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Opening up the Soane




Sir John Soane's Museum at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields was the house, studio and museum of Sir John Soane (1753-1837), one of England's most eminent architects of the late 18th, early 19th century.  The house and its adjoining neighbours were completely remodeled by Soane to display his ever-growing collection of sculpture, books, architectural fragments, drawings and paintings.
In 1833 Soane negotiated an Act of Parliament to settle and preserve the house and collection for the benefit of 'amateurs and students' in architecture, painting and sculpture.  On his death in 1837 the Act came into force, vesting the Museum in a board of Trustees who were to continue to uphold Soane's own aims and objectives.  A crucial part of their brief was to maintain the fabric of the Museum, keeping it 'as nearly as circumstances will admit in the state' in which it was left at the time of Soane's death in 1837 and to allow free access for students and the public to 'consult, inspect and benefit' from the collections.  Since 1837, each successive Curator has sought to preserve and maintain Soane's arrangements as he wished.
Over the years changes have been made to the Grade I listed building and the Masterplan project 'Opening up the Soane' seeks to restore Soane's arrangements and effects where they have been lost.
'Opening up the Soane' will be the most comprehensive programme of restoration and refurbishment in the Museum's history and will seek to restore the entire 2nd floor of No. 13, comprising an ensemble of exquisite and intriguing rooms.  These include Soane's private apartments: bedroom, bathroom, oratory, book passage, Mrs Soane's Morning Room and the Model Room above.  Other spaces include the Tivoli and Shakespeare recesses.
The 'Opening up the Soane' project also includes improved visitor facilities, the creation of a new exhibition gallery and conservation studios, and improved access for people with disabilities, with the provision of a new lift to be located in a disused service shaft.
The project will be undertaken in three phases, with all three set for completion in 2014.  The project receives funding from a variety of generous donors including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Monument Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and from the US via Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation.
Sir John Soane's Museum is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) whose prime sponsor is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
www.soane.org

 

Detail

Client: Sir John Soane's Museum
Project Value: £7 million
Project Team: Julian Harrap Architects (Architect) Mann Williams (Structural Engineer)
D. R. Nolans & Co (Quantity Surveyor) The Spencer Clarke Partnership (Mechanical & Electrical Engineer) Caruso St. John Architects (Museum Designers)
Project Category(s): Public Buildings, Historic Buildings
Services Offered: Project Management
Completion: Due for completion in 2014

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