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Minimalism and Design

A History of Minimalism

Everyone has already heard about Minimalism, a very popular concept lately. Minimalism is often used in all sauces, from music to culinary art as well as haute couture. Yet Minimalism has found its roots since the very beginning of architecture.

From the Antiquity onwards, architects sought to give buildings a purity of form with clear geometries. For instance, the cleansing of the Basilica of Constantine in Trier – Germany is an illustration of the Roman Minismalism. Likewise, the Abbey of Thoronet in France dates back to the Middle-Ages. In the nineteenth century, Friedrich Schinkel  and Leo von Klenze designed buildings with reduced shapes.

  • Constantine Basilic
    Constantine Basilic

It was Viennese Adolf Loos (1870/1933) who first conceptualized Minimalism. In “Ornament and Crime”, his pamphlet against ornament, Loos argues that the ornamentation must come from the material and not “plated on it”. He believes that the conditions of production of his time are no longer conducive to abundance. In order to satisfy the emerging consumerism society, it is important to strive for efficiency and therefore rationality of construction. Moreover, Loos follows the industrial movement of chain production

Before Loos, Louis Sullivan (1856/1924), an American architect, the “father of skyscrapers”, and for some “the father of modernism”, from 1896, embodies a desire to return to constructive truth. In other words, he seeks agreement between a function and its form. Consequently, Sullivan is already refusing ornaments or giving them specific features.

LESS IS MORE = Minimalism

It is Ludwig Mies van der Hohe (1886/1969) who advocates Minimalism to be more than a trend.. In order to summerize a stripped and Minimalist architecture, the architect who remodelled Chicago is the first to talk about “Less is More”.. He speaks of a need for a “clear structure” yet attentive to the details, the materials, the uses, the fluidity of spaces

Thus, Mies seized the industrial materials of his time, concrete, steel and glass. By using them, he produces the essence of the architecture of capitalism, that of the skyscrapers . All in radical and stripped forms, in an absolute refusal of ornament and of any free form that is not necessary by the structure.

  • Mies van der Rohe Barcelona
    Mies van der Rohe Barcelona

Especially, very early on, Mies’ obsession is to find solutions to open up spaces, decompartmentalize them. He replaces the walls of the facades with glass casings, thus he abolishes the boundary between inside and outside. Inside his buildings, he reduces the supporting structures to simple posts. He dismantles this supporting wall that determines rooms and uses, closes the interior of houses, prevents wandering.

Yet this “Less is More” was only possible after the Bauhaus, this movement of architecture and refined design conceptualized after the first war, during the german Republic of Weimar. We still find its influence today

  • Bauhaus Dessau
    Bauhaus Dessau

Is FloatYourHomeBerlin Minimalist?

FloatYourHomeBerlin also follows this same quest towards Minimalism, this time updated to the crucial issues met by our 21st century. A zero carbon Minimalism aiming to make a sustainable and self-sufficient home.

Also the design is Minimalist by avoiding ornaments and reducing itself to the essential. Above all, the interior, in constant connection with the exterior, allows the river Spree to be part of the walls. Thus, the surrounding nature becomes an element of decoration.

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