Design Anthology - Asia Pacific Edition

John Pawson: Anatomy of Minimum

- By Alison Morris (Phaidon)

The fifth work in Phaidon’s documentat­ion of Pawson’s career, Anatomy of Minimum covers the architect’s last five years of work. The projects are divided into three key themes, each explored in a chapter. The first deals with ‘study houses’, a set of projects for which the architect had a high degree of freedom to experiment, including his work on the Life House for Alain de Botton’s Living Architectu­re series and his own home in Gloucester­shire. The second chapter focuses on repurposed structures such as the Design Museum in London, while the third looks at spiritual structures. Each contains only a handful of projects, giving scope to document them in detail through text and photograph­y, as well as in a separate chapter containing architectu­ral drawings of each.

There are also selections from the architect’s photograph­ic journal — he rarely sketches — as well as a curation of his designed objects. Including a foreword by architectu­re writer and former head of London’s Design Museum Deyan Sudjic, the book demonstrat­es Pawson’s idiosyncra­tic approach to proportion and light, and the precise architectu­ral language he uses from the macro to the smallest detail.

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