“There are 50 different color shades of white,” says John Pawson. And you could probably only see them in an empty room. For John Pawson, architecture is about reduction.

British architect John Pawson is a master of minimalism. He is recognized for Calvin Klein’s flagship store in Manhattan and a Cistercian monastery in Bohemia. His house in London, a Zen like living space, has been reduced to its essence, as close to perfect as possible. It has false walls to hide things he doesn’t want to display. The natural light and the empty space seem to communicate more than the space that is filled up with something.

The minimalism thing. I can live a life influenced by clean design. I can resist buying things but do I always have to put stuff away? The idea is to not disturb my imagination.  It’s about trying to calm things down a little, isn’t it?


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  1. I am a big fan of Pawson’s work and i am pleased to see that you are featuring it.
    I don’t believe that this is Pawson’s own residence but rather one of his residential projects, perhaps the California residential project on which he is working. Can you please tell me the source of the images that you are using?

  2. Bridget K

    I would just say: satisfaction pure! (Saw it before.) Love all his work.

  3. Pingback: Jason Swadley » My minimalist home

  4. grumpycow

    I am fairly sure the stairs are from his own home. Regardless, they are all beautiful spaces. Would love to live in this – or perhaps I just want to be the sort of elegant, minimal person who could live like this.

  5. That’s the funny thing about Pawson’s work. Many people who appreciate its incredibly austere beauty immediately give themselves a “moral means test” to see if they measure up to the architecture.

  6. Malcolm, glad to know you are inspired by a serious minimalist like John Pawson. I learned that he has a minimalist view on food too. His cooking must have the highest design values too.

    I am always happy to share my sources:

    Bridget, Marko, Jason,
    His work is amazing. Clean and totally exposed. Everything has its place. He must be a little more organized than us?

    Thanks for sharing his “Casa en Alemania.” Saludos.

    Minor keys and grumpycow,
    I also love the simple lines of the wood floors. Perfectly well designed. It does not take a lot for me to get excited about empty spaces. John Pawson calls it “the excitement of empty space.”

  7. That’s plain awesome! I wish my gf would like that … but the thinks that’s to cold for her likes.

  8. Fabian, glad you like it. Super white minimalism is not for everyone. I think ‘white emptiness’ and a lot of natural light creates a stunning contrast.

  9. it’s amazing to see how much space white/blankness can take up when a room is covered in it. and i don’t mean space in the physical sense, the impact of a bold room with its soft shades of white and emphasis on visual simplicity is stunning! one of these days i’m going to buy his cookbook collaboration

  10. Eric Baker

    i’ll bet his kids HATE the house.
    beautiful, sure… but OCD to the MAX

  11. Tristan, your comments felt like poetry. Thank you for sharing.
    Eric, you inspired me. I’ll blog about minimalism and children soon. Regards.

  12. Pingback: minimalism « like OMG?

  13. Does anyone know why John Pawson does not post the recently completed Audi House in Tuscany and the California House in Bel Air? Recent construction photos of the Casa delle Bottere in Veneto, Italy?

  14. Lawrence, I was thinking the same thing. Hope you find your answer on his Facebook fan page.

  15. Sorry to rain on this lovely parade of accolades, but I must ask is this minimalism or nothing more than yet another example of contemporary decadence carried to a new philosophical extreme?

    I’ve just returned from photographing a documentary project in the Philippines where vast numbers of people are barely able to manage a subsistence life. Does it really matter how many shades of white exist when people around the globe continue to suffer on this level?

    The time has come for a new thinking / definition to “minimalism.” How about a minimal use of physical space in future projects? Thinking beyond just the waste of space seen here, valuable resources and scarce energy are also lost during the construction and maintenance of these monoliths as well.

  16. pheeww…. some true words, Eli…
    lots of today´s “minimalistic” houses are just huge spaces with less interior.
    glad to see there are apperaing some projects with multifunctional use of small spaces..

  17. staircase is only the best thing!… evrything boring!

    ” minimalism doesnt mean all empty & boring………..” minimalism”……………….s

    ” Minimalism is some thing to think and have conversation” ” Some thing of intellingence but simple”

  18. I can confirm that this is not is not John & Catherine’s current home. I think the pictures are from their previous residence which was constructed circa 1994. I know this because I carried out the electrical installation in their current home. Anybody wishing to see pictures of the current home can find them @



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