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September 3, 2004

John Pawson's monastary

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It's in the Czech Republic, and it opened yesterday.

You're already too late: it was opened to the public yesterday for the first and only time ever.

Pawson spent a week living with the Cistercian monks in their Sept-Fons abbey in France, learning about their daily lives.

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He said he fully understood the significance of getting everything right the first time: "With a private house, you always get involved with the nitty-gritty. But usually the homeowners go away sometime for the holidays or they eventually sell the house.

"With monks, they are never, ever going to leave, not even to visit town. The monastary is their entire world."

I must say, I believe Pawson's signature ultra-minimalist style far more suited to this building than something like Calvin Klein's flagship Fifth Avenue store, which I found profoundly depressing.

I feel for Pawson's family: I saw a feature in Vogue magazine some years ago on their London home, and could only shiver as I looked at the bathroom, with its huge tub on concrete with nary a rug in sight.

I bet his kids have to bring their Mr. Bubble in with them and remove it after they're done.

September 3, 2004 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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