The house in today's spotlight may make you feel like you've just stepped onto the set of a futuristic movie, not into a suburban neighbourhood. But that's precisely where you'll find this unique architectural creation, masterminded by talented Portuguese firm Urban Core.
In a neighbourhood filled with the quintessential white houses with white picket fences, this São Roque home stands out like a beacon to modernist creativity. Clean, sharp lines, stark colours and large glass windows set the tone for this minimalist home, that, apart from its futuristic facade, keeps things simple. After all, isn't that what minimalism is all about? Cut down the frills while still keeping it sleek and modern.
The house sits surprisingly lightly in its setting, considering it also has an immensely strong presence. It masterfully incorporates its surroundings and comes together as a cohesive whole.
The architects have taken a punt here and foregone any elements that would soften the design, instead counting on the scenery around to do that for them—and it pays off. There was enough working space for the architects that they could place the house bang in the middle of the plot and still have plenty of room to create a periphery. Built over a space of 600 sq metres, the house has two floors and a basement, which doubles up as a garage and storage and laundry room. The house, with its grey concrete fencing, looks rather imposing and is deliberately meant to be so.
Stacked volumes of space, like the one seen here, are one of the key characteristics of modern, minimal design. What the architects have clearly had a bit of fun with here though are the cubes and its diametrically opposite placements. The house almost seems spliced in two, which is an unusual yet interesting feature.
The back portion of the house is, for obvious reasons, way more inviting than the front facade. The floor-to-ceiling windows are clearly visible here, inviting the surroundings inside.
Minimalist design often has to do with prioritising order and calmness over noise. Not surprisingly, more and more people are opting for this as it allows them to come back, after a long day negotiating with the outside world, to a soothing place of serenity free of clutter and stress.
The bedroom here (one of the two on the second floor) has been pared down to the bare necessities, and that's all it needs. The spacious room is filled with light, and that, along with the high ceilings and dark wood flooring, gives it a warm and cosy rather than cold and sterile feel. And if you look closely enough, you'll find that the bedroom here actually has a balcony with the most unobtrusive balcony railing in the world.
What is the first rule of a minimalist kitchen? No clutter. How is that even possible in a kitchen, you ask? By making everything invisible!
The minimalist style seen outside is continued in the kitchen, which is housed on the ground floor and is connected to the living room. Here too, black is the predominant colour, which is set off by the use of natural materials; the working top, for example, is made of marble while the cabinets of wood. And as you can see, everything, from the oven to the refrigerator, is so neatly integrated that the overall impression is of a streamlined, fuss-free kitchen area. Minimally exposed hardware eliminates the visual noise characteristic of cabinets.
The wood flooring continues onto the staircase, which connects the two levels together and imparts a feeling of warmth to the space. But this isn't a rustic country house, and so the handrail and balustrade of the stairway is done in stainless steel and glass, giving it a cutting-edge feel. If you need advice on a cool, custom-made stairway, these guys can help you out.
The light-coloured wall space, the complete lack of unnecessary accessorising and the clean, modern detailing gives the space a calm, interesting appeal.
For another interesting take on modern design, check out A vibrant modern home full of life.