Minimalism, through the years draws its greatest inspiration from Japan. The Zen Philosophy greatly
emphasizes on simplicity in order to attain peace. This philosophy later translated in Japanese
architecture as well. But what is Minimalism, you ask? Minimalism is all about simplicity, utility and
elegance. It is basically using only particularly selected items and making the most of them thereby,
enriching the aesthetics. The minimalistic designs have a purpose of not only serving you but it also
adds a meaningful experience to your life.
Minimalist architecture is basically building quality structures with simple designs. The forms,
shapes, designs, colours and the details are straightforward and uncomplicated because of which
these structures emanate beauty, simplicity and sophistication. The clean lines and shapes, a
neutral colour palette and basic textures creates a decluttered design style.
Minimalistic structures have a few particular elements like pure geometric forms, little to no trim or
ornament, orthogonal components, clean sleek lines etc. Minimalist buildings whether residential or
commercial are usually built using steel, concrete, stone or glass. The entire concept of minimalism
is based on the ethos of “Less is More” and that’s why minimal interiors also use only what is
The common myth about minimalistic architecture is that it looks cold at first. But, condensing the
content and form of an object to its most basic level has its own grace and charm. To achieve this
level of sophistication, one needs to play with the elements of minimalism and that in turn makes
the aesthetics warm and welcoming.
To find beauty in natural state of objects without any decorative purpose and solely as they are in
their state of being are, is a fundamental principle of Japanese aesthetics. Finding intrinsic value in
forms of nature is the real essence of minimalism. A minimalistic design also has a solid base in the
principle of “stillness”. Large open spaces can enable a contemplation of stillness and simplicity of
the remaining essential forms. These still and empty spaces induce a meditative state of mind. A
simple logic of, if a busy space creates a busy mind, then a simple space would create peace and
tranquil mind is fundamental to minimalism.
Apart from the Japanese concepts that have made its way in the modern minimalistic architectural
designs, there is also a Scandinavian take on minimalism that eases out a few rigid aspects of
Japanese concepts. The Scandinavian take on minimalism focuses on comfort in mind,
environmental efficiency and light and contrasting patterns
A minimalistic design paired with modern-day technology is your modern architecture right there. In
the most technical explanation minimalist architecture is a result of the elimination of the
inessentials, where the design is stripped down to its most fundamental features and can no longer
be improved upon by subtraction.
Minimalism has paced its way in to modern urban architecture. It offers unique challenges that are
missing in traditional way of designing and architecture. The complete focus is on empty or negative
space and designing for function versus ornamentation in traditional architecture. Minimalistic
spaces, structures and building are de-cluttered which is why induce a peaceful zen-like calm and
aesthetically exude a simplistic elegance and sophistication.