Oct 20, 2022–Jan 8, 2023

Neighbours in Space and Time

Grafton Architects at the Soane Museum
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP Map
Tue-Sat 10 am-5 pm

Sir John Soane’s Museum is delighted to be collaborating with Grafton Architects on an exhibition that explores the relationship between two of the principal buildings on Lincoln’s Inn Fields: Grafton’s Marshall Building for the London School of Economics and Political Science and Sir John Soane’s Museum.

The Dublin-based firm, headed by 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates and 2022 Daylight Award winners Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell, is a recent winner of the RIBA Gold Medal (2020), and the RIBA Stirling Prize (2021), and the Mies van der Rohe Award (2022). The exhibition examines shared themes and architectural values between the Marshall Building and the work of Sir John Soane.

A connection across history

Located at 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Marshall Building and Sir John Soane’s Museum were both created as spaces for learning and debate, with their Portland stone facades drawing the eye as they contrast solid masses and window recesses. The play of light within the Marshall Building resonates with Soane’s ability to ingeniously draw light down through his buildings.

This exhibition will bridge space and time to celebrate the relationship between these two new neighbours by pairing never-before-seen drawings by Grafton, which shed light on the design and construction process, with specially selected drawings from Sir John Soane’s archive. These highlight shared values: an interest in innovative technology and the use of traditional drawing techniques (the section, the plan) to create powerful and compelling images. Further comparisons are made between drawings and photographs, showing Soane’s designs and the Marshall Building under construction. The Foyle Space, in the heart of the Soane, will feature an exquisite model of the Marshall building. It will allow visitors to see the branching structure of the ‘tree’ columns which support the building.

These comparisons between Sir John Soane and Grafton Architects position architecture and the transition of buildings from designs to physical reality as a shared craft across the centuries. Visitors will be afforded an intriguing glimpse of an ongoing dialogue between Soane and Grafton, between architecture and our built environment.