Beautiful minimalist Apple accessories inspired by architecture and art

The accessory market for phones and computers is a wide and varied one, with designs that are all over the place and cover almost the entire range of the spectrum. Some try to offer everything, almost including the kitchen sink, resulting in a cornucopia of features and attachments, while others aim for the bare basics to keep things simple yet elegant. Minimalism continues to dominate the design world, and it has also started to grip the tech industry, particularly when it comes to gadgets and accessories. Minimalist design, though sometimes plain-looking, doesn’t exactly mean “boring,” especially when they take inspiration from some of mankind’s creative achievements to give these products an interesting visual and functional spin.

Belkin BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand

Some say good things come in threes, and iPhone owners tend to own an Apple Watch and AirPods to complete a functional set. Keeping all three charged has become somewhat of a logistics problem, though thankfully it’s less of a mess now that none of them require charging cables all the time. Apple’s MagSafe technology has opened up a new world of designs, free from the tangles of wires, and it has given birth to a variety of charging docks and stations, including some pretty minimalist ones.

Designer: Belkin

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro really takes minimalism almost to an extreme, being nothing more than a metal post that branches in two, standing on a plain round disc. While there are quite a number of 3-in-1 MagSafe chargers that support a similar combination, Belkin’s design emphasizes keeping a tidy appearance, whether there are devices charging on it or not. The base holds the AirPods case, keeping your desk or shelf clean, while both the iPhone and Apple Watch are held up high for easier visibility.

The charger’s clean and minimalist appearance takes its cue from modern architecture, with well-defined lines and shapes and a simple yet functional design. It distills the whole structure down to its essentials, providing support and a place for your gadgets to call home, without overpowering Apple’s already elegant and stylish aesthetic.

MagSafe Origami Grip Stand

The ancient Japanese art of paper folding has inspired many designs across history, from simple children’s toys to mind-blowing structures even to complex robots. The main pull of origami has always been its ability to change shape from a flat sheet of material like paper to something three-dimensional any moving parts or without removing or adding any part at all. Because of that, something that takes up space can be made to collapse down to almost nothing, like this grip and stand that adds almost no thickness to your iPhone.

Designer: Marcy Arimoto

Click Here to Buy Now: MagSafe Origami Grip Stand ($45)

Thanks to its creative origami-inspired design, the MagSafe attachment transforms from a flat pad into a triangular shape that can do more than just prop up your phone on a table. It gives your fingers something stable to latch onto, making it perfect for taking selfies with confidence. It can even stick to metal posts, walls, and surfaces thanks to that strong magnetic power.

The best thing about its design is that it doesn’t get in the way when you don’t need it. It simply collapses back down to a flat shape that’s no thicker than the iPhone’s own camera bump. Nothing to snag when you slip it into your pocket and nothing to make it wiggle when placed on a table. It’s beautiful, functional, and as simple as it needs to be, nothing more.

Twelve South BookArc Flex Vertical MacBook Stand

A laptop stand is, more often than not, a horizontal plane meant to hold your laptop while it lies down. Of course, that’s the most common way to use a laptop, but it’s definitely not the only way, especially when you’re using it as a makeshift desktop computer. With the lid always closed and the laptop simply connected to a monitor and other peripherals, having a laptop lying flat or even on a horizontal stand is already a poor use of precious desk space. That’s where a vertical laptop stand comes in hand, and Twelve South just launched what is probably the most minimalist design in that category.

Designer: Twelve South

It might look like two simple metal arcs, but that ultra-minimalist design is what makes the BookArc Flex a work of genius. Designed to hold your closed MacBook vertically, it can save you precious desk space when all you really want to do is connect the MacBook to an external screen and some peripherals while it’s running. It keeps all the mess away without sacrificing any functionality, and you can still easily plug in other USB devices because the MacBook is still within reach.

The design is both simple yet elegant, perfectly complementing Apple’s design language with its bent all-metal rods in matte black, matte white, or premium chrome finishes. It is inspired by modern architecture, particularly the Noisette Creek Pedestrian Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, in more ways than one. While it does owe its form to that bridge, it also takes a few lessons from a bridge’s structure and use of physics, particularly in how the stand uses the MacBook’s own weight to pull in the arcs and secure the laptop. That means that this simple design is also future-proof, supporting any MacBook or even any laptop that’s only an inch thick, making it a beautiful example of how good, simple design can be universal and timeless as well.

