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From an Architect’s Perspective

October 2, 2020

Okay, so he gets the detail wrong about where Jesus and The Twelve were, but here’s an interesting excerpt from an interview with an architect — 

DB: do you see your work as being inspired or informed by spirituality or religious themes?

JP: I mean, my grandparents were methodists and went to chapel twice on sunday. my parents obviously inherited both sides of their parents so then my parents had that… my mother did a bit of church-going and my father, not much.

but I would never – you know, I’m an architect and I’m putting bricks and mortar together using whatever means I can to produce a building to suit the client. and if it happens to be monks, you know, they want to be closer to god.

so, you know, you’re trying to manipulate the light and space and everything else to help them get there.

that doesn’t mean that I have to be religious myself or that I would imbue any non-religious building with the spirit. I mean, the monks said that they saw the calvin klein store, in fact, they saw a photograph of the calvin klein store and they thought, well, that would make a good church.

yeah, because if you remember, I mean, jesus first gave communion on the kitchen table. I mean, to have an altar as a table – I mean altars are tables – it’s not a big leap. the monks wanted something for them and they didn’t care that it was a fashion store.

it is interesting because my oldest son caius has a series of bands like the XX and sampha, and stuff like that, and he wanted a john pawson house.

he bought a house and I did it up. he wanted what I do. I was fully expecting him to find a young architect and have something different.

I’ve never forced my stuff onto them because I mean, mine is a complete reaction to my father.

DB: what do you mean?

JP: well, their house was full of antiques.

DB: so your style is kind of a rebellion against what you grew up in.

JP: yeah. I mean there is a lot of my dad in me but my sons interestingly like minimal spaces. the thing is, caius keeps booking our country house, for his big media type meetings.

SOURCE: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/john-pawson-interview-minimalism-calvin-klein-monks-12-05-2019/

— Lotta threads in there: Methodists, grandparents and parents, (especially his dad), his influence on his sons, altars, manipulation (architectural and otherwise), and more.

What say ye to all of this?

 

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