At Minimum Squared we’ve been heavily influenced by minimalist architecture. Our love of clean lines and simple, precise construction echo the philosophy introduced by De Stijl and Bauhaus in the early 20th century.
Simple shapes, straight lines, and plain but striking materials: initially, minimalism was revolutionary and even shocking with no room for decoration. Stripping back the design left more room to play with space and natural light and in doing so, the true essence of a place was revealed.
Come on a journey with us to discover some of our favourite examples of minimalist architecture and find out how it’s influenced our own minimalist wallets.
Bauhaus Berlin, Germany
Open for just 14 years between 1919 and 1933, Bauhaus sought to harmonise function and form. Having lived in Berlin before founding Minimum Squared, we’ve spent a lot of time exploring the city’s Bauhaus-inspired architecture.
The Nazis considered the style 'unpatriotic', so few examples from the era still exist, but the legacy lives on. There’s the Bauhaus-Archiv’s distinctive, shed-like roof, designed by Walter Gropius and evidence of the beginnings of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s philosophy in the AEG Turbine Factory’s utilitarian courtyard.
Farnsworth House, Illinois, USA
As Nazism rose, many of Bauhaus’ stars emigrated, including Mies van Der Rohe. In contrast to Germany, the United States offered new opportunities to influence modern architecture, the Farnsworth House in Illinois being a perfect example.
This 1950’s one-room weekend retreat was built with floor-to-ceiling windows and a futuristic, exposed steel structure. At the time you’d be forgiven it had come from outer space!
Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic
Another Mies van Der Rohe masterpiece is Villa Tugendhat in the Czech Republic. With an iron framework, it’s without supporting walls and plays with space and light.
The original interiors were decorated sparingly with onyx and tropical woods and the mechanised glass façade made it a true building of the future. As Mies said, ‘God is in the details’.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, UK
Our final pick of minimalist architecture is the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, designed by Norman Foster and filled with natural light.
The steel structure is clearly visible through one of the building's glazed faces and the lack of subdivided rooms means natural light shines through to play with the artificial light. We think it’s stunning.
How Minimalist Architecture Inspired Our Handmade Wallets
Mies' motto was ‘less is more’. In other words, by simplifying buildings we give maximum power to architectural space.
This perfectly sums up the philosophy of our minimalist wallets too. Less material and volume mean more space for what’s important – your cards and notes.
Design doesn’t need to be complicated. The simplicity of our designs showcases the quality of our materials and craftsmanship. Like minimalist architecture, our wallets are functional too. It’s hard to imagine another object you get so much use out of, day after day.
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