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Staggered Skyscraper In Tirana Is Made Up Of 13 Cube Volumes Making It A “Unique Vertical Village”

Designed by Portuguese studio OODA, this stunning and impressive skyscraper is made up of 13 staggered cube volumes and is intended to be the design for the Hora Vertikale residential development in Tirana. It is supposed to be unveiled in spring 2024 and is designed to be a 140-meter-tall building that will house apartments placed over a park amped with multiple public amenities.

Designer: OODA

Nestled in the Albanian capital Tirana, OODA designed the Hora Vertikale to engage with the local community and describes the towering structure as “a unique vertical village set amidst a large green city”. 13 cubes have been designed and created in seven variations, and each cube measures 22.5 meters by 22.4 meters and is seven stories tall, which is typically the height of buildings in Tirana.

The foundation or base of the building comprises three rows of three cubes, with a couple of them set apart and rotated a bit to create a narrow gap. Two side-by-side cubes sit on the top, followed by two singular ones that in turn form an expansive building that is six cubes tall. The cube at the top will be equipped with angular balconies that are supported by columns punctuating the perimeter. “Each cube embodies a unique concept related to art and is also inspired by the local vernacular,” said OODA.

What makes the building even more impressive, is that it will be made from locally sourced materials from Albanian, which will reduce its carbon footprint, and also provide support to local businesses.

“The result is a building that leaves a lasting impact on both city visitors and those who live there,” said the studio. “From a distance, the building presents distinct elevations and perceptions from different views around the city. Up close, the concept’s playful interplay reveals its secrets, and the compositions step back from the main road towards the park at the rear, creating the most adequate transition in terms of scale.”

This stunning building is set to be the latest high-profile skyscraper to be constructed in Tirana with a rather unique design that instantly grabs eyeballs.

Tiny Forest In Seoul Is A Tiny Study/Relaxation Space Designed To Be A “Microcosm For Oneself”

This flexible study space in Jongno-gu, Seoul is designed by YounghanChung Architects in an attempt to “eliminate unnecessary spaces as much as possible”. Dubbed Tiny Forest, the two-story building was built for a retired university lecturer, who wanted to have a separate space from her main home – a space that would function as a study, and as an intimate space to host and entertain guests. The space is inspired by a sarangbang which is found in traditional Korean homes, where usually the man of the house hosts guests or indulges in hobbies.

Designer: YounghanChung Architects

“Spaces as a hobby space or study have gradually loosened in the frame of housing, and lost the power of their original function,” said founder Younghan Chung. “However, the desire to escape from the house and experience a space like a microcosm for oneself is desperate for all of us living in modern times…[so] this building was intended to create a small private room,” he said.

Tiny Forest was designed to be a dedicated study and relaxation space, a serene zone that is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the main house. The building is made up of two stacked cubes, with the upper cube a little rotated, while both are supported by a steel frame, and clad in corrugated metal in the color white. The different floors of the space were designed as single and flexible spaces, each one amped with a bathroom and generous storage space. The spaces are defined by minimal fittings and fixings, creating a smooth and quaint area. “Conventional structural methods can trap the choreography of users with diverse ways of life within a strictly prescribed framework,” said Chung.

The ground floor features an exposed steel structure in the color white, as well as a massive shopfront-style window that provides views of the street, while also holding an external bench. The space above is wood-lined creating a warm and minimal ambiance, and is equipped with built-in desk space and bookshelves alongside one wall. An external spiral staircase connects both the two floors and is located at the rear of the building. While another staircase connects the western side of the upper level to a tranquil rooftop garden.

Tiny Forest In Seoul Is A Tiny Study/Relaxation Space Designed To Be A “Microcosm For Oneself”

This flexible study space in Jongno-gu, Seoul is designed by YounghanChung Architects in an attempt to “eliminate unnecessary spaces as much as possible”. Dubbed Tiny Forest, the two-story building was built for a retired university lecturer, who wanted to have a separate space from her main home – a space that would function as a study, and as an intimate space to host and entertain guests. The space is inspired by a sarangbang which is found in traditional Korean homes, where usually the man of the house hosts guests or indulges in hobbies.

Designer: YounghanChung Architects

“Spaces as a hobby space or study have gradually loosened in the frame of housing, and lost the power of their original function,” said founder Younghan Chung. “However, the desire to escape from the house and experience a space like a microcosm for oneself is desperate for all of us living in modern times…[so] this building was intended to create a small private room,” he said.

