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Omizubata N House by Iida Archiship Studio

Innovative Japanese architecture firm Iida Archiship Studio has built a strong reputation with modernist structures that are thoughtfully responsive to their surroundings. This example, the Omizubata N House, set within the forested town of Kauizawa, is a weekend retreat that, like Iida’s other work, gracefully balances elegance and minimalism, while taking its immediate environment into serious consideration.

Omizubata N HouseStacked concrete columns support an exaggerated, dissymmetrical roof that extends to create a wraparound veranda and significant outdoor space at the structure’s front. The house’s open-to-nature design is obvious, while still maintaining a good sense of order and just enough transparency.

Omizubata N House

Omizubata N HouseInside, the gabled-roof design allows for a double-height ceiling, as well as a lofted study.

Omizubata N HouseWood-clad finishing both references and communicates with the forested environment.

Omizubata N House

More at: Iida Archiship Studio
Photos: Iida Archiship Studio

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

1. Papabubble Hard Candy, $15; 2. René Redzepi: A Work in Progress, $60; 3. Massimo Vignelli Clear Mug, $12; 4. Pat Kim’s Soap on a Rope, $16; 5. Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrush, $7

6. Acne Studios Pajama Shirt, $320; 7. A Lab on Fire Perfume, $110; 8. Gabriela Artigas Tusk Ring, $195;
9. Lite+Cycle Vetiver Pillar Candle, $36; 10.Takahiro Kurashima: Poemotion 1, $25

3D Sculptures by Eyal Gever

Eyal Gever, an artist with a history in 3D design and creation, explores disaster and motion through his impressive sculptures. Composed of hanging, multiple layers, that include subtleties like depth and shadow, the sculptures make for a dimensional, remarkably realistic effect. This static translation of cataclysmic events results in a sense of peace and an unexpected beauty in stillness. Gever’s work includes sculptural depictions of a nuclear bomb, a large-scale smoke cloud, and a street explosion, among his other work that plays with form, sudden movement and destruction, as well as material.

More at: Eyal Gever

Frozen by Maxim & Katia Mezentsev

One minute of pure, icy beauty.

Homes at Night by Todd Hido

San Francisco-based photographer Todd Hido’s Homes at Night series captures the often eery scene of light streaming from the inside of a house or apartment, framed in a noticeably lifeless scene. These long-exposure shots (on analog film) evoke both the feeling of isolation, and questions about the unknown private life of the resident.

See the complete series at: Todd Hido.

Drawings by Tobias Hutzler

In his Drawings series of photographs, German-born, New York Based artist Tobias Hutzler has, in an unusual way, captured the magical energy of light. Inspired by Picasso’s light drawings, the stark desert backgrounds and Hutzler’s simple compositions work with a little camera manipulation to create truly striking images.

More at: Tobias Hutzler

Water Drops by Heinz Maier

The life of water has long allured photographers; from the motion of a droplet, to its unbelievable fluidity (refer to Alberto Seveso‘s ink and water pieces). However, it is hard to match the striking work of Heinz Maier, a German photographer who employs macro photography and a specific DIY system to photograph the dyed drops he choreographs. The resulting stills of unusual, organic form, appear as graceful as fragile glass sculpture.

More at: Heinz Maier

Encyclopedia of Flowers

Makoto Azuma is an artist that works in the medium of plant life and flowers. His installations, where plant form is experimented, have been very well received in the art community. Additionally, his Tokyo shop, Jardin des Fleurs, where he stands as “haute couturier” of flowers, produces arrangements of variable scale and function. With Shunsuke Shiinoki behind the lens, Azuma has produced an extraordinary book, Encyclopedia of Flowers.

Don’t let the name fool you, this is no standard reference book with stock images, rather, a stunning visual guide to over two thousand species, indexed scientifically, and ordered into five sections: Whole, Flock, Coexistence, Hybrid, and Appearance. The composition and photography is outstanding, and in many cases, the richness of colour on the page is striking. Use of unexpected (or unknown) plants, with parts of the plant you don’t typically see integrated into the arrangement, make for fascinating visuals.

This remarkable “encyclopedia” is equally at home with a lover of nature, art, flowers, or photography; but by opening it up, you’ll certainly appreciate the combination of all of these aspects.

$85, available at Lars Müller Publishers

Vintage Pencil Set by Antica Cartotecnica

Presented in an elegant, 50+-year-old cardstock folder, this collection of vintage pencils from Antica Cartotecnica is perhaps the loveliest of grab bags. The multi-generation stationary shop in the Piazza dei Caprettari in Rome hand-selects this unique set of five pencils, dating from the 1940s to the 1960s, each from a different maker or country of origin.

$30, available at Vetted 

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