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British architect John Pawson’s House of Stone

British architect John Pawson’s House of Stone

John Pawson’s House of Stone in Milan, which is constructed from stone blocks composed of 99% recycled granite, was visited by Dublin architect Studio Negri in April 2010. Pawson, along with leading stone craftsman Gabriele Salvatori, has taken off-cuts and converted them into beautifully textured stone patterns. The stone house was constructed in a sixteenth-century courtyard in the Brera district.

The project emphasises sustainable planning and architecture by using 99% discarded granite and only 1% of a natural resin. John Pawson was chosen as the most suitable architect to complete the project because of his because of his experience in energy efficient design which maximises natural light.

Pawson was inspired by the simplicity of the early Churches. He yearned for a modest but illuminating structure and not something simply to grab headlines: “The important thing in these cases is not to be greedy, to be patient and try not to show off. I say this to “young” emerging architects: be careful of your desire to “knock down” the old to leave your mark… “scripta manent”!

Pawson believes that architects today need to look back to develop sustainable buildings. This is not planning for ten or twenty years, but for hundreds of years. The House of Stone invites visitors to meditate, to think about the play of light on the surface, and even the rain that might fall in.

The House of Stone vision is shared by Studio Negri, and the ancient Gallarus Oratory formed much of the inspiration for the design of this house in Cavan. The Oratory is an ancient church located near Dingle in Co. Kerry. It is a corbelled-roofed building, built with the stones being laid at a slight angle, lower on the outside than on the inside, thus allowing rainwater to run off. This design has kept the interior relatively dry despite the lack of mortaring, allowing the building to remain in excellent condition. The Stone House in Cavan is a circular building which surrounds a square court-yard – the key elements of which is the maximum use of natural light and also the sustainable nature of its construction.


On this video, John Pawson speaks of the Irish connection to the exhibition in Milan.

For more information about the House of Stone, in Milan:

Gallery: Stone House Made from 99% Recycled Granite Debuts in Milan. From Inhabitat, who focus on sustainable and energy-efficient architect-led design.

Interview  with John Pawson and Gabriele Salvatori – Salone del Mobile 2010

British architect John Pawson in collaboration with Salvatori and lighting specialists KKDC exhibited a contemporary architectural installation entitled ‘House of Stone’ at the celebrated 2010 Think Tank Exhibition in Milan……


For more images of Studio Negri’s house of stone, see here:

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