British architect John Pawson made a name for himself with his minimalist design style. In 1981, he founded his eponymous studio, and his oeuvre now covers a wide range of projects: from private and holiday homes to galleries, museums, hotels or ballet decors. One of his more recent projects is a house in the heart of London, which we are highlighting here.
John Pawson is known for his unique approach, always starting from the fundamentals of a project. Whether it concerns interiors or household products – he has designed, for example, an oil lamp for the Swedish lighting company Wästberg – his focus is always on space, proportions, light and materials. Pawson approaches each building and design brief in exactly the same way: with the idea that 'it's all architecture'. This London apartment is also characterised by his distinctive minimalist aesthetic. The dwelling is soberly decorated with pale surfaces and a minimum of furniture. The flat was previously divided into a series of separate spaces, including four bedrooms. The redesign of the space started from the idea of emptying everything and opening it up completely to create a single open living space.
The dwelling is soberly decorated with pale surfaces and a minimum of furniture.
At the centre of the unified space is a free-standing wooden volume that serves as a kitchen, with handleless white cabinets, and a work area. Cupboards are integrated throughout so that personal belongings can be stored effortlessly. This central volume also helps to partially hide the bedroom from the rest of the flat. In the bedroom, the bed, with a wooden bed frame, is positioned against the angled wall, so that the residents can enjoy the surrounding cityscape. In a corner of the room, a Buddha statue is placed on a marble plinth, one of the five personal objects that the residents wanted to stand out. Together with three paintings and a grandfather clock, this sculpture is meant to serve as a waypoint within the spatial narrative. On the other side of the central wooden volume lies the living room, which is furnished with an oak armchair and a marble coffee table. These materials were also used for the dining table. The entire room is painted white. The floor, in grey, subtly refers to the concrete exterior of the building.
Read more about John Pawson's projects in the impressive monograph John Pawson: Anatomy of Minimum!
Photography by Gilbert McCarragher