From the Colosseum to Corbusier, concrete has been the favored material of architects since the Ancient Roman Empire. Made up of Portland cement, water and aggregate, the composite is praised for its raw, unfinished aesthetic, especially when used in minimalist design. However, concrete has also earned a reputation for appearing cold and alienating when placed alongside vernacular architecture (and it gets worse when used in poorly designed buildings).
For those who appreciate the elegance of minimalist concrete homes like the Villa Savoye, but don’t want to become the neighborhood scrooge, wood makes the perfect substitute. From pinewood to timber, light tones to dark hues, wood is rich in appearance and highly versatile in construction, yet can still achieve a stripped-back aesthetic. When used in minimalist home designs, the natural character of wood makes the façade warm and welcoming. Browse through our collection of alluring minimalist homes that trade in the gloominess of concrete for the splendor of wood.
Ridge Road Residence, by studiofour, Australia:
Beach House Mornington, by Clare Cousins Architects, Melbourne:
Pit House, by UID architects, Okayama Prefecture, Japan:
Photos: Koji Fujii/Nacása & Partners Inc
Villa Lóla, by ARKÍS Arkitektar, Vaðalaheiði, Iceland:
Photos by Mirra Arnardottir
Ogaki House, Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates, Japan:
Bal House, by Terry & Terry Architecture, Menlo Park, California:
Cabin Inside/Out, by Reiulf Ramstad Architects, Hvaler, Norway:
House Berg Isel, by Elmar Ludescher Architekt, Berg Isel, Austria:
Summer House in Southern Burgenland, by Judith Benzer Architektur, Burgenland, Austria:
Torquay House, by Wolveridge Architects, Torquay, Austrialia:
Tigh Port na Long, Dualchas Architects, Isle of Skye, UK:
Minimal Family House, by A.LT ARCHITEKTI v.o.s, Zbečno, Czech Republic:
If, in spite of this collection, you’re still addicted to the achingly cool aesthetic of concrete, check out 7 Beautiful, Brutal Japanese Homes or these 10 Perfect Minimalist Interiors. For more sleek, sophisticated wood homes, click here.
Photography by Tomas Rasl