Tiny Forest was designed to be a dedicated study and relaxation space, a serene zone that is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the main house. The building is made up of two stacked cubes, with the upper cube a little rotated, while both are supported by a steel frame, and clad in corrugated metal in the color white. The different floors of the space were designed as single and flexible spaces, each one amped with a bathroom and generous storage space. The spaces are defined by minimal fittings and fixings, creating a smooth and quaint area. “Conventional structural methods can trap the choreography of users with diverse ways of life within a strictly prescribed framework,” said Chung.

The ground floor features an exposed steel structure in the color white, as well as a massive shopfront-style window that provides views of the street, while also holding an external bench. The space above is wood-lined creating a warm and minimal ambiance, and is equipped with built-in desk space and bookshelves alongside one wall. An external spiral staircase connects both the two floors and is located at the rear of the building. While another staircase connects the western side of the upper level to a tranquil rooftop garden.

The Bat Trang Pottery Museum’s Architectural Ode to Tradition Is A Canyon In The City Of Vietnam

In the heart of Vietnam’s Bat Trang village, where the artistry of ceramic and pottery has thrived since the 11th century, a striking testament to this enduring legacy has emerged. The Bat Trang Pottery Museum stands not only as a repository of artisanal creations but also as a living embodiment of the village’s rich history and cultural identity.

Designer: 1+1>2 Architects

The design of the Bat Trang Pottery Museum is more than just a structure; it is a poetic translation of local tales and traditions. The architects embarked on a collaborative journey with pottery experts, local artisans, and villagers, ensuring that the museum’s essence resonates with the very soul of Bat Trang. The tiered, canyon-like architecture pays homage to the potters’ wheels, capturing the spirit of traditional kilns crafted from brick. This deliberate nod to the village’s heritage reflects a commitment to preserving and celebrating the art form that has been passed down through generations.

Walking through the Bat Trang Pottery Museum is not merely a visual experience; it is a journey through architectural drama. The seven inverted domes create a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow, forming expansive open-air spaces on the ground level. These spaces become dynamic venues for events, exhibitions, and traditional festivals, fostering a sense of community engagement. Skylights strategically positioned atop the structure usher in daylight, infusing the interiors with ambient coolness and creating a harmonious connection with the surrounding environment, also marked as a sustainable element.

The choice of materials in the museum’s construction is a delicate dance between tradition and modernity. Fiber-reinforced concrete cladding, chosen as the primary construction element, speaks to the contemporary while remaining grounded in practicality. Its lightness allows for upward expansion and easy implementation by local builders. Intertwined with this modern material are earthen bricks, mosaic ceramic, and pottery tiles—each telling a story of the Bat Trang craft village. This thoughtful integration not only pays homage to the local craftsmanship but also ensures a seamless blend of the museum with its cultural context.

Beyond its role as a repository of ceramics and pottery, the Museum serves as a multifunctional haven for the community. The four-story tower accommodates commercial enterprises and homestays, ensuring economic support for the locals. The Bat Trang culinary space on the fourth floor celebrates the village’s gastronomic heritage, complemented by an adjacent auditorium for performing arts. At the summit, a rooftop garden crowns the museum—a collaborative workshop and playground, inviting visitors to engage in the artistic process.

In capturing the essence of Bat Trang’s local ceramic and porcelain crafts, the Bat Trang Pottery Museum stands as a beacon of cultural continuity. It is a testament to the delicate balance between architectural innovation and the preservation of tradition, offering visitors an immersive experience that transcends time and tells the story of a village deeply rooted in the art of pottery. Architectural photographer Trieu Chien’s lens captures the sculptural beauty, inviting the world to witness the harmonious marriage of past and present in this unique architectural masterpiece.

The Bat Trang Pottery Museum’s Architectural Ode to Tradition Is A Canyon In The City Of Vietnam

In the heart of Vietnam’s Bat Trang village, where the artistry of ceramic and pottery has thrived since the 11th century, a striking testament to this enduring legacy has emerged. The Bat Trang Pottery Museum stands not only as a repository of artisanal creations but also as a living embodiment of the village’s rich history and cultural identity.

Designer: 1+1>2 Architects

The design of the Bat Trang Pottery Museum is more than just a structure; it is a poetic translation of local tales and traditions. The architects embarked on a collaborative journey with pottery experts, local artisans, and villagers, ensuring that the museum’s essence resonates with the very soul of Bat Trang. The tiered, canyon-like architecture pays homage to the potters’ wheels, capturing the spirit of traditional kilns crafted from brick. This deliberate nod to the village’s heritage reflects a commitment to preserving and celebrating the art form that has been passed down through generations.

