John Pawson (b.1949) is an architect and designer whose exceptional work combines an essential simplicity with a keen attention to the details of everyday life and human experience. In the last decade, the scope of his designs has broadened from objects and interiors to include houses, monasteries, pavilions and boats. This change in scale has given his office the opportunity to refine its minimalist aesthetic and further develop its ideas of a fundamental architecture based on the qualities of space, proportion, light and materials. 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. Filled with exquisite photographs and detailed drawings, Plain Space will be the next must-have book for fans of John Pawson and a perfect introduction to his work for anyone interested in the absolute best of contemporary design.
John Pawson was born in 1949 in Yorkshire. After spending several years in Japan and studying at the Architecture Association in London, he established his own practice in 1981. From the outset his work focused on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials, rather than on developing a set of stylistic mannerisms – themes he also explored in his book Minimum, first published by Phaidon in 1996, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture and design across a variety of historical and cultural contexts. His many residential and commercial interiors have included homes for the writer Bruce Chatwin and the opera director Pierre Audi as well as art galleries and stores in London, Dublin New York, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo. Subsequent projects have spanned a wide range of scales and building typologies, from stage sets and exhibitions to boats and airport lounges, and include such diverse projects as the new Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in Bohemia and the Sackler Crossing, a bridge over the lake at Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens.
Alison Morris is a writer, specializing in the field of architecture and design. Following an English degree at Cambridge University and a brief period of postgraduate work at King’s College, London, she spent a number of years teaching. In 1998 she joined the Pawson team, where she has remained close to the heart of the architectural process for more than a decade. Alongside the day-to-day work of the practice, she is regularly involved in the preparation of exhibitions and publishing projects. In 2002 she edited the catalogues for the VIII Venice Architecture Biennale, under the directorship of Deyan Sudjic.
""Exquisite" is an adjective frequently applied to the work of John Pawson - and one that might equally be applied to this beautifully produced book."—Kenneth Powell, House & Garden
"Beautiful, inspring."—Time Out
"A record of some of Pawson's most important work, [...] giving the reader a real insight into his approach to his projects."—John Stachiewicz, National Trust magazine
"Presents 30 startlingly minimal and gleaming white projects."—The New York Times
"It's not easy to achieve such Spartan perfection, so if you can't tell the difference between a Pawson interior and a half-empty bachelor pad, consider this required reading."—Details