A growing trend, minimalism dominated architecture in 2016. But to figure out how and why it did, we need to dig a little deeper – much deeper — back to the roots of minimalist architecture.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German-American architect, is widely regarded as one of the founders of the modernist architecture movement. Although modernism doesn’t automatically equate to minimalism, van der Rohe’s modernist work in the 1920s proved to be well ahead of its time. His 1929 Barcelona Pavilion was famed for its use of negative space and stylistic use of building materials to evoke a sense of awe. Nearly a century later, van der Rohe’s legacy is still appreciated by millions of people all over the world. In 2016, geometrical concepts that existed nearly a century ago have become commonplace, with a less-is-more philosophy sweeping the world once again.
For example, the Japanese minimalist architect Tadao Ando is renowned for incorporating traditional Japanese motifs in his work, and he extends these concepts to nature. He focuses heavily on geometry, colour, and build materials. Because buildings don’t exist in a vacuum, Ando creates his buildings by blending nature and architecture with a level of finesse that is rare, even among the most famous of architects. Ando’s creations exhibit a fresh interpretation of Japanese aesthetic principles, and he has proven himself to be highly influential in the area of Japanese architecture.
However, as far as 2016 is concerned, there was one house that truly brought the nu-minimalist movement to its zenith. When you think of minimalist design, “captivating” isn’t always a word that comes to mind. Minimalist architecture, particularly if it’s not done well, can sometimes result in a plain house that isn’t very engaging. A house called “Domus Aurea“, however, is so bare-bones that its stark white surfaces captivate the eye like a moth to the flame. Constructed in Monterrey, Mexico, the blindingly white house is intersected by a golden wall that boosts the light quality inside (it must be added, too, that the house’s Latin name means “golden house”). It was designed by Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza.