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Sylvana Kam, Jayden Chi-Yuen Chan

Zen is situated at the southernmost point of Nesoya and is about 13.5km west of Oslo which has a fairly temperate climate. It is directly adjacent to the mainland town of Landoya and highlights the beautiful views of all the surrounding islands. It is easily accessible from mainland Norway through a network of roads and bridges, the island is mostly dominated by a nature reserve, creating a peaceful, quiet atmosphere.

Although commonly known as a simple visual aesthetic, true minimalism can be viewed as a way of life, rather than the arrangement of furniture (or lack thereof). A minimalist lifestyle must follow a routine, spiritual and spatial energy, and circulation. By implementing this thinking, rooms can be positioned in cascading order, allowing for efficient and logical flow.

An example of this flow is the strategic planning of sunlight used throughout the house. Each occupancy follows the sun as it moves across the sky. The sunrise is visible from the bedroom and kitchen, the office and studio are brightly lit in the afternoon, and a beautiful sunset along the horizon can be appreciated from the living area in the evening.

The flow of circulation was important in our design to minimalize movement but also invite mindfulness with each step. The rooms are arranged according to a typical family schedule, where the bedrooms and private washroom are on the northern side while the kitchen, dining room, living room, public washroom, office and studio are more towards the southern side of the home. Organizing the rooms to the schedule allows for a divide between work and rest spaces.

Space is important when considering spiritual and spatial energy. Feng Shui, or the similar Japanese Kanso, is the art of arranging environments to achieve harmony and balance. Using this idea, the flow of circulation, as well as furniture positioning, welcomes tranquility and minimalistic traits into the home. The rooms, and the furniture within, are ordered in a manner that avoids the most “negative energy” and therefore creates a clutterless, calm space.

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