Walking through the Bat Trang Pottery Museum is not merely a visual experience; it is a journey through architectural drama. The seven inverted domes create a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow, forming expansive open-air spaces on the ground level. These spaces become dynamic venues for events, exhibitions, and traditional festivals, fostering a sense of community engagement. Skylights strategically positioned atop the structure usher in daylight, infusing the interiors with ambient coolness and creating a harmonious connection with the surrounding environment, also marked as a sustainable element.

The choice of materials in the museum’s construction is a delicate dance between tradition and modernity. Fiber-reinforced concrete cladding, chosen as the primary construction element, speaks to the contemporary while remaining grounded in practicality. Its lightness allows for upward expansion and easy implementation by local builders. Intertwined with this modern material are earthen bricks, mosaic ceramic, and pottery tiles—each telling a story of the Bat Trang craft village. This thoughtful integration not only pays homage to the local craftsmanship but also ensures a seamless blend of the museum with its cultural context.

Beyond its role as a repository of ceramics and pottery, the Museum serves as a multifunctional haven for the community. The four-story tower accommodates commercial enterprises and homestays, ensuring economic support for the locals. The Bat Trang culinary space on the fourth floor celebrates the village’s gastronomic heritage, complemented by an adjacent auditorium for performing arts. At the summit, a rooftop garden crowns the museum—a collaborative workshop and playground, inviting visitors to engage in the artistic process.

In capturing the essence of Bat Trang’s local ceramic and porcelain crafts, the Bat Trang Pottery Museum stands as a beacon of cultural continuity. It is a testament to the delicate balance between architectural innovation and the preservation of tradition, offering visitors an immersive experience that transcends time and tells the story of a village deeply rooted in the art of pottery. Architectural photographer Trieu Chien’s lens captures the sculptural beauty, inviting the world to witness the harmonious marriage of past and present in this unique architectural masterpiece.

The Diamond ADU Is A Cedar-Clad Home Inspired By Farm Buildings

Designed by American studio Schwartz and Architecture, this appealing cedar-clad ADU is part of a family estate in Sonoma, which is a historic town nestled in Northern California’s winemaking region. The home is intended to function as “a jumping-off point for a modern wine country design”. The entire property includes a main house, as well as multiple other buildings, each of them pulling in the attention of the onlookers. The ADU is designed to be demure from certain angles, and extremely lively from others.

Designer: Schwartz and Architecture

While designing the ADU, the architects were inspired by the farm structures found in Sonoma Valley, quite a few of which have a dilapidated appearance. “Their original, steeply sloped roofs are now drooping into low-slung structures, peeling apart, allowing in unexpected puddles of natural light, and revealing fragments of their interior framing to the outside elements,” said the team.

The inspiration from the farm structure led the architectural team to build a 1200-square-foot dwelling that includes two volumes consisting of a foyer and a sheltered patio. One of the volumes is shaped like a square, and it includes an open-plan communal space. While the other volume accommodates a bed and a bathroom. The exterior walls have been clad in an Alaskan yellow cedar with a unique weathered finish. The entire structure is built using mostly wood, with a couple of steel beams.

As you enter the ADU, you are welcomed by bright rooms, a neutral color palette, and warm earthly materials that make you feel at home. The flooring and kitchen cabinetry are built using European white oak, while the kitchen countertops are quartzite. The island is clad in the same cedar used in the exterior facades. A section of the roof has been sliced apart to create a linear skylight that spans the area between the public space to the bathroom.

“Neither an unconsidered ‘modern farmhouse’ nor the literal ruins of a de-constructing rural barn, we hope this modern country home feels alive – complete but always in process,” said the team.

What are the Characteristics of Islamic Architecture

Islamic architecture, an ancient architectural tradition, is deeply grounded in the principles of Islam. It is renowned for its remarkable sculptural shapes and intricate decorative elements, making Islamic structures among the most awe-inspiring architectural marvels in the world. This distinctive design style originated in the Middle East and later expanded its influence worldwide. Islamic architecture includes various structures like palaces, fortresses, schools, fountains, tombs, public baths, and homes.

