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Sir John Soane, one of England’s greatest architects, built and lived in the Soane Museum more than a century and a half ago. It has been kept as it was since his death, displaying his collection of art, antiquities, models and drawings. This online exhibition, part of London Festival of Architecture 2021, will explore how the building itself has been cared for through the materials in the relatively unknown building archive.

Comprising materials such as dust, stones, nails and coloured glass fragments, the building archive collects the stuff that testifies to the life of a building – and how buildings transform over time. This largely unseen, yet constant care is what unifies museum professionals, particularly those committed to preserving architecture. Our exhibition of the Museum’s building archive will tell the fascinating and at times moving story of the form that this commitment to care has taken over the years since Soane left his Museum to the nation.

The exhibition will go online on 1 June 2021.

In addition to the exhibition, join Deputy Director and Inspectress Helen Dorey for an online lunchtime talk as she gives a virtual tour of the archives. Find out more

Exhibition details

01 Jun 2021 to 30 Jun 2021



A walk through the building archive

Join Deputy Director and Inspectress Helen Dorey for a virtual tour through the Soane Museum’s rarely-seen building archive, telling the fascinating and moving story of the Soane Museum’s care.