New Year honour for Halifax-born minimalist architect is ‘wonderful and fitting’

Halifax-born John Pawson has been awarded a CBE
Halifax-born John Pawson has been awarded a CBE

A minimalist architect from West Yorkshire has been awarded a CBE for services to design and architecture in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Halifax-born John Pawson’s minimalist style was formed when he visited in Japan during his early twenties.

Clare Lilley, director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, has known Mr Pawson for around 20 years.

She said: “Modest and unpretentious as a man, I would say that John’s rural industrial Yorkshire roots are evident in his personality and buildings, which are honest and true to their place and material.

“It is wonderful and fitting that he’s been honoured with a CBE.”

“After working in his family’s Halifax textile business, he travelled to Japan where he developed an understanding of how light, space and material can form the most simple and satisfying architectural spaces.

“He is often cited as one of the world’s most important minimalist architects, but the term doesn’t come close to describing his extraordinary attention to detail and quest for perfection – whether it be for the limestone and cherry wood of the Jil Sander shop in Tokyo or the tone and size of handmade bricks used for a Welsh retreat.

“Even his brilliant conversion of a brutalist Second World War bunker in Berlin into a museum for Southeast Asian art manages to be impeccably precise.”