Designers: Quad Design Associates, Mohamed Makiya (Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat)

Distinctive Features of Islamic Architecture

Minarets

Location: Minaret on Mizwa Mosque, Oman

Minarets are impressive tall structures with internal staircases and petite openings. They not only possess a striking visual presence but also serve a vital role by issuing the call to prayer, a practice performed five times daily by Muslims.

Domes

Location: Jumeirah Mosque, UAE (courtesy of Donna Corless)

Islamic architecture incorporates the use of pendentives, which enable the placement of circular domes atop rectangular or square buildings. These pendentives are frequently adorned with intricate mosaic tiling.

Arches

Location: Ala’ Darwaza, India

Horseshoes, pointed, scalloped, and ogee arches are common in Islamic architecture.

Ornamental Details

Islamic ornamentation frequently incorporates vibrant mosaic tiles adorned with recurring geometric or floral designs, including the arabesque. It also commonly employs Arabic calligraphy scripts, such as verses from the Qur’an. Additional embellishments in Islamic design encompass wall paintings, stucco sculptures, wall panels, and ornate woodwork.

Mashrabiya

Location: Tunisia

The mashrabiya is a wooden lattice framework, employed on windows for privacy and climate regulation. It occasionally serves as a purely decorative feature or a means of partitioning interior spaces in modern contexts.

Muqarnas Vaulting

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Designer: Peter Vaulin (Saint Petersburg Mosque, Russia)

With a design reminiscent of honeycombs or stalactites, intricate muqarnas vaulting introduces a textural and single-hued element to the ceilings of interiors that are often adorned with intricate and vibrant tiles.

Mihrab

Location: Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain

The Mihrab, an architectural feature, designates the direction of prayer and is often a semicircular niche within the mosque’s wall.

Arabesque Art

Location: Umayyad Mosque, Syria

Islamic ornamentation comprises geometric designs, floral patterns, and calligraphy, with influences from Roman, Greek, and Sasanian cultures emphasizing symmetry. A recurring motif in Islamic art and architecture is the eight-pointed star pattern. All Islamic decorations exhibit symmetry, typically following a spiral path from which leaves and flowers emerge.

Iwan

Location: Mir-i Arab Madrassah, Uzbekistan

An Iwan is a rectangular chamber enclosed by walls on three sides and left open on one side, featuring a vaulted roof, with the entrance, known as a Pishtaq, adorned with calligraphic friezes, glazed tilework, and geometric designs, and this arched entrance typically leads into a courtyard.

Outdoor Landscape

Location: Taj Mahal, India (courtesy of Amos Chapple)

Islamic architectural design frequently includes gardens, enclosed inner courtyards, open spaces with columns supporting a roof and vaulted structures.

Primary Types of Buildings

Mosque

Designer: Mohammed Yasir

Islamic places of worship called mosques or “masjid” in Arabic, serve as hubs for prayer, education, and reflection. They typically feature an open courtyard for gatherings and a prominent minaret for the call to prayer.

Madrasa

Location: Ben Youssef Madrasa, Morocco

The madrasa is an Islamic educational institution with early variations including open and closed courtyard buildings; iwans, distinct archways, are key features, and later madrasas provided student accommodations.

Notable Examples of Islamic Architecture

1. Selimiye Mosque. Edirne, Turkey. 1569-1575

Architect: Mimar Sinan

Designed by the architect Mimar Sinan, this Ottoman Mosque situated in Edrine, Turkey, is hailed as one of the paramount accomplishments in Islamic architecture. The Selimiye mosque features an innovative octagonal support structure that is formed by eight pillars within a square wall framework, along with four domes and arches extending from these pillars.

2. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is one of the world’s ancient surviving Islamic structures. Additionally, The Dome of the Rock was the initial Islamic edifice to incorporate a Byzantine-inspired dome, with a gilded wooden dome perched atop an octagonal foundation. It is beautified with intricate floral and geometric mosaics.

3. The Alhambra in Granada, Spain

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The Alhambra is a 14th-century palace and fortress situated on an elevated plateau with a beautiful view of Granada, Spain. Although the passage of 700 years has led to the loss of some original structures, what endures is a magnificent showcase of Islamic architectural adornment. Within the Court of Lions, intricate details such as carved wood and stucco, vibrant tiles, calligraphy, and muqarnas embellish the surroundings.

4. The Taj Mahal in Agra, India

Architect: Ustad Ahmad Lahori

The Taj Mahal is recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It harmoniously blends Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural influences, making this extensive 17th-century mausoleum complex one of the most visited and photographed tourist destinations in the world. Its iconic central white marble tomb immediately catches the eye, while its façade showcases exquisite intricacies and exquisite details with precious inlaid stones and Arabic calligraphy.

