MINIMAL approach

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2011, 12:00am


For urban dwellers, the line between work and play is increasingly blurred, so designs that help to take stress away are adored.

That's why minimalism as a design has stood the test of time, remaining popular today.

'Purism is no trend - it is an enduring embodiment of calm, serenity and peace,' says Mark Bickerstaffe, director of new product development EMEA and Asia-Pacific, at Kohler, during the Kohler Editors Conference in Wisconsin

'The order, precision and ease of comprehension meets people's needs for mental soothing amid a 24/7 world of ever-intense, time-pressured existence.'

Bickerstaffe says miniaturisation, integration and an understanding of how people use spaces are adding depth to minimal spaces. Nude and muted natural tones, and surface textures add a subtle emotional connection within minimal spaces, says Bickerstaffe. 'As we continue to seek luxurious richness while remaining simple and pure we experiment with [a] rich material finish [and] precise attention to detail at the junction between objects and functions.'

A minimalist kitchen series from Kohler, Trenquilite uses wood veneer as the material for its doors, and features embedded door handles that are designed to look like a Buddha's hands. The kitchen and bath brand hopes to bring users of the Zen-like Trenquilite peace of mind and enjoyment of life with their families.

Another brand that looks to minimalism is bulthaup.

'In recent years, terms like geometrical purity, technical precision, elimination of ornament and abstraction have tended to be grouped under the umbrella called 'minimalism',' says Anita Kwok, senior regional manager, marketing and communication, Madison (Hong Kong), the sole distributor of bulthaup.

'Architects like Herzog and de Meuron, Peter Zumthor and John Pawson have popularised an aesthetic and a word that has become a sign of the times - minimalism. Initiating with the austere rationalism of architects such as Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe, the new aesthetic developed a current architectural practice - a combination of the purest forms of the Modern Movement with the most advanced techniques and materials.'

In 1988 bulthaup introduced a kitchen workbench made of stainless steel, which ushered in an era of contemporary minimalism in the design brand.

The bulthaup monoblock is a kitchen product which is an example of the design brand's penchant for purism. 'The bulthaup monoblock is an artistic sculptural 'cut out cube' manufactured in one piece and available in stainless steel and laminate. The special technology allows it to present the essence of purity and in the simplest form,' says Kwok.