It is through the homes that architects and designers create for themselves that their ideas most clearly crystallise.

Sir John Soane built his house at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields as a laboratory for his architectural ideas, referring to its rooms as ‘studies for my mind’. He also used his house as a way of articulating his ideas about architecture, which were informed by his fascination with the classical world. While Soane’s house is perhaps the earliest example in England of a house designed by a professional architect for their own use, it is by no means an isolated phenomenon.

Through five London-area case studies which start in the 19th century and end in the 21st, this exhibition examines how architects and designers since Soane’s time have created homes for themselves. Although often associated with individual architects, all of the houses included here were highly collaborative ventures. They illustrate the collective nature of architectural creation and the home as a shared space. These houses operate as dwellings but also as showcases for architectural ideas, often including vital elements such as studio spaces, as Soane’s house does. Each house corresponds clearly to styles and concepts present in their architectural moment, ranging from Victorian design reform to 21st-century sustainability.

The homes that we'll be celebrating are:

  • The Cosmic House, by Charles Jencks, Maggie Keswick Jencks and Terry Farrell Partnership
  • 2 Willow Road, by Erno Goldfinger
  • Red House, by Philip Webb and William Morris
  • Hopkins House, by Michael and Patty Hopkins
  • 9/10 Stock Orchard Street, by Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till

Photos: Gareth Gardner.

Explore the houses

Browse through our galleries below to take a closer look at these remarkable London homes.