At Home Objects of Desire ; the Minimalist Architect John Pawson Once Shunned `Things', but Now He Has Designed a Range Fit Even for His Home, Reports Meredith Etherington- Smith
Etherington-Smith, Meredith, The Independent (London, England)
I can still remember the shock of opening The World of Interiors magazine about 15 years ago and, among all the chintzy, bijoux Sloane country house interiors, happening on something very different and, for the time, extremely subversive.
It was the architect John Pawson's bare, perfectly white, minimalist apartment, which he had carved for himself and his wife Catherine out of a Victorian mansion flat. No cornice survived. There was no detail or pattern. And nothing was visible on table or shelf. There were no signs of human habitation; not one book, not one shoe. Where on earth did he hide the toothbrushes and children's toys? As Time magazine put it at the time, he was "the man who made Martha Stewart rethink chintz".
We have, since then, become much more accustomed to the minimalist world according to Pawson - he has designed the Calvin Klein store in Manhattan and novelist Bruce Chatwin's apartment. But the question of where to store toys and toothbrushes has continued to puzzle devotees of his style. Now, at last, we can leave certain select objects out in our pared-down surroundings without fearing Pawson's censure - he has designed them for just this purpose.
"I don't actually like `things' very much at all," says Pawson. "But people always leave objects they like out in their houses, there's no stopping them... there's always something lying around that alters the focus of the whole room," he sighs, "so I thought I'd better design a few pieces that I would like to leave about myself."
The Pawson collection is typically restrained - five pieces of functional minimalism to grace a plain white table or a lacquered white wall without ceding an inch to fuss or decoration. The most beautiful is a mysterious double-skinned …
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Publication information: Article title: At Home Objects of Desire ; the Minimalist Architect John Pawson Once Shunned `Things', but Now He Has Designed a Range Fit Even for His Home, Reports Meredith Etherington- Smith. Contributors: Etherington-Smith, Meredith - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 13, 2001. Page number: 13. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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