Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. British minimalist architect John Pawson has designed a ribbon to support the disaster relief effort, following the earthquake and tsunami, earlier this month. Electronic version of the design is available to download for attachment to websites and emails. A donation can be made online. I would like to express my love, respect and admiration to the Japanese population. Stay strong!
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The London Design Museum invited cultural commentator and philosopher Alain de Botton to interview John Pawson about his current project Plain Space, previous projects and his minimalist approach to design. And yay, the good people of the Design Museum shared a video of the interview. Two beautiful minds interacting, it doesn’t get any better than this! → Watch the video on Vimeo.
In the past Minimalissimo already showed you some of the great work of John Pawson. Now I would like to inform you about a big exhibition about the overall work of the, by the The New York Times entitled, “The father of modern architectural minimalism”. Pawson, emerged in the 80′s, is known for his rigorous process of reduction, creating designs of simplicity and visual clarity. ‘John Pawson – Plain Space’ runs until 30 January 2011 at the Design Museum, London and shows Pawson’s career with big photographs, detailed models and other resources that hint a the reductive process of the British minimalist architect. The models are very nice, and often large; they are build big enough so that cameras can be placed within and used to test out in advance the interplay of light and shadow.
“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?
Sackler Crossing is another wonderfull project by John Pawson, the minimalist architect who has been featured a number of times here on Minimalissimo recently. Located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in southwest London, it was developed as part of a new route and won the RIBA National Award in 2008. Pawson writes: Set low to the surface of the lake, its serpentine form seems to float across the water, allowing people to experience the surrounding landscape from new vantage points. The walkway is fabricated in only two visible materials, each chosen for their hardwearing qualities. The deck is formed of granite treads, laid like railway sleepers between bronze uprights that serve as a balustrade. There is not much more to add, as this just a great example of simplicity and elegance.
John Pawson’s latest unveiling; Palmgren House is steadily purest to his collective body of work. Located in Drevviken, Sweden this house engrosses both an enclosed courtyard to the rear and a terrace, to the front. It aligns with the shore of Lake Drevviken and when the lake freezes over, the site is blanketed in snow, and the pale volume is all but invisible. Whether ironic, purposeful or accidental, the selection of the site to align with the minimalist palette of the build is also nothing short of considered; a nod to Pawson if there ever needed to be one. Completed recently in 2013, Palmgren House is uncompromising in its dedication to both the contemporary architecture and minimalist movements. Pawson is minimalism and this much awaited piece fits seamlessly into the collection. The pale tonal palette of white hues, together with textbook minimalist lines brings this house together with the landscape and its context. Like learning a new language effortlessly, Pawson has an ability to educate, excite and inspire through his resulting forms and spaces. The restrained consideration and the seemingly invisible effort in execution all seem to create a sense of calm through space. Palmgren House is a great example...
The formal proportions and elements of a classically designed church is given a modern, abstract intervention by minimalist architect John Pawson. Moritzkirche, otherwise known as St Mortiz Church has survived multiple traumas of fires, wars and even changes of religion in its nearly 1000 year history in Augsburg, Germany. The abstraction of the Baroque forms is intriguing because the shapes and proportions from the cupola domes to the windows, from the nave to the apse are familiar yet appear the experience is completely different without the decorative religious elements and color. As described by the project architect, Jan Hobel: 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. The light that enters and reflects within the reinterpretation of this church evokes a pristine, uninterrupted atmosphere that it is inevitable to find the peace that one seeks in a church. Images by Gilbert McCarragher.
Phaidon Press published a beautiful monograph written by Alison Morris late last year called John Pawson: Plain Space. The book was intended to accompany a comprehensive exhibition of work by architect John Pawson that ran at the Design Museum in London from September 2010 through to January, 2011. We spoke about the exhibition on Minimalissimo last October. Of the book, publisher Phaidon Press says: In Plain Space, author Alison Morris presents both this recent body of work and earlier projects from the perspective of someone who has had unique access to the work and archives of the office. In thematic essays and narrative project descriptions she examines the firm’s working processes, relationship with clients, and approach to design.
Minimalissimo asks well-known and not-so-well-known designers, architects and artists about their personal views on minimalism. As a result, we should be able to compare views – and you can form your own. Today: artist Adrian Clement.
It’s as if John Pawson is trying to prove that monastic austerity is capable of brightening our spiritual needs—no surprise, considering that with the minimalist British architect, “Every architectural word tells.” A reductive design process that questions the necessity of every element in the desire to eliminate what is superfluous. This discretion in design is vital for a group of robed Cistercian monks, originally from France, who deliberately seeks seclusion. The restored Our Lady of Novy Dvur monastery, in the Czech Republic is their entire world—based on bare necessities and self denial. Mr. Pawson’s edgy poetry in the Our Lady of Novy Dvur monastery is evident. Everything is a shade of white. Spartan interiors with a dramatic stripped down elegance of modernism that reveals hidden sources of light. Concrete, plaster and wood; no stained glass; minimal comfort. This extraordinary serenity is rare. And we are glad that Cistercian monks do these things, so we don’t have to. Well, sort of. For those of Mr. Pawson’s fan club: The London Design Museum’s exhibition “John Pawson Plain Space,” will feature John Pawson’s work from September, 22 2010 to January, 30 2011.
Designer/architect John Pawson designed this B60 yacht in collaboration with naval architect Luca Brenta, who’s always at the forefront of minimalist, innovative and beautifully finished luxury yachts. Pawson says: The project’s functional goal [was] to create the ultimate day racing yacht, built for recreational rather than competitive purposes, but with the highest levels of manoeuvrability. The aesthetic expression of these functional aspirations is embodied in the sleekest of carbon-fibre hulls surmounted by the geometric purity of a triangular white sail. Photography by Jens Weber Munich.
“A square bath? That can’t be comfortable.” That’s what I thought when I saw this bath in pictures of John Pawson’s 1994 Pawson House in London. How wrong was I! The bathtub, Woodline model VAS900, is designed by Benedini Associati for Agape. The inside of the bath is shaped like a chaise longue, so quite ergonomic. And it’s made from plywood – how stylish! Oh, and there is also a double bath (model VAS902) for those romantic couples who prefer to relax together ;-)