5. Suleymaniye Mosque complex, Istanbul

Architect: Mimar Sinan

Suleymaniye Mosque was commissioned by the Ottoman ruler Suleyman the Magnificent between 1550 and 1557, during the peak of the Ottoman Empire and it forms one of the largest and most exquisite mosque complexes in Istanbul. Inside, the mosque features a spacious square chamber illuminated by over 100 large windows, some adorned with stained glass. Surrounding the mosque is a complex with a hospital, religious schools, shops, a mausoleum, and a bath designed by the accomplished Ottoman architect Sinan, who played an important role in shaping a unique Ottoman architectural style.

6. Great Mosque of Córdoba

The Great Mosque of Córdoba in Spain began in the late 8th century on the site of a Christian church, built by the Umayyad ruler Abd al-Rahman I between 784 and 786. It got bigger in the 9th and 10th centuries, and one expansion added a beautifully decorated mihrab, a niche showing the direction of Mecca, set behind a fancy arch. Another striking feature of the mosque is the expansive hypostyle hall, featuring around 850 columns crafted from materials like porphyry, jasper, and marble, which support two-tier horseshoe arches.

7. Great Mosque of Damascus. Old City of Damascus. 715 C.E.

The Great Mosque of Damascus, also referred to as the Umayyad Mosque, stands as one of the world’s largest and most ancient mosques, holding the distinction of being the fourth holiest site in Islam. It features a rectangular layout with a courtyard enclosed by four outer walls. Ever since its construction, this mosque has set the architectural precedent for congregational mosques in Syria.

8. Agra Fort. Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. 11th century

The Agra Fort is a brick fort that exhibits a semicircular design, with its chord running parallel to the river and walls towering at a height of seventy feet. The architects established the base and constructed the core using bricks, while they employed sandstone for the exterior.

9. Sultan Hassan Mosque. Cairo, Egypt. 1353-1363

The Sultan Hassan Mosque stands as a college mosque distinguished by its cruciform layout, iwans, sunken porticos, grand pointed arches, and other impressive architectural features, even though it has minimal ornamentation. It features a domed entrance chamber and an intricately adorned muqarnas-adorned doorway.

10. Bibi-Heybat Mosque. Baku, Azerbaijan. 13th century

Architect: Fahraddin Miralay

The Bibi-Heybat Mosque, a historic place of worship in Baku, encompasses the resting place of Ukeyma Khanum. Also recognized as the “Mosque of Fatima,” it features an intricately ornamented interior. The mosque integrates a 20-meter tall minaret, and its interior consists of a rectangular space with lancet arches.

The Volvo Circle Pavilion uses perforated Tyvek to mimic the feeling of sitting under a tree

Located in South Korea, the Volvo Circle Pavilion presents a unique approach to outdoor spaces. Built on the principles of komorebi, or the phenomenon where light passes through the gaps in leaves, this pavilion allows people to gather in its shade, while using Tyvek facades with leaf-shaped holes that allow the sun to weave through, mimicking the feeling of basking under a tree!

Designer: Studio Heech

The Volvo Circle Pavilion’s most striking feature lies in its innovative use of materials. The pavilion is enveloped in a paper-thin and light Tyvek covering, a waterproof material with physical properties akin to paper. This Tyvek covering, far from being a mere aesthetic choice, serves as a canvas for intricate patterns. Crafted by cutting the material with precision, these patterns cast three-dimensional shadows reminiscent of dappled sunlight filtering through leaves in a forest—a captivating metaphor for the play of light, or “Komorebi.” (Japanese word for sunlight, which is filtered through the leaves of the trees.)

What sets this Pavilion apart is its commitment to a circular and sustainable material lifecycle. The Tyvek covering, after serving its purpose, is dismantled and repurposed into recycled plastic boards for public furniture. This innovative approach to recycling not only minimizes waste but also breathes new life into materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The creation of the Pavilion was a collaborative effort that brought together craftsmen, engineers, and makers from various fields, united by a shared ambition for sustainability. Front INC, renowned for its expertise in crafting minimal and lightweight structures, collaborated with DSLSM, known for its eco-friendly works using Tyvek material. Together, they orchestrated a symphony of sustainable design and material innovation.

