John Pawson, Rothman appartment, London, United Kingdom, 1990

John Pawson, Rothman appartment, London, United Kingdom, 1990

Pawson, Rothman appartment, United Kingdom, 1990


John Pawson was born in Halifax, Yorkshire. He approached architecture relatively late, in London at the Architectural Association. Pawson’s architecture, though not associated with a precise movement, is very close to the concepts of minimalism. Since its first interiors, the ethics and aesthetics of a primitive rigor that characterized America in the 1950s and 1960s are noticed. Pawson’s strength is derived from combinations of elements such as space, proportion, light, and materials. In an article dedicated to Pawson appearing in the magazine “Ottagono”, it is referred to the eloquence of mutism. The virtual mutism of his spaces could be seen as the most eloquent discourse on technology and beauty. This is an architecture of completeness and serenity, loaded with passion.

The Rothman apartment consists in a single central open space where two rows of cupboards run from one side to the other by touching the ceiling. These cupboards are “walls”, which on the one hand separate the public life from the private one, and on the other hand allow to conceive the environment in its entirety. From every corner of the apartment it is possible to have a global view of the space in which we are. Large windows at the same height occupy two sides of the apartment making the light become a protagonist and invade space, thus transforming it throughout the day. A column and a simple wooden bench at the entrance complete the public area design. The private part, then the bed, the bathroom and the study can be separated from the rest of the apartment by sliding doors hidden behind the closet cabinets. A translucent glass wall separates part of the bathroom so that this remains an environment only with the study and the bed area. Even here light can penetrate and create special effects. The colours, like the materials used, are very few and together with the essentialness of the furnishings create a sense of order, harmony and tranquillity. The colour that stands out more than any other is certainly white and defines walls, cupboards, kitchen, the column and the Venetians.




D. Sudjic, John Pawson: works, Phaidon, 2005

L’architecture d’aujourd’hui, n°318, 1998