John Pawson

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John Pawson
John Pawson St Moritz Church in Augsburg
Born (1949-05-06) May 6, 1949 (age 65)
Halifax, England
Occupation author, architectural designer[1]
Subject architecture, simplicity
Spouse Catherine Pawson

John Pawson is a British architectural designer, born in Halifax, Yorkshire, on 6 May 1949.


After a period in the family textile business Pawson left for Japan in his mid-twenties, moving to Tokyo during the final year of his stay, where he visited the studio of Japanese architect and designer Shiro Kuramata. On his return to England he enrolled at the Architecture Association in London, leaving to establish his own practice in 1981.

Pawson’s work has consistently focused on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials - themes also explored in his book Minimum, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture and design across a variety of historical and cultural contexts. Early commissions included homes for the writer Bruce Chatwin, opera director Pierre Audi and collector Doris Lockhart Saatchi, together with art galleries in London, Dublin and New York.

Whilst private houses have remained at the core of the work, projects have spanned a wide range of scales and building typologies, from the Sackler Crossing across the lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a flagship store for Calvin Klein and major commissions for Ian Schrager, to ballet sets, yacht interiors and a new Cistercian monastery in Bohemia. The practice is currently involved in the creation of a new permanent home for the Design Museum in London.

Selected projects[edit]

Van Royen Apartment, London, 1981; Chatwin Apartment, London, 1982; (exhibition design) Boilerhouse, V&A, London, 1984; van Royen Apartment, London, 1986; Wakaba restaurant, London, 1987; Canelle cake shop, London, 1988; Runkel Hue-Williams Gallery, London, 1988; Starkmann offices, London, 1988; (in partnership with Claudio Silvestrin) Neuendorf House, Mallorca, 1989; Pawson House, London, 1994; Calvin Klein Collections store, New York, 1995; Tilty Barn, England, 1995; Jigsaw store, London, 1996; Obumex kitchen system, Belgium, 1996; Michael Hue-Williams Gallery, London, 1996; Cathay Pacific airport lounges, Hong Kong, 1998; Pawson House, London, 1999; 5 Objects, When Objects Work, Belgium, 2001; Nordrhein-Westfalen House, Germany, 2003; Abbey of Our Lady of Novy Dvur, Bohemia, Czech Republic, 2004; Baron House, Sweden, 2005; Tableware, When Objects Work, Belgium, 2005; Tetsuka House, Tokyo, 2005; Sackler Crossing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, 2006; (set design) Chroma, Royal Opera House, London, 2006; (interior) b60 Sloop, Kiel, Germany, 2007; Montemaggio Estate, Tuscany, Italy, 2007; cookware, Demeyere, Belgium, 2007; 50 Gramercy Park, New York, 2007; (interior) Baracuda Ketch, Viareggio, Italy, 2008; Martyrs Pavilion, St Edward's School, Oxford, 2009; Schrager Apartment, New York, 2009; Bel Air House, Los Angeles, 2009; North Sea Apartment, Knokke, Belgium, 2009; (installation) Stone House, Milan, 2010; Casa delle Bottere, Treviso, Italy, 2011; (set design) L'Anatomie de la Sensation, Opéra Bastille, Paris, 2011; (interior renovation) Basilica, Archabbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary, 2012; Syukou Fujisawa gallery and café, Okinawa, Japan, 2012; Steak knife, When Objects Work, Belgium, 2013; Palmgren House, Stockholm, 2013; (interior renovation) St Moritz Church, Augsburg, Germany, 2013; (installation) Perspectives, Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy, 2013; Picornell House, Mallorca, 2013; St Tropez Houses, Provence, France, 2012; Montauk House, Long Island, NY, 2013; Christopher Kane Store, London, 2015

Selected Exhibitions[edit]

John Pawson, Leçons du Thoronet, Le Thoronet Abbey, France, 2006; John Pawson, Plain Space, Design Museum, London, 2010; John Pawson, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany, 2012; John Pawson, Plain Space, Fondazione Bisazza, Vicenza, Italy, 2012

Selected Publications[edit]

Subject of[edit]

John Pawson, (Gustavo Gili, 1992, updated 1998), Critic vol 3 (Daishinsha Inc,1995) Barn (Booth-Clibborn, 1999) John Pawson Works, Deyan Sudjic (Phaidon Press, 2000) Themes & Projects (2002) El Croquis 127 (2005) John Pawson, Leçons du Thoronet (2006) John Pawson, Plain Space (2010) El Croquis 158 (2011) Katalog (2012)


Minimum (1996, mini edn 1998) Living & Eating (with Annie Bell, 2001) A Visual Inventory John Pawson (2012)

Selected Awards[edit]

Blueprint Architect of the Year (2005); appointed RSA Royal Designer for Industry (2005) ; Region Skane Award (2006); Wallpaper* House of the Year (2006); Stephen Lawrence Prize (2008); Fondazione Frate Sole International Prize for Sacred Architecture (2008); RIBA National Award (2008); RIBA Arts & Leisure Regional Award (2008); RIBA London Special Award (2008); German Design Council Interior Designer of the Year (2014)


  1. ^ ""Pathetic" architecture watchdog gives Dezeen ultimatum over Pawson story". Dezeen. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 

External links[edit]