John Pawson was born in 1949 in Halifax, Yorkshire. He spent many years in Japan before returning to England to enrol at the Architecture Association in London, leaving to establish his own practice in 1981.
From the outset, Mr. Pawson's work has 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 in 1996, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture and design across a variety of historical and cultural contexts.
Mr. Pawson's commissions span a wide range of scales and building typologies, ranging from private homes to Calvin Klein's flagship store in New York City and airport lounges for Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, to a condominium for Ian Schrager on New York City's Gramercy Park and the interiors of a 50-metre yacht and 19m sloop.
Over the years, the office has accrued extensive experience of the particular challenges of working within environments of historic, landscape and ecological significance, key recent examples including the RIBA prize-winning Sackler Crossing, a walkway over the lake at London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in Bohemia, which was awarded the Frate Sole International Prize for Sacred Architecture in 2008.
In 2010, the Design Museum mounted a major exhibition of the work of the John Pawson office in London under the title Plain Space.
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