Homes and Antiques Magazine - - LIFESTYLE -

The ar­chi­tect Sir John Soane moved into num­ber 12 Lin­coln’s Inn Fields in Hol­born in 1792, and over the next 32 years he bought num­bers 13 and 14 as well. All three were grad­u­ally de­mol­ished and re­built, inside and out. Soane used his home as an ar­chi­tec­tural lab­o­ra­tory, a place in which to ex­per­i­ment with new ideas, tech­niques and tech­nol­ogy, such as in­stalling a bath with hot wa­ter – re­mark­able for the pe­riod.

As Pro­fes­sor of Ar­chi­tec­ture at the nearby Royal Academy, Soane was keen to share his ideas and the­o­ries with his stu­dents as well as the rest of so­ci­ety. Ac­cord­ingly, he trans­formed the rear of num­ber 13 into a mu­seum, and con­ducted reg­u­lar tours of the house. A high­light of any visit was un­doubt­edly the Model Room. It con­tained a num­ber of im­por­tant and rare minia­tures – from the ru­ins of Pom­peii and Paes­tum to Soane’s own de­signs for the Bank of Eng­land – and al­lowed him and his ap­pren­tices to study clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­ture.

Now re­opened to the pub­lic after 160 years, the Model Room is en­chant­ing and ed­u­cat­ing visitors once again – es­pe­cially since the Pom­peii minia­ture might be the only one of its kind in Eng­land, and the col­lec­tion as a whole is the largest in the coun­try, if not the world.

Also back on pub­lic dis­play are Soane’s pri­vate apart­ments, in­clud­ing his Bed­room and his wife’s Morn­ing Room, mean­ing it’s now pos­si­ble to see the en­tire house as it was in Soane’s life­time. * For more in­for­ma­tion, visit

LEFT The Break­fast Room fea­tures a mir­rored and domed ceil­ing ABOVE Soane de­signed the in­ge­nious ‘move­able planes’ in the Pic­ture Room when he was 71 ABOVE RIGHT The mod­est ex­te­ri­ors of 12–14 Lin­coln’s Inn Fields do not be­tray the cor­nu­copia of trea­sures housed within

ABOVE The floor of the Model Room has been cov­ered in a mosaic de­sign based on coloured il­lus­tra­tions from when Soane was alive. The stand on which the mod­els sit was Soane’s own de­sign RIGHT A plumbed bath with hot wa­ter was in­cred­i­bly rare in 1820 when Soane’s bath­room was cre­ated

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.