architecture that uses very simple design elements, forms and materials. Minimalist architecture tells the story of simplicity. Buildings are designed without unnecessary ornamental elements to create simple spaces. Minimalist theme promotes simplicity. It is a design approach that represents austerity in outdoor as well interior design. Key principles of this style are the use of the essential elements only. Design is reduced down to the necessary features only. Serene and peaceful atmosphere is created by the genius combination of these elements that only hold on to vital and necessary attributes. Many architects, designers, painters and sculptors have worked together to promote the art movement of minimalism.
The style of minimalism with architecture started in the beginning of twentieth century near 1920s. German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the first well known architects of modern era who pioneered minimalist design in architecture. His new design philosophy laid the foundation for minimalist architecture. He designed influential architectural masterpieces which include Barcelona Pavilion in Spain, Seagram Building in New York. According to him, “less is more”.
Concept of minimalism gets a major inspiration from Japanese Zen philosophy that puts a lot of focus on simplicity in architecture. It sees the natural beauty of things and gives value to it. Minimalism is greatly influenced by Wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic view that emphasizes on the principle of finding beauty in the simplest forms of nature for a small house architecture and larger projects.
Here is an introduction to architecture and some of the basic architecture principles of minimalist design.
Form in Architecture
A simple geometric form in architecture is a key characteristic of this style that creates a clean minimal space in architecture. Perfect straight lines and bold volumes are usually employed for the design. Textures and patterns in limited forms of geometry can also help achieve this style. Use of vertical and horizontal lines and shapes of a rectangle or a square are chief principles in the visual design.
Minimalism is influenced by the use of limited colors. A minimalist building usually uses two basic monochromatic colors for the design to build visual interest. Black, grey, white and other neutral shades such as beige are commonly applied keeping the design to its basic theme. Primary colors such as red, blue and yellow are also used in contrast that interact efficiently with one another.
Simple and natural surface materials are incorporated in the creation of a harmonious design. Fair-face concrete may be used to achieve simple and natural aesthetics where concrete appears in its simplest way. Larger glass facades and huge solid surfaces built of brick, concrete and steel are also major elements of minimal architecture.
Natural light and air are incorporated in a minimal house. Views to green spaces are made a distinctive element of minimalism. Large open areas are created so nature can be connected with interiors to create clean, calm and tranquil spaces.
Minimalism is an honest and a timeless approach to design that never wears out. Architecture has been shaped by this optimistic style of minimalism over many years of design history.
Significant Principles and Concepts in Architecture
°World Architecture Festival is an annual architectural festival and awards programme where architects around the world present their architectural projects and the best among them win the annual award of the World Building of the Year.
°London Festival of Architecture is an annual festival held in London, England, exhibiting works for the promotion of design and architecture.
°Space architecture is the art and science of designing habitats and built environments in outer space.
°Shipping Container Architecture is an architecture that uses the steel shipping containers or intermodal containers in it. It is also known as arkitainer or cargotecture.
°Parasite architecture is a form of architecture in which a new structure is built attached with a larger building that is already existing.
°Narrative Architecture is placing buildings under a microscope and examining their history, their background & their story, analysing and connecting them where they belong to.
°Khmer Architecture is the architecture created by Khmers, the Southeast Asian Cambodian people, in the time of Angkor era of the Khmer Empire from 8th century to 15th century. It is also known as Angkorian architecture.
°Interactive Architecture is a form of architecture that focuses on the building automation system of HVAC, lighting, electrification, security, access control as well as involvement of interactions and communications.
°Floating architecture is the designing and construction of floating buildings and structures over the surface of water. Structures in floating architecture may adapt to various cllimates of the particular region and the varied levels of the water. It is a concept of living and working on the water.
°Folding architecture is a form of designing architecture by creating 3D forms and masses from 2D planes using folding tactics in architecture.
°Conceptual architecture is an architecture based on conceptualism by employing principles, ideas and beliefs beyond architecture. Architects Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas and Bernard Tschumi work on these principles.
°Cape Cod Architecture is an architectural theme of American architecture. It was named after the coastal region in Massachusetts where Cape Cod architectural style is common. The key characteristics of Cape Cod architecture are rectangular plan, one or one and a half floors house, steep pitched roof, central chimney, simple and unadorned façade, low ceiling, central door, multi-paned windows with wooden shutters.
°Blob architecture is a style of architecture where structures are designed in the form of freely flowing curves and waves and are organic shaped inspired by nature. This distinct style of designing buildings is also known as blobitecture, blobismus and blobism. The phrase ‘blob architecture’ was in use during 1990s. The term ‘blobitecture’ showed up first in the New York Times Magazine’s article ‘Defenestration’ in 2002. The Czech British architect Jab Kaplicky used the word ‘blob’ first in 1986 for ‘Blob Office Building’ located in London. The structure was influenced by curves and organic forms as well as energy efficiency. The words ‘blob architecture’ were coined in 1995 by the American architect Greg Lynn while he was experimenting the digital designing in graphics software.
°Beaux Arts Architecture was a style of architecture specifically between 1830s and 1890s inspired by the architecture of French neoclassicism. Beaux Arts Architecture was also influenced by Gothic Architecture and Renaissance Era Architecture along with incorporation of modern building materials like glass and iron. Beaux Arts Architecture took its name from Ecole des Beaux Arts, an influential art school, in Paris.
°Bahay Kubo architecture is a style of stilt house architecture, indigenous to Philippine culture. Bahay Kubo is also known as nipa hut, kamalig or payag in Philippines. Stilt houses are the houses that are raised and supported by stilts above the surface of ground or water body. They are generally built to protect the structures from floods. The space under the structure is used for storage or working purpose.
°One can know more about architecture by reading 'World Architecture: A Cross-Cultural History', a comprehensive book on the history, architecture and culture written by Richard Ingersoll and 'Hidden Architecture', a book on amazing buildings, written by by Alyn Griffiths.
°Dezeen (architecture) is an online magazine about architecture, design and interiors with offices based in London and Hoxton, England.
°Architecture Now is an online magazine about architecture and design.
°Architecture Reddit is an American website for social news, discussions and rating.
°Arch Daily (Architecture Daily) is a website and online platform for the world's best architecture with some of the most spectacular designs of archdaily houses.