Minimalism is one concept that has taken modern apartment architecture design by storm. The notion ‘less is more’ enables architects to create simple and elegant spaces while showing restraint. This is because minimalism is big on simplifying detail, space, form, and color to get as much clarity. 

modern apartment architecture design

And, the trend doesn’t seem to fizzle out as it has become more of a lifestyle. From fashion designers to app developers, and now to architects, the minimalism movement is bound to linger a little longer. In this article we’re going to explore minimalist architecture and how it has evolved over time. 


Initially, minimalism was an art movement that started after the Second World War. It later became prominent in the 1960s and 1970s and was extremely popular in the late 1980s in New York and London. At the time, artists showcased projects with simple details, sparse furnishings, and stark white backdrops. 

In contemporary architecture, minimalism borrows many features from traditional art but focuses on combining refined material palette, clean lines, and architectural profiles to create iconic geometry. 

Also, it takes on features from traditional Japanese architecture and movements such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl, reducing subjects to the essential elements. 

It explains why modern apartment architecture design features straightforward forms paying attention more to detailing and materials. 

Characteristics of Minimalism in Contemporary Apartment Architecture

The Use of Geometry and Clean Lines

As highlighted the concept is about reducing subjects to their essentials, and in architecture, the most important part of a structure is its form. When reduced further, the building blocks take on a geometrical form emphatic on the use of lines. 

As such, minimalist architectural structures have simplified angles defined by clean lines following classic geometric shapes. Since such designs may come off bland and boring, architects combine pared-down geometric forms and play around with scale to add some drama.

Simple Wall Finishes and Cladding

The idea is to use simple and uncomplicated wall finishes and covering to enhance clarity and visual appeal. 

Minimalist architecture achieves this by using simple cladding material that displays its physical characteristics and texture. Materials like steel, glass, and concrete are used to avoid distracting the onlooker from the structure’s form.

Lack of Ornamentation

With minimalist architecture, you’ll hardly find ornate detailing like columns, friezes, or gables. The structures either have straight lines, flat surfaces, or smooth curves. The premise is to draw more attention to the architecture, not decorative or ornate features.

Focus and Function

While minimalist architecture strips off decorative finishes and features, it still creates a functional space. This means the architect still incorporates practical fixtures in the space. For example, a dining room needs chairs and tables. 

The minimalist style ensures the pieces relate to each other regarding color, mass, and lines. They are also practical in that there are comfortable chairs to sit in, tables for taking drinks, and hidden window treatments that allow views. 

The idea is to create a homey space where clients with active lifestyles can relax, without stimulating emotion.

Monochromatic Palette

Again, minimalism is about reducing distractions, and in architecture, color is perceived as such. Thus, architects use monochromatic color schemes like grays, whites, and beiges to reduce a subject to its essence.

Open and Light-filled Spaces

Minimalism is big on eliminating clutter, and the same notion applies to minimalist architecture. The interiors are spacious and have minimal artistic features creating airy and breathable rooms. Also, the large open spaces allow lots of natural light into the rooms to create a warm and welcoming feel instead of the cold, sterile vibe associated with minimalism.

Dramatic Lighting

The minimalist architecture uses dramatic lighting to compensate for the apparent lack of ornate features.

It explains the construction of large open windows that allow lots of natural light. When paired with the monochromatic colors, the natural light reflects a warmer, welcoming mood throughout the space. You may also incorporate custom lighting that doubles up as an artistic feature.

Where Can I Find Contemporary Architects in Melbourne?

Throughout this article we’ve outlined a few of the key drivers behind minimalist architecture and it’s appeal to the housing market. To check out a contemporary architect in Melbourne, visit Co-Lab Architecture. The main takeaway from this article however, is that this kind of architecture focuses on using simple and functional details while drawing attention to the shape, texture, and color of the spaces we inhabit.

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