John Pawson Plain Space
London, United Kingdom
On view: September 22, 2010 - January 30, 2011
When you produce interiors with less in them the light becomes more interesting and there is a sense of freedom in the space./John Pawson
Plain Space celebrates Pawson's career from the early 1980s to
date and includes a selection of landmark commissions including the
Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the new
Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in the Czech Republic
and Calvin Klein's iconic flagship store in New York, as well as
current and future projects.
The Monastery was a project of a lifetime. The church is clearly the most important part of the Monastery, it is the be all and end all, but to form the space you can only use what architects have to do these things like light, material, scale, and proportion./John Pawson
John Pawson, known for his rigorous process of design, is often
labelled a "minimalist." From the outset his work has focused on
ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion,
light and materials.
Using a rich range of media the exhibition explores projects from Pawson's career. Specially commissioned, large-scale photography looks at his architecture in the landscape. Actual architectural elements in stone, bronze, wood and metal taken from a range of buildings, including the Baron House in Sweden and Pawson's own house in London, explores his sensitive use of materials.
The process of design and construction is shown through
photography, film, sketches, study models, prototypes and
interviews relating to a number of projects including a private
home in Treviso, Italy currently under construction. Personal items
from the Pawson archive are also on display, including letters from
Karl Lagerfeld and the writer Bruce Chatwin.
A site-specific, full-sized space designed by Pawson offers a direct and immersive experience of his work. This is the first time the Design Museum has realized a 1:1 scale architectural installation inside the museum.
The blog Plain Space, regularly updated with behind the scenes
information and comments, offers a unique insight into the
exhibition process and journey. The blog will continue through the
life of the exhibition concluding on its final day.
John Pawson was born in 1949 in Halifax, Yorkshire. After a
period in the family textile business he left for Japan, spending
several years teaching English at the business University of
Nagoya. Towards the end of his time there he moved to Tokyo, where
he visited the studio of Japanese architect and designer Shiro
Kuramata. Following his return to England, he enrolled at the
Architecture Association in London, leaving to establish his own
practice in 1981. From the outset the work has focused on ways of
approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and
Recognition includes RIBA awards for the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Frate Sole International Prize for Sacred Architecture for the new Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in Bohemia.
In June 2010 John Pawson was announced as the architect who will oversee the design and interior fit out of the former Commonwealth Institute into the new home of the Design Museum. The designs will provide a fully coordinated scheme for the Museum within the existing Grade II* listed Parabola building on Kensington High Street, London to provide temporary and permanent exhibition spaces, education and event facilities, an auditorium and associated services.
Last updated: December 10, 2012
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