John Pawson (born 1949 in Halifax) is a British architectural designer known for his minimalist but expressive language of Design. In 1981 he founded his studio in London and since then he realized a variety of projects ranging from private houses, sacred commissions, galleries, museums and hotels to ballet sets, yacht interiors’ and interior equipment. His method is to approach buildings and design commissions in precisely the same manner, on the basis that ‘it’s all architecture’. Thus, everything is traceable back to a consistent set of preoccupations with mass, volume, surface, proportion, junction, geometry, repetition, light and ritual. In this way, even something as modest as a fork can become a vehicle for much broader ideas about how we live and what we value.
HIGHLIGHT: JOHN PAWSON
Perspectives – St Paul’s Cathedral in London, England 2011
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and constructed between 1675 and 1710,
St Paul’s Cathedral provided the context for an installation commissioned by the London Design Festival. Wren’s architecture is rich and complex. This intervention was conceived to allow the visitor to focus on a less familiar element, the Geometric Staircase in the southwest tower, which is a detail, but also a complete moment in its own right. A concave Swarovski crystal meniscus was located at the bottom of the stairwell, resting on the metal hemisphere. A spherical convex mirror, suspended in the tower’s cupola, hung directly over the hemisphere. Acting in concert, these optical devices produced a composite image of the view up through the tower and the elevated downward perspective, visible to visitors gathered round the hemisphere.
Interior Remodeling of St. Moritz Church in Augsburg, Germany 2013
The church of St Moritz has been through many changes since its foundation nearly a thousand years ago. Devastating fires, changes in liturgical practice, aesthetic evolution and wartime bombing have each left their mark on the fabric of the building. The purpose of this latest intervention has been to retune the existing architecture, from aesthetic, functional and liturgical perspectives, with considerations of sacred atmosphere always at the heart of the project. The work has involved the meticulous paring away of selected elements of the church’s complex fabric and the relocation of certain artefacts, to achieve a clearer visual field. Drawing on existing forms and elements of vocabulary, an architectural language has evolved that is recognizable in subtle ways as something new yet has no jarring foreign elements.
The Design Museum in London, England 2016
The Design Museum’s new permanent home in west London sits within the skin of an existing building designed by Robert Matthews, Johnson-Marshall & Partners, which opened in 1962. Driving the process of reclaiming this iconic example of post-war British Modernism as cultural space was the wish to preserve and enhance the original structure’s inherent architectural qualities, while accommodating the full program of a contemporary museum. In order to increase the floor area for the museum, a reconfiguration of the structure and a basement excavation has been carried out. The resulting wide, open spaces, staged by the characteristic geometry of the roof, allow to take a breath between the exhibition areas and let one’s mind wander.
Okinawa House, Japan 2016
The site for this family home is a 414sqm cliff-top plot on the island of Okinawa, where the clients wish to spend their summer and winter holidays. As they live in a box-shaped house in Tokyo, the brief was for somewhere with a sense of vertical and horizontal expansiveness and the fluidity of the catenary curve came up as a visual reference. The design traces the diagonal footprint of the plot, combining single and double-height spaces within a form that is closed and tapered to the rear, but to the front flares and opens like an eye over the headland, with the ground floor level raised to optimize sightlines to the ocean.
Farini Bakery & Café in Milan, Italy 2017
Driving the brief for the project was the requirement that these premises in Milan be at once a gallery for bread, a stage for bakers and a gathering place for customers, with its various spaces simultaneously susceptible to the very different disciplines of curation and choreography. The richness of the space is deriving from details of form, texture, pattern and the fall of the light. At the heart of the design is a recognizable language of materials and architectural moves — a signature curve, a particular play of recessed and protruding elements — that both feels responsive to the site but can also adapt to future location conditions.
Wooden Chapel in Lutzingen, Germany 2018
A small path leads to the chapel’s entrance, located at the transitional point between woodland and open ground. The architecture is framed as the simplest of gestures. From certain perspectives its mass appears as a pile of logs stacked up to dry; from others the considered placement of the elements on a concrete plinth creates a more formal impression of a piece of sculpture emerging from the forest. The purposefully narrow entry maintains the sense of physical proximity encountered as one moves through the dense trees, adding visceral and visual theatre to the exhilarating experience of passing into an attenuated space over seven meters high and nearly nine meters long.
Jil Sander Store in Tokyo, Japan 2018
The design for the store on Omotesandō uses refined geometry to sculpt space, shape patterns of movement and create atmosphere. Gestures are pared to a minimum, with the emphasis falling on a series of immersive sensory encounters with natural materials and elements of borrowed landscape — most powerfully in the play of light on timber, stone and steel, and through the branches and foliage of a mature tree.
Home Farm in Oxfordshire, England 2019
Over the course of more than thirty years, a body of work has accumulated based on the objective of making simple spaces, with just what is required and nothing more, where the eye feels as comfortable as the body. At the heart of everything has been the idea of refining by removing, meticulously paring away until what is left cannot be improved by further reduction: sensual space, where the primary experience is of the quality of light, materials and proportions.
Source : johnpawson.com