Great news! Our restoration of Sir John Soane’s Drawing Office has won an award from The Georgian Group.
A sleeping beauty of the Soane, this remarkable space – the oldest remaining architectural office of its type in Britain, perhaps the world – has been fully restored, and opened to the public tours for the first time ever earlier this year. We’re delighted that the restoration project was chosen and celebrated at the Group's Architectural Awards, winning the prize for 'Restoration of a Georgian Interior'.
When announcing the award, Country Life journalist John Goodall said: Sir John Soane bequeathed his house and collections to the nation in 1837 on the proviso that they should be maintained exactly as he had left them. That’s not what happened and over the last thirty years a programme of research and restoration has incrementally returned Soane’s arrangements to the state he intended. The Upper Drawing Office at Sir John Soane’s Museum, installed in 1821 and rebuilt in 1824, is believed to be the last remaining drawing office of its type in the UK, perhaps the world. Running along the back of 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and supported on iron columns, it accommodated six articled pupils, and Soane described it as being ‘peculiarly adapted for study’. Its drawing tables and the casts hung on the walls are illuminated by two long skylights.
“During an extensive restoration project which addressed structural problems, and the leaking skylights, some 200 architectural casts were painstakingly cleaned and conserved. Forensic analysis ensured that they were reinstated as Soane had arranged them and against a recreated 1837 decorative scheme. The work is a particular testament to the long-standing relationship with the museum and its contents of Helen Dorey, Deputy Director and Inspectress, Jane Wilkinson, Head of Conservation and the Soane’s conservation architect Julian Harrap Architects.”
A huge thank you to The Georgian Group for this recognition and congratulations to the team at the Soane and beyond who brought this spectacular room back to life.
To read more about the Georgian Group and the other awardees, visit their website.