…a minimalist masterpiece, free of any physical clutter but filled instead with light, shadow and sculptural forms. The architect’s reductive, contemplative, near-ecclesiastical spaces can be found across the globe. He has designed beautiful residences from Moscow to Majorca, and currently on his drawing board is a Miami home for Kanye West. Silvestrin’s signatures are employed in his own home to full effect: the vertical is emphasized in columns of material that lend the double height living space an air of classical structure; the horizontal is emphasized by a parapet that extends the length of the living space. Monolithic forms that reference the ageless minimalism of Stone Henge and The Parthenon are everywhere, while his use of materials such as stone and wood bring raw and harmonious results. Groceries and even an extensive library of philosophy are hidden behind paneled doors. Only the occasional Wegner chair or Calder mobile breaks through the interior’s clean planes. “This is a space to reflect in,” says Silvestrin-one where guests quickly shed the hubbub of the London streets below and in which, he confesses, they always seem to linger a little longer than intended.
Farang is located in Norrmalm in the heart of Stockholm. Farang combines the intimacy of contemporary Asian restaurant with the urbanity of a Stockholm street level space. Ground floor of an old industrial building was turned into a 700 m² fine dining restaurant. The restaurant contains a dining hall with 160 seats, as well as a cocktail bar with 50 seats and cabinet. Industrial character and charm of the old space was kept while adding contemporary restaurant and cocktail bar facilities of very high quality. The design makes a clear distinction between old and new elements by leaving the old space as a fully visible frame for the new functions. The simple material palette such as wood, steel, concrete and fabrics allows the enjoyment and visuality of food to take center stage.
Restaurant Farang, Stockholm, Sweden, by Futudesign
In addition to covering various functions of public visits the interior should present and emphasize a Nordic style. We had never worked with an official residence, and the client wanted to use this as an advantage and not put so many constraints so we would be able to see this with new eyes. The main objective of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in all of its projects is that most of the furniture, lighting and other essential elements shall promote Norwegian design. The concept was designed around preserving the building’s character and let the furniture and lighting be a contrast to emphasize the two different worlds that come together here. The colors on the furniture were chosen to emphasize the Scandinavian design and at the same time they were inspired by Sri Lankan traditional clothing and their rich natural landscape. Large rooms with dark wood and hard surfaces became the contrast to colorful furniture with a light and soft look.
The project is situated in the vicinity of the whitewashed town of Montemor-o-novo, in the Alentejo, near the UNESCO-listed city of Evora. Located on a gentle valley facing south and looking towards the skyline of the medieval Montemor castle, the master plan was devised in a system of clusters of villas and terraced row-houses reminiscent of the former agricultural compounds of the Alentejo, known as “monte”, which literally means “mound” in English, wherein the etymological reference is fundamentally topographic. In addition, a small lake cools the air and is used for leisure activities besides serving as a sustainable water-retaining basin for agriculture.
Republic of Fritz Hansen Showroom, Milan, Italy, Project & Art Direction by Studiopepe, Photography by Andrea Ferrari,
Shelving by string® system
House Extension, Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Bloem en Lemstra Architects, Photography by Chiel de Nooyer
Originally built in the 1930’s, Das Stue’s diplomatic legacy is evident in the heritage building’s stately architecture and modernist façade, designed by German architect Johann Emil Schaudt (1871-1957) and inspired by Danish classicism. Located in Berlin’s diplomatic quarter, Das Stue was renovated to invoke a calming ambiance, with open spaces and contemporary minimalist design. The Potsdam-based firm Axthelm Architekten added a new wing on the building’s former back courtyard, which is clad in a floral patterned photo concrete surface acting as an elegant counterbalance to the rough dressed stone of the main building.
While Patricia Urquiola artistically directed and designed all public spaces and fluidly integrated shared spaces such as the lobby, cocktail bar and restaurants, LVG ARQUITECTURA finalized the interior room and suite design. Das Stue’s daylight spa, which opens its doors to the courtyard when the first rays of sunlight emerge, offers three treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, as well as a glass sauna and gym. In addition to the wellness center, two intimate library lounges offer guests a private and elegant retreat to relax.
Each of the 80 guestrooms is outfitted in subdued modern decor that emphasizes polished surfaces and rich fabrics. The rooms are designed to recall the open spaces of villa environments, complemented by high ceilings, hardwood floors and views of the adjacent Tiergarten; 11 rooms feature terraces and balconies.
This project involved the design of alterations and addition to an existing Edwardian house of some historical significance which is located in an area with a Heritage overlay. The brief for the house revolved around accommodating a family, including 3 children. The proposal included 3 new bedrooms and activity space to the new first floor at the rear and a large family /kitchen area directly below. The existing house included a new master bedroom / ensuite, study and the maintenance of the original grand dining room and lounge areas. The idea of the house was organised around finding a compatible but distinctive relationship between the existing interior and the new addition and the existing external form and the new addition. This was achieved through the use of a common materiality contrasting black brick for the new against red brick in the old. The pitched external roof forms, a requirement of stringent Heritage guidelines, were expressed as “twin peaked” gable ends that aligned directly with the with the double valley hip roof of the existing house. The external timber clad rainscreen is defined as a one third proportion that aligns directly with the existing slate tiled roof of the existing house. While compatible in terms of proportion and alignment the reductive abstraction of the new exterior and interior, suggests a new relationship to both the immediate garden and the greater surrounding context. Internally the new addition uses white painted timber lining boards and exposed internal black work to define a new family living space. The use of materials normally associated with the exterior of a Heritage house suggests an inversion of our normal reading of an interior that is both surprising and yet reassuring in terms of its familiarity.
Twin Peaks House, by Jackson Clements Burrows, Photography by Shannon McGrath
A carefully considered response to a very steep site with understated ‘mute’, gently sloping, roughly rendered walls and a curved concrete roof. Celebrating modern Australian family life, a generosity of space without ostentation that is practical and serviceable.
Yarra House, by Leeton Pointon Architects, in association with Susi Leeton Architects, Photography © Peter Bennets