Materials in Minimalist Design

Noah Burson | Post #6

The article, ’10 of the most pristine minimalist kitchens’ by Dezeen, shows some of the simplest deigned kitchens. There is a common theme between the different kitchens of being extremely clean, monochrome, and compact. As you can see below, there are different materials used to create a similar minimalist impression.


Design by Anne Sophie Goneau


Design by Paritzki & Liani Architects


Design by Spamroom

These different kitchens create a similar style, yet their material differs greatly from perforated metal screens in order to hide appliances to pine wood used in the construction of the kitchen, visibly shown on the exterior of cabinetry. I wonder how can the material palette change so drastically within the same very clean, neat, and recognizable minimalist style. What changes with in this style does the difference of material impact?

If we compare two of these spaces, there is a different perception of the space in either. The kitchen above (on the left), designed by Aires Mateus, has a monochrome finish on everything in the kitchen outside of the floor. This makes the light entering the room and the materiality of the floor important to the design. Now if we look at the materials DDAANN used (on the right), the floor has no importance within the way the materials represent the space. The wooden trim accents the dimensionality of the different volumes and voids in the space rather than bringing focus to the a simple, singular difference in the room.


Design by ODDA

New Design Times explains Minimalist architecture as ‘elegant simplicity’. How does this design intention interact with the materials used? I’d argue that it allows for a much clearer representation of the space. Any material used in this style of architecture carries influence on the entire design, it does not go unnoticed. This allows the designer to bring their conceptual thoughts about space to a physical representation. For example, look at the design by ODDA above. Because there are no distractions, their ability to highlight the way they understand the space is achievable. It is clear, through the use of materials, that the interior and building envelope are to be different and that the functional pieces of the home be integral with one another.


New Design Times



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