About the project
The house is surrounded by the unique terrain and the colors of the house which blend with the environment. Being connected with nature again was what was the owners’ primary need, so it was also the primary purpose of the design. Each room takes natural light in a way to create a spacious atmosphere and maximize the outside view. Each room is picturesque in its way, yet still modest and connected to each other.
The first thing that catches their eye is the “Bocci 57” pendant light – a distinctive statement piece that refracts light through its sinuous curves of white glass. A cluster of 25 lights dangle from the ceiling at different angles and shapes, yet despite their asymmetry, they afford the space a sense of balance.
To create timeless designs, Men Bureau prefer natural materials and details form the basis. “Bardot” armchairs by Baxter and “Ghost 20” by Gervasoni are the details that make the design timeless. “Bocci 57” lamp in the living room and “Zeppelin” pendant lamp by Flos in the bedroom have been used mostly for decorative purposes because, on the other parts of the house, ceiling lamps appliques serve a functional purpose for lighting.
The structure of “Metrica Bookshelf” by Mogg is simple, the rhythm is punctuated by the iron rods fixed at different intervals on an openly rigorous structure within which the books and the inserted objects complete the shape by writing new compositions from time to time. “Cylinder Downlight” by New York-based design studio Apparatus.
Continuing the natural palette with touches of brass and walnut, their team made key contemporary design acquisitions like the “Arrow” and “Median Sconce” lamps by Apparatus, “Conference Chair” by Pierre Jeanneret, and “House chair” by Liam Mugavin to add personality.
By enhancing the amount of natural light in the space, dark materials could then be selected. Their bureau selected a dark timber veneer for the kitchen cabinetry because of its striking color and beautiful natural grain. Integrated appliances were incorporated to ensure a seamless look, with a focus on the materials. The sleekness of the marble countertop in this space gives contrast in texture. Brass details can be seen throughout the home in the hardware and lighting fixtures.
The material palette – which includes dark stained walnut, antique brass, and natural textiles – was informed by the aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi philosophy. It was also important to reuse elements of the palette in interesting ways and make liaisons with it throughout, like the brass lights by Apparatus and the lower part of the kitchen island. The goal was to create a warm-minimalist and timeless house in tune with its past and the client’s needs. Composed of stone, wood, and brass, the home strikes a textural balance so often missing from obsessively clean-lined contemporary buildings.
Swathed in a muted material palette of marble and hand-brushed plaster, space is a place of serenity and reflection. The materiality of Veracruz Travertine that will weather over time and of timber boards that are oiled, not sealed, to keep their surface alive to their use – these are real materials that, unlike synthetics, will patina and become improved and more complex with time. They are also materials that are as old as the practice of building itself.
The studio is not one for big splashes of saturated color. They much prefer neutral spaces into which you can inject warmth and interest through furniture and objects. Their real passion is for furniture with a unique history. Some of the pieces that are unique for the house are: “Capitol Complex” armchair by Cassina and “Horsehair Sconce” by Apparatus, which is combined with brass and etched glass. We used them to add personality.
The wardrobe area features a marble island and wood cabinetry to conceal possessions that aren’t necessary for display. Due to the small size of the house, they decided to have a wood floor, to eliminate barriers between different uses and create a spacious effect. For them it was important to create a time-less space with warm, rough, and tactile materials. This bathroom offers a rustic warmth, tranquility, and natural aesthetic. Like the rest of the apartment, the bathroom is not only beautiful but also functional. All taps and mixers in this house were designed by John Pawson for Cocoon company
The home needed to deliver a slower rhythm and tune in with the environment. The careful planning of the spaces, their volumes or lack of, the crunch of footfall on wood or the soft patter on solid stone, the degree of exposure to light and view. It’s these simple tools that they oriented, bringing into focus that which already existed.