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John Pawson Exhibition at Design Museum, London

John Pawson Design Museum Show

23 Jun 2010

John Pawson – Plain Space

22 Sep 2010 – 30 Jan 2011

This autumn, the Design Museum presents a major exhibition of the work of British architect John Pawson. Often labelled a ‘minimalist’, he is known for his rigorous process of design. By reducing and editing he creates architecture and product designs of visual clarity, simplicity and grace.

House of Stone
house of stone
photo received 06051

Plain Space celebrates Pawson’s career from the early 1980s to date and includes a selection of landmark commissions including the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the new Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in the Czech Republic and Calvin Klein’s iconic flagship store in New York, as well as current and future projects.

At the heart of the exhibition is a site-specific, full-sized space designed by Pawson to offer a direct and immersive experience of his work. This is the first time the Design Museum has realised a 1:1 scale architectural installation inside the museum.

Using a rich range of media the exhibition will explore projects from Pawson’s career. Specially commissioned, large-scale photography will look at his architecture in the landscape. Actual architectural elements in stone, bronze, wood and metal taken from a range of buildings including the Baron House in Sweden and Pawson’s own house in London will explore his sensitive use of materials. The process of design and construction will also be shown through photography, film, sketches, study models, prototypes and interviews relating to a number of projects including a private home in Treviso, Italy currently under construction. Personal items from the Pawson archive will also be on display including letters from Karl Lagerfeld and the writer Bruce Chatwin.

A new book, John Pawson Plain Space, written by Alison Morris, will be published by Phaidon Press to coincide with the opening of the exhibition.

The Sackler Crossing
The Sackler Crossing
picture : RBG Kew

TICKETS: Adults £8.50; Concessions £6.50
Students £5.00; Under 12s free
OPENING: 10.00-17.45 daily. Last admission: 17.15

PUBLIC INFORMATION T: 020 7940 8790. W:
ADVANCE BOOKING T: 020 7940 8783. W:

John Pawson

In June 2010 John Pawson was announced as the architect who will oversee the design and interior fit out of the former Commonwealth Institute into the new home of the Design Museum. The designs will provide a fully coordinated scheme for the Museum within the existing Grade II* listed Parabola building on Kensington High Street, London to provide temporary and permanent exhibition spaces, education and event facilities, an auditorium and associated services.

Design Museum London

Hotel Puerta America, Madrid, Spain
Hotel Puerta America
photo from Hotel Puerta America

John Pawson in conversation

John Pawson will reflect on the influences and motivations which have helped shape his approach to architecture. Date tbc.

Tickets £15, Design Museum Members £7.50. Booking via: 0207 940 8783

The Design Museum shop will stock a selection of exclusive exhibition merchandise, including a limited edition print, postcards and tote bag. The entire collection of Pawson items designed for the Belgian company ‘When Objects Work’ will be available exclusively in the UK at the Design Museum shop.

The book ‘John Pawson Plain Space’ by Alison Morris will be published by Phaidon in September, priced £45 and available from

Review copies available from Jenny Lea E:[email protected] T: 0207 843 1205

Exhibition design by John Pawson Architects.

John Pawson Biography

John Pawson was born in 1949 in Halifax, Yorkshire. After a period in the family textile business he left for Japan, spending several years teaching English at the business University of Nagoya. Towards the end of his time there he moved to Tokyo, where he visited the studio of Japanese architect and designer Shiro Kuramata. Following his return to England, he enrolled at the Architecture Association in London, leaving to establish his own practice in 1981.

The Architect:
John Pawson
portrait image from Hotel Puerta America

From the outset the work has focused on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials – themes 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.

Early commissions included homes for the writer Bruce Chatwin, opera director Pierre Audi and collector Doris Lockhart Saatchi, together with art galleries in London, Dublin and New York. Whilst private houses have remained a consistent strand of the work, subsequent projects have spanned a wide range of scales and building typologies, ranging from Calvin Klein’s flagship store in Manhattan and airport lounges for Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, to a condominium for Ian Schrager on New York’s Gramercy Park, a set for a new ballet at London’s Royal Opera House and the interior of a 50- metre yacht.

Recognition includes RIBA awards for the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Frate Sole International Prize for Sacred Architecture for the new Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in Bohemia.

MAC Mode Sponsor Statement

MAC was founded in Wald/Rossbach, Germany, in 1973, and is one of the leading manufacturers of ladies’ and men’s trousers in Europe. A perfect fit, above-average quality, an excellent price-performance ratio, and above all a high fashionable topicality – MAC has been standing for these for more than 36 years. With this clear philosophy the company has continuously extended its position in the European clothing market, and now sells approximately 5.6 million pairs of trousers per year. “We are very happy to support as sponsors the famous architect John Pawson’s exhibition in the Design Museum in London. The minimalist architecture, his sensitive use of materials, and the grace and clarity of his works are unique, and reflect in a certain way the democratic and transparent structures of our company”, says managing director Eveline Schönleber.

Exhibition furniture kindly supplied by Dinesen.

Design Museum
Design Museum
photo © Luke Hayes

Hotel Puerta America, Madrid, Spain
Hotel Puerta America Madrid
photo from Hotel Puerta America
Design: various architects incl. John Pawson
Hotel Puerta America

Location:Design Museum, London

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Comments / photos for the John Pawson Architecture Exhibition page welcome

John Pawson Exhibition London