A key strategy employed in the construction of the pavilion was prefabrication, where almost all elements were fabricated off-site and then assembled on location. This approach not only streamlined the construction process but also significantly reduced the environmental impact and carbon emissions associated with traditional on-site construction methods. This is an upcoming method of construction as the contemporary methods are the most significant contributors to GHG emissions, accounting for one-third of global carbon emissions, one-third of global resource consumption, and 40% of global energy consumption.

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t end with the pavilion’s construction. The minimal steel structure that supports the pavilion is disassembled and reused, ensuring that every element finds a new purpose. Puzzle benches, crafted from forged and neglected structural wood, are fully recycled and generously donated to elementary schools, daycare centers, and children’s libraries in the Seoul area. This goes beyond mere recycling; it’s a commitment to meaningful reuse that benefits the community. The modular design of these benches facilitates efficient stacking and transportation of larger pieces, contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, their water-resistant features and chamfered edges make them ideal for children.

The Volvo Circle Pavilion in South Korea stands as a beacon of sustainable architecture, showcasing that beauty and environmental responsibility can coexist harmoniously. From its lightweight Tyvek covering to the recycled plastic boards and donated puzzle benches, every element of this pavilion is a testament to a circular and eco-conscious approach to design and construction. As we celebrate the Volvo Circle Pavilion, we are reminded that the future of architecture lies not just in grand designs but in the thoughtful and sustainable use of materials that shape our built environment.

The Volvo Circle Pavilion uses perforated Tyvek to mimic the feeling of sitting under a tree

Located in South Korea, the Volvo Circle Pavilion presents a unique approach to outdoor spaces. Built on the principles of komorebi, or the phenomenon where light passes through the gaps in leaves, this pavilion allows people to gather in its shade, while using Tyvek facades with leaf-shaped holes that allow the sun to weave through, mimicking the feeling of basking under a tree!

Designer: Studio Heech

The Volvo Circle Pavilion’s most striking feature lies in its innovative use of materials. The pavilion is enveloped in a paper-thin and light Tyvek covering, a waterproof material with physical properties akin to paper. This Tyvek covering, far from being a mere aesthetic choice, serves as a canvas for intricate patterns. Crafted by cutting the material with precision, these patterns cast three-dimensional shadows reminiscent of dappled sunlight filtering through leaves in a forest—a captivating metaphor for the play of light, or “Komorebi.” (Japanese word for sunlight, which is filtered through the leaves of the trees.)

What sets this Pavilion apart is its commitment to a circular and sustainable material lifecycle. The Tyvek covering, after serving its purpose, is dismantled and repurposed into recycled plastic boards for public furniture. This innovative approach to recycling not only minimizes waste but also breathes new life into materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The creation of the Pavilion was a collaborative effort that brought together craftsmen, engineers, and makers from various fields, united by a shared ambition for sustainability. Front INC, renowned for its expertise in crafting minimal and lightweight structures, collaborated with DSLSM, known for its eco-friendly works using Tyvek material. Together, they orchestrated a symphony of sustainable design and material innovation.

A key strategy employed in the construction of the pavilion was prefabrication, where almost all elements were fabricated off-site and then assembled on location. This approach not only streamlined the construction process but also significantly reduced the environmental impact and carbon emissions associated with traditional on-site construction methods. This is an upcoming method of construction as the contemporary methods are the most significant contributors to GHG emissions, accounting for one-third of global carbon emissions, one-third of global resource consumption, and 40% of global energy consumption.

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t end with the pavilion’s construction. The minimal steel structure that supports the pavilion is disassembled and reused, ensuring that every element finds a new purpose. Puzzle benches, crafted from forged and neglected structural wood, are fully recycled and generously donated to elementary schools, daycare centers, and children’s libraries in the Seoul area. This goes beyond mere recycling; it’s a commitment to meaningful reuse that benefits the community. The modular design of these benches facilitates efficient stacking and transportation of larger pieces, contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, their water-resistant features and chamfered edges make them ideal for children.

The Volvo Circle Pavilion in South Korea stands as a beacon of sustainable architecture, showcasing that beauty and environmental responsibility can coexist harmoniously. From its lightweight Tyvek covering to the recycled plastic boards and donated puzzle benches, every element of this pavilion is a testament to a circular and eco-conscious approach to design and construction. As we celebrate the Volvo Circle Pavilion, we are reminded that the future of architecture lies not just in grand designs but in the thoughtful and sustainable use of materials that shape our built environment.