John Pawson

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John Pawson
Born 1949
Halifax, England
Occupation author, architectural designer[1]
Subject architecture, simplicity
Spouse Catherine Pawson [2]

John Pawson (born 1949, Halifax, England)[3] is a British architectural designer whose work is known for its minimalist aesthetic.[2]


Pawson was born and brought up in Halifax, Yorkshire, the youngest of five children.[3] Coming from a wealthy family, he was schooled at Eton.[2] 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.[4]

Pawson’s work focuses on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials.[4]

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.[4]

An exhibition of Pawson's work was held at the Design Museum in September 2010.[5]


  • Blueprint Architect of the Year (2005)
  • 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)

Notable projects[edit]

London's Cannelle Cake Shop, several Calvin Klein stores; such as the ice palace on Madison Avenue,[6] work for Jigsaw (clothing retailer), New Wardour Castle apartments (2001), the Nový Dvůr Monastery,[7] Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sept-Fons, Czech Republic (2004), Hotel Puerta America, Madrid (2005), Medina House in Tunis, and the Sackler Crossing, a walkway over the lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2006).


  1. ^ ""Pathetic" architecture watchdog gives Dezeen ultimatum over Pawson story". Dezeen. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Llewellyn Smith, Julia (24 April 2012). "John Pawson: lost in space". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  3. ^ a b "My Secret Life: John Pawson, architect, 61". The Independent. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  4. ^ a b c John Pawson
  5. ^ Kieran Long "John Pawson shows aspiration without arrogance", Evening Standard (thisislondon website), 21 September 2010
  6. ^ Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9. 
  7. ^ John Pawson: Plain Space, Rowan Moore, The Observer, 19 September 2010

External links[edit]